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You Can’t Question the Dead

You can’t question the dead.

Son, of all the things I’ve learned from being in this business, that’s at the top of the list. Once they’re gone, so is any hope you have of them changing their testimony. They will remain as obstinate as ever, set in stone, as it were.

Females can be the worst. They’ll take advantage of your manhood if you’re not on your guard. Nothing against your mother’s memory, mind you, but your two aunts are in a class all by themselves. Family can be so embarrassing, sometimes.

You needs must fend them off in whatever manner you can, just keep in mind that you can’t question the dead. Our Good Lord knows I’ve done my share of trying. Often’s been the time that the devil I was chasing would have an unfortunate accident as they ran, before I could rightly find out where they’d been hiding.

I would ask your dear mother, where her sisters are likely hiding out, may she rest in peace still, but she would most likely rail at me about my stubbornness, just as in the old days.

You haven’t been talking to her, have you?

Truth be told, she saw that same stubborn streak in you. It’s best that you got most of who you are from my side of the family, although this means that you, too, will be tempted. You may have heard that there’s a mad alchemist, a necromancer of sorts who’s been studying reanimation, and swears he finally has it right. Don’t you listen to him.

I remember the time I went to the Baron, after I’d lopped the head off of one prematurely, and he says to me, “Of course I can do it, Constable! Just bring me the creature’s brain, and I will make him live again so that he will sing for you.”

If I had known then what I know now, that brute would have remained in the ground and never killed another soul; it would have been an entirely different story, and my dear Gertrude might still be alive to this day.

We all learn from our mistakes, son. I know I have; be certain that you learn from mine, too.

If not for that, the village would not have lost their trust in me, and we would still be living downslope in the home they provided us, not operating from up here from our cave. No matter how they may have slighted us – me – it is still our duty to do what we can to protect them. After all, families do have a responsibility to deal with their own, one way or another.

Your aunts are hanging out over the north road, waiting for someone to ride into their trap. Most likely it will be old Jorgen Krämer with his daughter Heidi driving his wagon back home from market. You’ll like her; she’s about your age, and she will be grateful when we have saved them from those beasts. Of course we’ll need to wait until your aunts have fallen on them; our best chance of taking one of them alive, so to speak, will be while they’re occupied with the Krämers.

Remember – you can’t question the dead, so best not make them that way until you’re done with them.

You sure you haven’t heard from your mother?


You can connect with William Mangieri, see the full list of his works, his writing blog, and links to his current promotions on his WordPress writing page at https://williammangieri.wordpress.com/    

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