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Matiara crept into the tomb as effortlessly as a shadow.
She wore the darkness like a cloak and her footsteps seemed to make no sound at all.
If you had been standing still in that place you would have smelt the decay, the rot.
All Matiara smelt was a sickly sweetness wafting up from the bag she clasped in her hand.
In that bag were the candles, the brick dust, the roots and spices.
She crept across the cold and broken flagstones but they never hurt her feet.
Somewhere in that darkness she thought she could see a light.
Dawn would arrive soon, but not yet. It was still too early for that.
But in these new-born hours she would work her best magic.
That which was to be her greatest enchantment.
Coming closer to the source of the meek light she knelt.
The earth at her feet was fresh and newly turned.
It was piled in a rectangle, eight feet long, four feet wide.
Worms turned in its folds like drowning men.
Matiara let go the bag, and placed her hand upon the ground.
Laying the candles in the soil she lit them one by one.
their light was brighter than the first few rays of dawn.
As they burned they infused the air with smoke,
and sweet scents of oranges and blood.
Matiara waited for a moment, then searched the bag again.
Into the soil she mixed the dust, the roots, and threw in the spices as she sang.
Her voice, soft and wavering disturbed the spiders high up in their webs.
They scuttled to the edges, and scurrying down the walls,
they came to join the worms, in amongst the earth.
Matiara opened her book and said the words.
The earth shook a little but not enough.
Just as much to shake the dust off the foundations but no more.
Matiara said the words again and howled when they would not take effect.
“But I did everything you said!”
The cry echoed round the tomb, until the silence ate it up.
Matiara placed her hands into the dirt, in futility she began to dig the grave.
She had seen them lower the body into the ground.
Watched on powerless as they consigned her loved one to the earth.
“Wake for me!” she whispered as her nails dug in.
As they reached the coffin, a new voice could be heard.
“This is needless desecration” the watcher said.
“Your lover sleeps and will not wake again.”
Matiara turned in anger at the words, to see the speaker was a man,
pierced through the skin by shafts of daylight.
The new dawn breaking in the window stretched right through him and beyond.
“And what would you know of life, that you might say who lives and dies?”
Matiara asked, “your words are nothing but the envy of a ghost.”
“Jealous I might be perhaps.” He said.
“But if I say your magic has no power now,
it is because you are a ghost yourself.”