{{ contest.story_page_sticky_bar_text }} Be the first to recommend this story.
Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copy left
You can read our best books
madiaugusta would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

The Mourner

By madiaugusta All Rights Reserved ©

Fantasy / Horror

The Mourner

The earth replied to his footsteps with a chorus of snaps, crunches – breaking sounds. A cloud of dust hovered over the earth and clogged the filters of his rubber mask. Bone dust. Burnt bone dust.

It can be toxic at high levels.

Remains fertilized this soil. The field he trudged through was composed of stripped skeletons: Cranium, crunch. Tibia, crack. Clavicle, snap. Consumption by fire makes for brittle bones, and he had created a path of scorched shards. His daily pilgrimage through the graveyard had split the pieces smaller and smaller until a road of human-gravel was carved. How fine his boots had made the dust measured his time, his torment. He struggled not to look down. For who wants to mark the days when the curse of eternity will render them irrelevant? “Eternal Mourner of what was lost.”

Red eyes hovered in the mist. The children, cloaked in the soot, wafted among the bones in search of flesh. Their slurping and sucking echoed off the walls of fog. A few yards to his left, one of these pale youths hunched over a carcass and moaned as she feasted on the scraps. Her pale, bald head bobbed as she ran her tongue up and down the bone. She whipped around when the man’s weight shattered a ribcage. The fire in her eyes smoldered and she hissed,

“Do your duty, Mourner.”

He turned to face her, clenched his fists and screamed loud and long until his lungs threatened to burst. The shout came out as a muted wail behind his gas-mask. The creature nodded.

“More,” she said, “until the end that never comes.”

She turned and glided away from him into the thick of the mist, and the man returned to the path and dragged his feet forward, kicking up clouds.

His destination had no unique identity. The rubble of blackened bones was identical to the miles of ruin he had just walked. But a figure was at this site; a woman, cloaked in white, pure and untouched by the air’s filth. Her lips were pale but full, her eyes blue but bright. The man knelt at her feet and kissed her ankle, his mouth passing through the non-corporeal.

“You torture yourself, mourner,” she said.

“Please don’t call me that, Alice.”

“I’m calling you what you are. This only brings you pain, and punishes me when I’ve done nothing wrong. You were giving in live, and now you are selfish in death.”

“But I love you,” his throat dried and words became croaks, “Please don’t leave me.”

“If you love me, let me go, and know I will still love you even away from here.” She said.

A pale boy approached his side and smiled to the apparition.

“Are you ready, mourner?” it asked.

“Please, Matthew. Please,” the ghostly woman stretched out her fingers and he felt nothing but the dust in the air when he reached for them, “let today be the day.”

Tears and salt fogged the glass of his mask and he pulled the strap over his head and tossed the worthless item to the side.

“Are you ready?” hissed the child.

He nodded, streak-marks running down his cheeks. The child grabbed his dusty hair in his fists and wrenched the man’s face to his lips. His mouth filled with the taste of burnt and rotted meat and he gagged on the tongue of the pale-monster. It pulled back and flashed a twisted grin.

“Well done mourner. The first is released.”

A soft, pleasure-filled sigh drifted from the lips of the white woman. Her eyelids fluttered closed and her image slowly faded into nothingness. The hairless child moved to where she had stood and picked up the set of bones that had been at her feet. Slowly but deliberately he angled his neck back and opened his mouth. It widened. Inch by inch the hole grew more than a foot wide, until the boy’s entire face had morphed into a lightless abyss. He raised the bones above his head and dropped them into the hole. The man expected an echo of some sort, a final farewell from the woman, but her remains were soundlessly absorbed by the tiny body.

The boy turned to leave.

“We must mourn again tomorrow, but today you can rest.” He said.

The man’s face contorted and his lips turned pale and twisted.

“Vulture!” He spat, “You enjoy this. You enjoy watching me suffer – taking everything I have away. Why me? Why didn’t I just die along with everyone else?”

“If I answer,” said the child, “would it make a difference? You are here to do this, now do it.”

“But there are so many of them. So many to mourn for.”

“Thus is an apocalypse.”

Write a Review Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, madiaugusta
Continue Reading
Further Recommendations

Stephen Warner: To start off, I am thoroughly impressed. The writing style is somewhat unique, and the plot seemed to move at a nice and steady pace. However, I was not expecting this to be a vampire book! I am usually not one for novels about vampires, but I was pleasantly surprised! You wrote with such grace a...

Mourn8220House: When first reading "Avarice," I thought it would be another fairytale but I was taken back the author's approach and choice of ending. There is little to be said for the story and overall plot besides the sudden twists and speculation, other than that I do not want to ruin a fantastic tale, you m...

daneliacapote116: This was one of my favorites! When you start reading you want to continue I can't wait for the rest of the novel!! The characters where awesome! Everything was great. I encourage you to read this novel, your going to love it it and want to read it more and more !!

genlynne2379: I read the other review of this book and I must say that I disagree with it wholeheartedly. I do not believe the author put the apostrophes in the names just to be unique, but because the characters are supposedly of a different race than humans. They are Anmah. They should have different names a...

makaylakay: I love love this story! It's written incredibly and well thought-out plot! I love how it's a different twist in fantasy fiction, other then the usual vampire or werewolves. Love the romantics and drawn to the two characters so much already! This book will draw you in within the first chapter and ...

harry142018: This story was gripping and very professionally written. With lots of twists and slight of hand tricks, the author deceives the reader until finally showing their cards at the end. With several subplots all intertwining to create the main plot, this really is an interesting and engaging read.

SPepper: I had a hard time putting this book down even to go to sleep. The story is compelling and beautifully character driven. I hope author will make this a series.

mullikin902: Do not start reading this book unless you have enough time to finish it in one sitting, because you will not be able to put it down! Superlative! Addictive! Deliciously wicked characters you can't get enough of. Impatiently waiting for the sequel!

Megan King: This book is absolutely amazing, it kept me on my toes through the entire book. I hope there is a second book. I would 10 out of 10 recommend this for anyone who loves fantasy, action or romance because it is full of all three 💕

More Recommendations

Jason Phang: I'm pretty new to Inkitt (this is only my 4th book) and I must say I've been thoroughly impressed by the quality of the authors here. Remnants of Chaos is an excellently written book that hooks the reader, and doesn't let go. There are some grammatical and typographical errors, but nothing too se...

JWalker: I loved this story from start to finish! It flows at a really nice pace and the story world feels so real. The fight sequences are a treat especially when Isanfyre is training to become a warrior. I found the names really cool and thankfully easy to pronounce. Personally I have always struggled w...

Lauren Sanby: This is an excellent story. Very gripping and keeps your attention throughout. Hoping the author is writing a sequel because I'd love to read more about Rhi and Andreas and find out what else Rhi is able to do with her powers.

tsolaidowu: I want a continuation dammit....I loved this book and the 1st one. I can't believe this is it. I'm not ready to say goodbye to Jeff and Lorie; and the gang. Great book and storyline. You're a genius Madelyn.

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.