Posts belonging to Category Death, Undeath and the Afterlife

Five Reapers: Myth-Dissection

Over the last couple of days I’ve dipped into mythology a bit, with a crew of anthropomorphized Deaths and a new legendary look at quicksilver. Now I’m going to look back and see where they came from—who’s up for a little myth dissection?
I find the best thing to do when toying with mythology is to [...]

Five Reapers: Death Metal

They say, in the land with the five reapers, that quicksilver is the symbol of death.
It is liquid, and one cannot escape a liquid. What would stop a rolling stone, it simply flows around; what the air would not have the weight to move, it overwhelms. Quicksilver is captivating. Like water, it beads up, it [...]

Five Reapers

This was a thought-exercise I came up with while freewriting; I still haven’t come up with a decent world for it.
In this country, there are five Deaths. Each person—or each person’s heart—chooses one, to bring them to the afterlife.
The first is an assassin. His presence is not known, his footsteps not heard—there is only the [...]

One Last Message

It’s an intense plot point, stretching along the span of media at least as long as people have had writing: a character’s final message to posterity. Usually, one gets it in a note where bits of words might be blurred with the spot-chromatography of fallen tears, or in a recording of some sort, when the [...]

Undead Week: A Rant on Perspective

Why are the undead written so similar to the living?
Their death changes nothing. They still see the same colors, feel the same walls, smell the same scents—okay, maybe the blood smells stronger, but honestly, that’s cliché. They can’t always go out in the sunlight, sure, but that’s barely a change. Hearts which no longer beat [...]

Undead Week: On Ghosts and Manners

“So there I am—visible, mind you—and up comes Kaz. And he walks right through me! Like I’m not even there! So I turn around to give him a piece of my mind, and he just laughs it off—and you know he knows better, he’d never do that to Nita—and says he’d been thinking about inviting [...]

Undead Week: More Blood Conventions

So yesterday, we were talking about blood and social ritual from the perspective of the vampire and the willing blood donor. It’s not the only way these things can go, of course.
For one thing, not everything that drinks blood has fangs. Most of them, sure, but every so often there are counterexamples: the ghosts in [...]

Undead Week: Social Drinking

Consider the vampire. More importantly, consider the vampire’s diet. Vamps just gotta drink blood.
I’ve seen a lot of substitutions and workarounds been used—medical blood, animal blood, stuff-that-isn’t-necessarily-blood-but-carries-life-energy. That’s one way to go about it.
But if it must be fresh, and must be human, at some point it’s probably going to get to the point where [...]

Undead Week: The Dead Man’s Calendar

While brainstorming today’s post, I realized that I was approaching a rather interesting conjunction of events—I’d committed to having my birthday during Undead Week. Potentially contradictory, isn’t it? Being an opportunist when it comes to topics, I decided to run with it. Which gave me today’s question: what events do the undead, particularly ghosts, celebrate?
On [...]

Undead Week: Introduction

Welcome to Undead Week at the Exchange of Realities!
Since my posting week (not counting Impractical Applications) ends with Halloween, I figured I’d celebrate. And what better way to hit up the spookiest time of the year than by taking a closer look at the undead?
Undeath is an interesting sort of state. Originally, it was viewed [...]