GENRE: YA Steampunk Fantasy
The ivy-twined iron gates stood closed again tonight. Though I’d come to this cemetery for the past year, its Guardian still demanded my respect. I knocked three times on the gate, acknowledging his presence and mentally greeted him. In my mind he finally responded with my name: Idonea.
The gates protested as I pushed them open. Rust flaked away when my hands withdrew. As I passed the threshold, I dropped three silver scales on the ground as payment. I faced forward so the Guardian knew my intentions weren’t sinister, like usual. All I needed was grave dirt. I thought we had enough, but my mother Nellith insisted.
Light from the crescent moon and stars filtered down through the thin layers of steam blanketing the town and the numerous pine trees. The scent of pine mixed in with the heavy air, and I wiped a thin film of mist from my goggles.
By nature’s light I stepped carefully past the headstones. Giving more than a cursory glance at any particular epitaph would invite unwanted attention. I stopped at an old grave with a large winged messenger statue, mildew discolouring the white stone. Down on my knees, I pulled a small glass jar and hand shovel from my canvas bag.
I knocked three times on the exact spot I wanted to shovel and stated my intention. “I’m collecting this dirt for any future magical workings that call upon the virtues of the cemetery.”
With that necessity done I gathered the grave dirt I needed.