Sunday, March 17, 2013

Fiction: An Oil Lamp, Miners, and a Dog in the Mountains

Note: This is a story I wrote from a writing prompt during my monthly writer's club.  I like the ideas but I have no idea where to take this story.  If anyone has suggestions, please let me know. :)

The dwarf miners lay the body of their brother inside the cave deep in the heart of the mountain.  Beside them, the dog howled.  She'd been the pet of the deceased and the only witness to his murder. Soon the other dwarves would use her to seek vengeance.  But not just yet.  Right now, the dead took precidence.

They laid the body in a tomb of treasure with a single lamp yet burning.  The light glinted off piles of gold coins, off crystal goblets, off ruby necklaces and silver bracelets.  If ever the lamp burned out and the tomb became dark, it would mean that the spirit of the dwarf had found peace in the netherworld.  But if the lamp did not die out, if light continued to pour from the glass long after the oil bured away, then the dwarf's spirit remained and the tomb would be haunted.

It was said that deep in the mountain, there were chambers filled with treasure and guarded by ever-flickering lanturns.  All those who disturbed such toms would find themselves cursed with plagues and foul-luck, doomed to live a short, untimely existance.

That was why the dwarves had to avenge their fallen brother.  It was ot out of any sort of fraternal love, but of greed.  Once avenged, the spirit would move on, the lamp would die, and the tomb would be ripe for the plundering.  Blood is thicker than water, they say, but gold is thicker than blood.

Only the dog wailed in grief.  The dwarves dragged her from her masters body and sharpened their axes.  It had started with death and it would end with death.

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