Death: The New Frontier (2nd edition) John Brandywine, 1819


We distinguished the corpses by their freshness, not so much the manner in which they died. The new, as in to say the recently departed, were put up front for collection. The priestesses saw to that. Anything else was left to rot by the gates. Sometimes for weeks. I don’t think Ogilvile slept the entire time, maybe that’s what killed him. He was always an unsteady man. Too much rum, and in those final days he was never without a bottle. He’d seen too much, I reckon. Had enough of this world and fancied a stab at the next. Still, a job was a job and with Ogilvile’s death it meant the cemetery passed over to me. Gods know I needed the money. My first job was to drag his still warm body outside, and the priestesses took him without a word.

I saw Ogilvile again, as it happens, staggering along Piccadilly at Ravan’s military parade, failing to find step with the Orthons – drunk even in undeath. He passed right by me and didn’t even stir, not so much a flicker of recognition or anger in his eyes. Seems they haven’t got much use for emotions in the next place. And for that I am eternally grateful.

Death: The New Frontier (2nd edition). John Brandywine, 1819.


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