It is colder now.
It was never this cold when I was a boy. Cold yes, but not like this. This cold eats at your bones, dark and silent. Or maybe it is just I am getting old. Hah. Don’t look at me like that. I have taken care of your dead, dead who show me more compassion. I’ve earned my right to ramble.
So what did you want? They all want something now a’days. There used to be a time folk’d just come to listen. I have stories you know. Powerful stuff that’ll curl your hair, make you think twice about meddling. But you always want to meddle.
You don’t? Oh really. Then what’s the cloth you’ve got tucked in your pack, eh? Don’t think I can’t smell bones even if they’re wrapped. See these? These are the bones of seventeen spirits. Seventeen! What Listener ever had that many favors? Me. I did. Spent a whole lifetime helping the dead, now they help me.
So who is it? Who’ve you got wrapped snug in their gravecloth for me today? A sister, mother, child, who? Spit it out boy. You’d think you were da—
Oh gods, child. Here, pass them over then, I’ll help you sort. Spread out the other cloths, here on the grass, we’ll leave her bones alone and move the others. All at once, I can’t imagine how—It’s okay child, here, let me, you come sit here and tell me about them. It helps, you know, to hear who they were. Makes the bones easier to talk to, when I know who’s going to answer.