This is the introduction to a new Dystopia Rising character
How long were you supposed to sit with the bereaved? Do you wait until the body had been taken by the Gravemind? Could you leave earlier? Did you have to stay later? Samantha shifted her weight. Her left leg was going numb from being crossed. She couldn’t do Last Rites, but she could sit with them. She scowled inwardly. The woman beside her sobbed loudly. Samantha patted her on the shoulder, uneasy in the touch. You know this is what happens. You know this is how it ends. Why all the tears?
The deceased in question laid in pieces before them. She had come out of the morgue quiet and had shambled slowly towards them. Nothing outrageous. She had lived a quiet, simple life. The community had taken no chances, though. Now, she was scattered about the edges of the morgue. Her family consisted of a mother and a cousin - that was more than most people, honestly.
The ground creaked. Samantha looked towards the body and saw a slow sink. She heard the woman’s mother weep louder. It was unfortunate, but part of life. Everyone would die. Everyone would become part of the Gravemind.
A flash. In the light of the afternoon sun, Samantha took quick survey of the dead woman: a hair clip, a necklace, a beautiful ring of blue. She glanced over at the mother and cousin. What were their names? They weren’t paying attention. Samantha slipped the ring off the submerging woman. No one needs jewelry in the Gravemind. A few more pats and murmurs about how everyone’s song must come to a close. Then Samantha was off. She had done her job. She had comforted the family - the family who would eventually be zed themselves.
Hopelessness washed over her. Almost immediately, Samantha closed her eyes and focused. Curles. Lipstick. Smiles. Rhinestones. The songbird of the smokies. Everything was fine. Everything was pretty. Everything was shiny. She opened her eyes and looked down at her new ring. Everything was fine.