dead people - quotes and descriptions to inspire creative writing
After all the losses there was no more sentimentality for the dead. It was easier if you didn't think of them as people at all. Indeed, our senses of humour became warped and darkly macabre. We laughed at their silly expressions and gave them rude names. We made up lines for them to say as we tossed them into the mass grave with the others. We stole from them without guilt. They were grey tinged regardless of race, blue lipped with blank stares. Our approach was irreverent, but it kept us sane. There is only so much horror you can take in and understand, after that your mind will snap. So we joke. Anyone who doesn't like it gets given the shovels and the rest of us walk away. No humour no helping, the curmudgeons soon come round to our way of thinking when there's people parts to dispose of.
They are cold. So cold. The life that had dwelt within them has gone and they are safe from the perils of this world. No harm can come to them now. Hearts that used to beat with love are still. Minds that felt so many emotions are blank. We dig the graves and pray their spirits are well received in the after life. Their limbs are soft, the time of rigor mortis has passed. We lie them on their backs, feet together, arms folded over their chests and eyes closed. We make a cross with daisies over each torso and blow them a kiss for the journey. Then with heavy hearts we take our spades and begin to cover them in the black earth.
They lie like dolls over the grass, limbs at awkward angles and heads held in such a way that they cannot be sleeping. These bodies, once the repositories of people as alive as I am, are now abandoned shells left to rot in the open. Who will bury them and weep salty tears onto their grave? Who will send them away with a love song and kiss the breeze that carries them heaven-bound? Likely no-one at all. Some will be consumed by the wildlife and others simply decay, slowly giving up their flesh to the soil and showing their white bones to the sun.
Jackson approaches Delilah, his warm hand falling softly on her cold skin. He places his hand over her chest that does not rise or fall, that contains no beating heart. His tears splash onto her dress and as he kisses her forehead they rain down onto her closed eyes. Though his heart breaks he knows she is safe with the Lord and He keeps His eternal promise.
Cruel though it sounds, once the light winks out in their eyes they are another carcass to bury. The soul has moved on and we living are left with the task of burial, though with the massive numbers we face it is more akin to disposal. Their limbs, long passed the stage of rigor mortis, loll against one another in the pits. Their greyed flesh is often torn in the process of being moved and their eyes stare at a sky they'll never see. We'd pray for the departed, but all of our energy is spent of the living. Should we find time to get to our knees it will be to plant new crops or clean dirty floors; otherwise it's simply the final stage of exhaustion before we surrender to the necessity of sleep.
The source of the putrid smell and swarm of black flies soon became apparent. The old farmer and his family were never on vacation as the neighbours claimed, they were right there, sitting on the couch. Each one of them had a single hole to their temple, purple and brown seepage dried onto their lifeless skin. From the holes crawled maggots and their ankles showed signs of gnawing from rodents. The officers backed out to vomit on the grass, doubled over, fighting powerful waves of nausea. It would take a seasoned forensic coroner to get any closer.
rotting, decaying, dead, pallid, icy skin, ebony flesh, pale, grisly, tragic, lifeless, soulless, milky eyes staring blankly, bloody, silent, cruel, cold fingers forever trapped into a defensive fist, dead, masses of decomposing bodies carelessly piled atop each other, left to the flies and birds, heart-wrenching, departed, stiff, bloodless, breathless, cadaverous, haggard, ghastly, defunct
The sour stench of feces radiated from the boat, beckoning flies to cautiously hover in mid air nearby, not too close but close enough to indulge in the nasal nightmare; they are cowards, they are survivors. The flies slowly edge closer. They gain confidence in their motion, no one has interrupted their thirst for dead cells, the humps of meat in the boat lay limp. A young boy, flung on an upturn bucket, gradually opens his eyes, he feels the prickle of a fly as it lands on his leg. Swat! The fly gives a sickening crunch and twitches against the boys leg. He makes no attempt to clear the mess for fear he may keel over in the process. The swatting motion should have killed him but he needed to cling on to the shred of human dignity he had left. 'death by fly,' he grimaces, 'what a great heading for my gravestone.'
I had never really liked dead people - their deathly white skin pulled tight against their bones, their eyes open wide, staring bloody murder at me forever. Not that I didn't respect them, I just sort of preferred them inside a sealed coffin under the ground, never to come back up again. Yup. I had no problem with corpses as long as they were nowhere near me.
So I guess you can imagine my utter disgust and terror when I wake up one morning sharing my bed with one of the dudes. I had screamed, it was my first instinct. I screamed so hard my throat went dry almost immediately but I didn't stop. I leaped right out from under those covers and halfway across the room, probably looking like an idiot as I flailed my arms and legs in a desperate attempt to put as much distance as I could between me and that cold body.
I didn't stop screaming, I kept that up until my roommate came and whacked his fist against the door. When I didn't shut up, he nearly knocked it right off its hinges stomping in.
His face was a storm of rage and contempt as he bellowed right in my face. I couldn't hear his curses, I was still screaming in horror.
He followed my eyes, which were glued to the bed, and snapped his head to the body. His expression changed first into confusion, but his eyes start to widen as he realized what he was staring at.
He screamed too, and now I couldn't hear anything but my heart drumming against my chest and our mingled cries. He dashed right out if the door, down the hall and out of the apartment. I could still hear him even after he left. I could also hear some really furious neighbors yelling at me through the walls.
I don't really remember much after that, just that suddenly the world started to spin around me and I slipped slowly out of consciousness as the fear took over my head and darkness enveloped my vision.
A scarlet liquid had drenched his white shirt, the light had left his eyes as the colour from his rosy cheeks vanished as if ice had struck him. Alongside him had been a woman’s body, lying limply, her soul departed. Their screams and shrieks echo in my ears to this day. The sadistic grin I flashed to the officers as I was dragged away, my heels digging into the concrete, is a memory. Yet I can’t help but think, "I don’t regret a thing."