Valley of Death

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Lo!

And Nin came to the valley of death and he looked upon that place and saw the corpses of ten thousand beings. And Nin went down into that charnal house and walked amongst the dead.

The air was thick with the stench of death, the earth was covered by a thin ash. Darkness prevailed.

The ghosts of the dead came to Nin and made demands of him, rising like wisps of smoke from the smouldering ruins. "Avenge me!" cried one.

"Bury me!" pleaded another.

"Pity me!" moaned a third.

"What has happened here?" asked Nin, and in response the spirits of the dead shuddered and screeched. "War!" they cried. "Death!" they cried.

"I will do what I can," said Nin. He dug a hole and dragged the corpse of the nearest rabbit into it. He covered the grave and sang a quick funeral rite. Now the ghosts gathered as one and swirled about him like a storm, begging him to put them to rest, too.

And so Nin dug a second grave and then a third.

Nin dug ten graves before resting. But when he looked up and counted the bodies still in need of burying, he realized that a lifetime of work lay before him. "I must move on," thought Nin.

Hearing this, the spirits grew angry. They swarmed and descended upon Nin. They clawed at his body, tearing at his flesh with cold paws. Nin tried to reason with them. "I am but one rabbit," he said. "I cannot do it all myself," he pleaded.

But the spirits would not listen. All their accumulated rage and frustration was now focused on Nin, their would-be saviour. They cursed him! One spirit lunged at Nin; a cold wind blew through the prince as if the ghost was stealing the very breath from his lungs.

Nin ran from that valley of death and never looked back. And to this day the dead of that place remain restless and unburied.

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