TITLE: The Fertile Clay
GENRE: Adult Weird Fantasy
A graveyard. Mausoleum maze embracing the main plaza, a painting in monochrome. Dark anthracite headstones, slate gray tombs, communal bonehouses of sand & plaster. Dashes of green from burgeoning weeds. Three important buildings: workshop & delivery hall at the plaza’s edge, crematory rising in the distance. All this surrounded by the City, cliffs of houses stretching without end: no outside, no exit, no border.
The dead made up his City, and his City had been disturbed. Mokun Ilhadem splashed soil over the plaza as he trudged back and forth. Overnight, something had changed on his graveyard, something he couldn’t pinpoint. Something with consequences.
The feeling had climbed up Mokun’s arteries and right into his brain stem, until his eyes snapped open and he sat in his bunk bed, wide awake. He had dreamt of a flowering darkness, of low spaces he slithered into, a City unmade in his image.
Something had happened, something terrible.
Mokun checked his workshop and toolshed, took a look at the lychgate, and surveyed the grounds. The mausoleum maze and the crematory’s metal tower appeared as they always did, the plaza lay silent, the perimeter wall untouched.
He clenched his fists and looked around. The graveyard trembled under his gaze, turned alien and incomplete. Mokun had taken a nightcap in the evening and slept deeply, but his helpers should have watched. He hadn’t specifically instructed them, but they should have. The old mortar around the plaza moaned, and some of the flagstones crumbled into gossamers of gray dust.