Another Reason

Every time she climbed those steps, she took a small portrait. The kind you can fit in the palm of your hand. She left the underground city of Bastion and its light below her, bringing the weak light of her torch into tunnels that had been abandoned for fifty years.

Most people went up in groups. Made it easier to come home alive from where the dead walked and tried to make you one of them. The monsters evangelized with teeth and claws, sometimes with bows and blades.

Most went up for treasure, looting the past and the grave goods of abandoned crypts. Some went out of a sense of duty, to keep monsters from Bastion. A mad few went seeking thrills or to satisfy some fascination with the dead. She went for another reason.

One of the dead lunged at her from a shadow. In one moment, she sidestepped, tripped it, and cut off its head. By her flickering light, she compared the face with her portrait. Even accounting for the mummification, they looked nothing alike. “I will find you, grandfather, and you will know peace.” She kissed her fist and gestured to the ceiling before continuing her hunt.

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One Response to Another Reason

  1. Phil Brady says:

    You pack so much in to these shorts–always a treat to read them.
    Loved “The monsters evangelized with teeth and claws”–great yanking of “evangelized” into a different context.
    I also liked the “kissed her fist and gestured to the ceiling.” Nice image.

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