Sunday, May 22, 2011

Dead Rite chapter 60.05

“Yes.” Dill looked at his hand where a sickly green tinge testified to his between-states status. “But then, so are you, aren't you? That explains why Catherine didn't think I'd be able to touch her and yet I can.” He smiled at the girl. “Don't be frightened, love. You weren't frightened of me outside.”

“I'm not frightened.” Catherine twisted out of her aunt's grasp. “How can you be dead inside a body of flesh? You're not a vampire. Are you a monster, made in a laboratory and given life through lightning?”

“Frankenstein's monster, you mean?” Dill smiled. “I wish I was. I'd least I'd be properly alive.”

“You mean you're not?” The boy stepped out of the shadows. “What the devil are you then? Cursed?”

“You could say that. I woke up like this a few days ago. From what I can tell, my body has died with my spirit still attached to it. I'm a sort of conscious zombie.”

“That's rather unfortunate.” The boy walked all around him, the intervening coffins no obstacle to his passing through them. “For you, I mean. Were you killed in battle and thrown in a pot?”

“What?” Dill frowned at the reference.

“He means the cauldron of Bran the Blessed.” Catherine smiled at him. “A warrior cooked in it overnight would return to life the next day. This isn't the case, though, because they couldn't talk and you can.”

“Ah. Legends.” Dill nodded. “I read a comic about that. I don't know this Bran bloke, though. I thought it was Cú Chulainn who had the magic cauldron.”

The boy shrugged. “Welsh tales and Irish ones are often similar. What, though, is a comic?”

“Like a book, only with pictures?”

“A picture book!” Catherine clapped her hands. “Like we had in the nursery. Oh, how splendid. I should so like to see one.”

“Not like kiddie books, no. They're like art for the modern mass market. Illustrated stories. Graphic novels.”

“Something new, then?”

“New? No. They've been around for a century, probably.”

“New to us then.” The boy sighed. “What marvels we have missed, mouldering down here.”

“How long have you been here?” Dill looked toward the aunt, who pursed her lips.

“The children and I have dwelled here since my dear son elected to claim the estate for himself in the year of our lord, nineteen hundred and twelve.”

“What? You son killed you for the inheritance?”

“Indeed. Such an enterprising boy.”

“And the children?”

“His cousins, yes.”

Dill shook his head. “You poor sods.”


stephanie said...

Gosh, the sequels you could spin from this! I do like his instant rapport with them.

Leatherdykeuk said...

The killer was Herbert, Ada's father.

Thank you :)