|Mania placed marigold wreaths around a tree stump, bowls of food atop the exposed wood which served as an altar. Pictures of each Deb who had passed on lay on and around the stump. |
“Very nice,” Cyranose commented at the little shrine.
“It’s important to honor the dead,” she said. “I thought we’d make a day of it.”
“Yes, it is a little lonely out here.” He looked around at the bare, quiet campus.
“There you are,” said CJ, relieved. She and Kat jogged up to them. “We’ve been looking for you two everywhere.”
“I think we’re the only ones left,” Kat sighed.
“We are,” said Mania, gesturing toward the pictures. “Ours are the only pictures not here.”
“What’s this?” Kat asked.
“It’s to honor the dead,” Cyranose explained.
CJ took a colorful skeleton mask from the items at the altar and put it up to her face. “WoooOOOooo!” she said in a (sort of) spooky voice.
Kat reached for the fruit in the bowl, but Mania caught her hand. “It’s not for us,” she admonished gently. She put her head up and listened intently then, though no one else heard anything. “Oh, could it be?” she said breathlessly, then scanned the horizon for evidence of what she’d heard. She saw them then from far away, and the others squinted to see.
It was an army. Lines of people came toward them, slowly and staggering, with torn clothing and gaping wounds. Their eyes were sunken and black. And worst of all…they were very, very familiar.
“It’s them!” Mania said, clapping her hands. She pointed at the pictures. “Oh, aren’t they beautiful?” Sure enough, it was all the Debs who had gone before, and they were back. Hungry. “I have some food for you!” Mania called happily as they approached.
They looked at the fruit, and looked at the four remaining Debs. They were living. Warm. Tasty. “Thanks,” one hissed. “But…” it reached for Cyranose and took a bite out of him.
“Braaaaiiins…” they moaned, and had their friends for lunch.
It was indeed a good day to honor the dead, for now all were.