Saturday’s Child, Always Hard Working…

When the empty void receded, leaving form and function in its wake, there was left a place that bore something of the creation that had come, and yet was still marked by the nothing that preceded it.

In this twilight border features of the new landscape lingered, but were no longer fully of the new existence. The shades, as they were known, served to remind those still living of what had come before, the echoes serving as blueprints for what might yet be once more. The border between them protected the living world from the nothingness behind, as the occasional surges of violence and negation that came from the once dominant darkness splashed helplessly against the shores of the deadlands, harming them not at all.

When the seven came forth to manage the new creation, one among them saw these lines of division, and understood that they must be held. Trimmed carefully, pruned in places and edged outward in others. In this way, the line could slowly be pushed forward, hopefully to completely eclipse the outer dark, given enough time. Under the command of the Watcher and protected by the patrols of the Huntsman, the Groundskeeper shuttled no longer useful things into the deadlands, inching the barrier forward; sometimes, when necessity demanded, he returned things from the shadow back to the realm of the living, made stronger – though sometimes disturbingly other – from their time in the borderlands.

As centuries wore on, orders from the Watcher grew steadily more erratic. The Huntsman became less reliable.  The borders grew hazy, the differences between the worlds of the living and the dead softening and leading to a far greater blending than had been intended. The Groundskeeper saw less and less progress at the edge of the darkness, saw more things moving into the shadow without the chance to be fully expended, and much more monstrous transformations when things returned to the realm of the living. New rites and forms had to be obeyed to prevent the harassment of the living by the dead, growing steadily more arcane and difficult alongside losing effectiveness.

The Groundskeeper’s task became less about keeping his garden orderly and more about ensuring things stayed in their place. More and more often it necessitated outright removal instead of transference, and the superstitious humans came up with a new name for the incola; the Gravedigger.

It is said that, in the course of his duties, the nascent Gravedigger left behind several places where the border is thinner than usual. When the Watcher led to the damnation of the seven, there were none left who knew the location of all these places… and lording over this knowledge gave the Gravedigger leverage against his siblings.

Some whisper that he still has his shovel, digging restlessly for those ancient holes, seeking a way to escape the imprisonment he and his siblings suffered; haunted houses, supposedly demonic infestestations and worse are purportedly the results of his attempts to break through… and have grown steadily greater in number and worse in intensity as the years wear on.

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One response to “Saturday’s Child, Always Hard Working…

  1. Pingback: Ex Inferis Roundup | Insomnia, Nightmares and General Madness

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