Early Spring

 Daniel’s name rung out through the cold, stone corridors that had once been his home. These archways and spires were so familiar once. A few birds halfheartedly sung in the morning mountain mist. Doused in the gloomy light of the dawn, seeping through the garden that lay parallel to the abbey corridor, four men, cloaked and hooded in black, bore his corpse through the halls. The funeral procession behind him slowly marched, solemn and silent for the deceased, only the birds to sing his dirge.

 As he walked beside his brother, Ryan thought of what was to become of him. In the abbey, they were taught that a good man was assured Peace and Happiness in the Long Sleep, but nonetheless the young boy wondered. Would it be black and dark like the night? Or would it even be there at all? What if his brother just-… stopped being? Altogether.

 His mind tried as best as it could to wrap itself around the idea of an Afterlife, but an eight-year-old has very little power to grasp such thought provoking ideas with any efficiency. His grief-wracked brain ran faster than he could keep up with, and his heart would speed up and then he would think of poor Daniel and how he just wished his older sibling would just get up and proclaim it was all a joke and they would all laugh and they could be happy again.

 Daniel loves-

…playing jokes.

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