A manic dash, driven hard at the closeness of a death rattle, this black polished carriage, horse drawn by black plume crested stallions clattering down marble hallways lined with damask wall coverings upon which are suspended portraits of the dead that now haunt these rooms.
At giddy speeds we are approaching, hollering and screaming our intent, echoing far to those that can hear that cold slap back reverberation, tossed hither and thither in the wake of this thunderous carriage. Time to suspend and look down the stairwell at mournful figures around a figure inverted upon the stone steps with head beneath still water, arms stretched out to the sides and broken body upon the staircase.
At breakneck speed, carriage wheels bouncing and striking hard each step’s edge, as devil’s horses bear down upon the mortals below. Thrown are we that remain trapped on our journey, tossed from side to side, tipping at every rise and fall, violently flung are we at each right angle quarter turn descending further down to our prize.
An old piano, abandoned by that near drowned soul, still playing its adagio to a trapped mad mortal, bed ridden, in a room given over to waiting shadows. He’s not for the devil but that broken figure, attempting to take his own life, teeters towards its damned soul ending life too soon.
Let not those mourners resuscitate from limbo before we’ve had time to collect. Death is approaching fast for we are soul collectors for all those ending mortal life before their allotted time.
At the passing of the hour, a life saved from us and if it remembers by some haunted nightmarish dream the soul collectors were with a death rattle’s breath to snatch it away to eternal damnation, be warned all you, that it is never an answer.
story by John Riley