Two weeping stone angels guarded the entrance to the tomb. Their features were weathered which just made them look even more mournful. I wondered what it was angels had to weep about? Priests say it’s the sins of mortals but none of the angels I ever talked to cared much about our sins. They were more concerned with their holy war.
There in one paragraph is the reason I love writing fantasy. It starts with a concrete description and progresses to a throwaway line from a bitter, disillusioned man who has lost his faith then, in the last couple of sentences, we learn that the speaker has talked to angels and their concerns were not what he expected. The man talking is Erabys, sometime enforcer for the Wizard’s Guild, on his way to fight an undead monster on behalf of someone he does not even like.
By this time we are far enough into the story to know that Erabys is not mad. He is a former paladin, a one-time foot soldier in the wars of angels, now possibly a deserter from them. He lives in a world where the stuff of theological debate is made manifest and the ideas of humans and angels about their purposes do not necessarily coincide. Why should they? Such beings live on different scales of existence.
None of which has a great deal to do with the actual story other than to establish the character of the lead. It’s stuff like this that I love though– the little details that jar your perception of reality and let you know you are not in Kansas (or Stranraer, for that matter) anymore.
Usually in these author’s notes I tell you a little about the writing of the story. Sadly I can’t remember a single thing about writing The Graveyard Night. I know it was published in a slightly different version by editor Martin Fajkus in an anthology of dark fantasy stories in the Czech Republic a few years ago.