Yeah, nice title, right? I was totally brain-dead, so suggestions for titles will be wanted once I get it up and running pretty please. Constructive criticism is wanted and appreciated.
The two grave-diggers leaned on their shovels and examined their job. "It ain't the prettiest job oi've evah did, but it'll do. Who was this bloke anyways?" The older man looked at the practically adolescent Englishman and sneered slightly. His shovel tore into the softened earth once more.
"I don't believe it was any of your business. Any of our business really. It doesn't matter who we bury. It only matters that we know where our money's coming from. And have some respect will you. It's apox on men and their families who don't respect the dead." He leaned over and spat in the hole.
The young man's mouth fell open so that he resembled a codfish. "I'm sorry." He said.
The other man half smirked. "It's not me you should apologize to," he motioned with his shovel to the coffin beside the hole. The lid had yet to be nailed down. "Go on," he said. "Apologize."
The Englishman knelt down and mumbled into the coffin lid. The Frenchman rolled his eyes at his apprentice and silently slid the lid aside without looking while the lad was crossing himself. The adolescent opened his eyes and screamed. The Frenchman whirled around.
"What in blazes-"
He was cut short when he saw the coffin's occupant. The man was already resembling a skeleton with his eyes sunken in and his skin ghostly white. The thin lips pulled tight over bared teeth even in death. The Frenchman followed suit with his apprentice and crossed himself before scowling.
"Dirty foreign liar," he hissed. "The man said he was freshly dead. That corpse is NOT freshly dead. Not even a glimpse of life still lies in those eyes I can gurantee you that." His right hand made a symbol to ward off the evil eye and he paired this with a gesture of pushing away from his being three times before turning back to his apprentice. The young man was still cowering at the lifeless body.
The Frenchman boxed his ears. "What did I tell you about respect for the dead? Your head is useless boy, useless! He can no longer hurt you, he's dead."
The young man held his beaten head and looked up at his master. "Well suh, you said he wazn't fresh dead. How dead does you
fink he is?" The Frenchman frowned.
"I can't tell you for certain, but I can tell you that it's useless
to fret over, and you should close that lid."
"I dunno," said the younger man. "I don't like it."
"For Pete's sakes what is wrong with you boy?! He's dead, I could hit him with my shovel as many times as I like and he wouldn't fight back, not for a minute. Look-" He raised his shovel above his head with both hands and prepared to swing.
"I wouldn't do that if I were you," an accented voice called out from the mist. The two men hadn't noticed how dark it had gotten at only mid-day.
The gravedigger almost dropped his shovel. A dark-skinned man in a turban came forward and stared at the men with deep green eyes. "He is not yet buried?" he questioned with raised eyebrows.
"No suh," said the Englishman. "Good." he said.
"Good?" Repeated the Frenchman.
"Yes, and the coffin is not yet nailed?" he quizzed.
He nodded slowly and pulled a silk bag around from his hip. "Where is it?" he looked around, then back at the master gravedigger. "Where is the body?" He repeated. The man pointed with his shovel to the open box.
The turbaned man followed the tool and saw the coffin laying open on the ground. He scowled at the gravediggers before kneeling down and opening the sack. He pulled something out and placed it tenderly on the corpse.
"There you are now my friend," he said. "Rest easy." He pulled
the lid shutand began nailing it in place himself with startling speed and precision for someone not in the trade. When his work was finished he wiped his brow and his tear-smeared cheek and he stood again. "You may finish your work," he said and again dissapeared into the mist. Light rain
began to fall as the men lowered the coffin and covered the hole.
When their work was done the younger man stood and stared at the freshly turned earth. "Wait," he said to his master who was
already walking away from their work. "Don't you fhink suh that we should say somefink? Like a prayuh maybe?"
"No," replied the older man. "Kind words are only spoken to the freshly dead,
and that corpse is NOT freshly dead."
As the two men walked away the rain intensified and softened the ground, making it muddy and squishy and gloomier than it ever was before.
Six feet under the surface mud, below the lid of a nailed coffin the corpse lay, hands crossed overhis chest. In that moment the sunken pair of tawny eyes opened.