Among my people, the wanderers of the Old Hills, they say that there are two worlds. Upon one shine the rays of the golden sun of the living. The other is lit only by black shadows of the sun of the dead. The dead roam their world endlessly as we roam ours, but the hunt is less rewarding. Ever they hunger for the light of our sun and the taste of our animals.
Twice a year, when the days are shortest and longest, the walls between the worlds weaken and in-between is created: a twilight betwixt two suns. The dead riders pour forth, wielding fell blades that condemn the living to become wraiths.
The only defense is in the bones: the power of the dead repelling the dead. So we paint them, swirling patterns of black on the stark white. We paint the skulls in honor of who they were and fear of what they may have become.
Sometimes, at those twilight times, I see shadows at the edges of the camp and hear the soft rustling of wind. It may be nothing more than that.
But in case it isn’t, I am glad of my painted bones.
Word Count: 198
This is for Sunday Photo Fiction.