City of the Dead
“You look like a corpse.”
Those were not nice words to hear upon waking up. I sat up and clutched my head.
Ugh. Worst. Hangover. Ever.
Now the biggest question of all: Was last night’s party worth it?
“Don’t worry,” a voice with a Scottish accent chuckled. “The worst thing that could happen to anyone, is die and you have already done that, so you should be fine.”
My eyes focused on the owner of the voice. It was a white stone statue, perched on an equally stony chair.
Yep, I was probably still drunk.
Worst. Pub crawl. Ever.
I massaged my temples. “If you’re seeing double, when you’re drunk, what do you have to do to see yourself; that is without a mirror?”
“Nothing. You simply have to be dead,” the stone man replied with a shrug.
I scrambled away from where I saw my body lying on the ground.
”Why is there a knife sticking out of my chest?” I cocked my head. “And what an odd knife it is.”
“Sword actually,” a new voice explained. “I hope Charles hasn’t scared you off yet. He can be so tactless towards the newly dead sometimes.”
Next to me, a few inches above the ground, floated the translucent form of a woman dressed in breeches, waistcoat, and a top hat.
“Who are you?”
“Francis Watson,” she replied, dipping her head. “Well, Mary Francis, but I dropped the Mary to become a professor of medicine at the university. Ah, good times. Been dead since 1833, which makes me one of the oldest in this graveyard.”
“1833?” I repeated. “You’re dead?”
“Well, isn’t she a clever one,” the stone man remarked. “Probably one of the university students. Too much to drink and not enough studying, I reckon.”
“The semester hasn’t even started yet,” I groaned.
Slowly, I stood up, before scanning my surroundings. I had only been in Glasgow for three nights but I had taken enough walks around the city to familiarize myself with the sights. Therefore, I deduced I was in the Necropolis.
My assumption was proven by the simple fact that I was surrounded by gravestones.
So, yeah. Necropolis. City of the Dead. The huge Victorian cemetery overlooking Glasgow from its steep hill.
What a beautiful view.
But sightseeing wouldn’t solve my problem. I looked back at the gentlemanly lady ghost and stone man, who regarded me with amused looks.
“Well, well, well…what have we got here?” a voice rasped from behind me.
I whirled around and let out a shriek of fright.
There stood a figure dressed in a black billowing cloak whose hood covered their face. Skeletal fingers clutched a scythe.
“Oh. My. God.”
“Not quite,” the voice rasped. “My name is unutterable for mere mortals. Therefore you may call me Bob.”
“Bob,” I said. “Do you have any idea what’s going on here?”
“Well, it’s obvious, isn’t it?” Bob asked, looking at me. Well, the other me, who lay on the ground. “Sword in chest. Deep wound. Lots of blood. Dead. It’s all very straightforward, really.”