Someone's gotta do it
by KSClaw
Submission

 
As the undertaker, you had a lot of different responsibilities when it came to certain things, specifically the court system of the town. In some cases, you could get away with fines of different kinds...In most; death was almost the only option left. It depended on the nature of the crime, and it was mostly judged upon that, barely leaving room for innocence, proof of guilt, witnesses and so on. One word from the judge and jury and you would find yourself shot or dangling from the gallows come daybreak.

Mr. Rock was undertaker, gravedigger and executioner. It was hard work, but someone had to do it, especially when it came to the execution part. He had placed many a rope around a man or woman’s neck, and then pulled the lever. He always made certain as well, that they were positioned so the neck would snap at once instead of how they would just writher like worms on a hook. Oh, he had experienced plenty of sheriffs in different towns who had wanted him to do different, but each time he had refused and each time he had moved on, until he finally came to this town.

His home and the workshop where he built the coffins were at the edge of town, where the cemetery was. It was where everyone ended up eventually. It was the natural order of things. Men, women, good, bad... It didn't matter. Sooner or later, everyone had an appointment with the undertaker.

Mr. Rock remembered when Anthony White had become sheriff of the town. The man himself had showed up at his workshop, just as Mr. Rock had been finishing up a coffin.

"Yes sheriff?" Was all Mr. Rock said?

"The gang of horse thieves that were hanged last week. They are still in the gallows." Sheriff White said. Rock calmly nodded.

"I offered the former sheriff to make coffins for them. One dollar for each." He shrugged. "But he refused. Said there was no good spending money on criminals you needed to make an example of." He stopped when the sheriff threw him a purse. "Here's enough to buy coffins for them, and a lot of the cemetery where they can be buried." Sheriff White said. "Take the time you need on the coffins, but I want the bodies off the gallows soon. We're going to be doing things different from now on."

Since then, criminals that were executed always got buried, instead of having been left up as a warning to everyone else. But people could usually settle for the rumor as well. And Mr. Rock didn't mind, as it was good for business. The sheriff was always willing to pay for the coffins and a lot for the criminals to be buried in and that was it. A pretty good customer all in all.

It wasn't always the easiest thing being an undertaker though.

Mr. Rock had grown up without knowing any family and was a bachelor without being ashamed of it. It wasn't that he wasn't attractive, certainly not! But while most of the people of the town where good people... they only felt it best to get close to the undertaker when they had actual business with him (he had even once overheard the sheriff's deputy describe him as 'creepy' to Seamus McCoun, the owner of the Spotted Rattler Saloon. Seamus had reprimanded him sharply for it). But Mr. Rock supposed that it only made his job easier if he wasn't close to any of the families of the town. It made it easier when they came to him for business, if a loved one had passed away and they where mourning him or her. He always did his to comfort them, but without it becoming too awkward. He handled his job professionally.

The only problem Mr. Rock had with his job was when he had to bury the children.

One heavy winter, the town was hit by a hard flu epidemic. Grown men and women were hit by this disease, but most of them recovered. It was a different case for the children, despite all the hard work done by Doc Weismann and Anton. It was in fact so bad, that Mr. Rock lost count. All the faces of parents and other relatives that came to his store where a blur. All the tears, the cries, the weeping... It all blended into a horrid symphony of misery that not even the most coldhearted criminal could stand up against.

At one point it became too much, and he simply closed the store for the day, went to the Spotted Rattler saloon where Seamus had provided him with plenty of Spotted Rattler Specials (and the occasional "mule kick brew"), then went home, locking himself in and hiding in his bed. It was a coward’s way of handling things, but he didn't care. The next morning he woke up with the worst case of hangover ever, but he didn't regret it until he went to his workshop to continue on the coffins. Even then, (he didn't know if it was sadistic or sheer stupidity) he continued his work, and eventually finished all the commissioned coffins.

And then... he just went on from there. He met with the families, the arrangements were made, and he made more coffins (so many, many small coffins...). Funerals came and went, the priest said his, and so on... And life went on. 'It always does', Mr. Rock thought to himself one beautiful morning where the sun was shining, as he watched the last of the funerals, where the beloved one had been a victim of the flu. 'No matter what happens, no matter who dies and who lives... life goes on.'

Spring came, then summer, then fall and winter again. People were wounded in fights or accidents, trampled by horses, argued, loved, cried... Some managed to survive and lived on with physical or emotional scars, which they could use to brag about to someone, be it a man or woman. Or they hid it out of shame; out of knowledge for the way of how they had gotten it (Mr. Rock had seen plenty of scars on some bodies and wondered how they had gotten there in the first place).

And for those who died?

For them, there was always the undertaker. Because someone had to do it.
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Artist's comment:
Just felt like writing a story about Mr. Rock, the undertaker of the town. He's got 3 functions, but I'm sure he wouldn't mind if someone took over one or both of the other two <_<

Mentioned White belongs to Antonio Prohias
Mentioned deputy (Tim of course) belongs to Batneko
Icon made by me
 
Do not meddle in the affairs of slashers, for you are cute, and would look good with another guy~ Unknown

DA:: Tumblr:: Commissions are open!
 
 
Club:
[club=7480]
A home for the cowboys, bartenders, bounty hunters, and other vagabonds of the Old West that seem strangely similar to a number of spies from modern times.
 
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Club:
[club=7064]
For the inexperienced, crazy, or just non-traditional original characters based on the Spy vs Spy universe.
 
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Content details:
• Ages – Young Adult
• Category – Misc.
• Category – Original
• Category – Derivative
• Category – Literature – Original Literature
• Category – Literature – Fan Literature
• Critique – Optional
• Filters – None
• Series – Original
• Theme – N/A
• Theme – Historical
• Time taken – Who knows?
• Tools – Literary Work – Prose/Stories
 
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Posted on 2008-12-21 @ 12:04 AM
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