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The Bonnie Dead

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Two men were graverobbers in North Scotland and were coming back from a successful night of digging up corpses. Digging up corpses was always a profitable nature because of their many values, their clothes could be sold off, their jewellery could make hundreds and their hair and teeth could be used for the worst kinds of dark magic. These two graverobbers were having a night of it, and had upended many a grave in the cemetery until they found what they wanted. It was a young man who had recently died, and the more lifelike the body looked, the better their money would be. Nobody was looking for rotted or decomposing bodies. They wanted fresh and healthy corpses, healthy for a dead body, anyway.

This being said, the men left the graveyard just as night began to fall, grateful not to be spending the dark hours in the cemetery. They went back to their cart, heaving the wrapped-up man into the flatbed, and damned the capital police if they were going to get away with this one. The two robbers went off down the road on their cart, and they were soon going through the inner streets of the town.

It was a chilly night, and the two men noticed there was some sort of fuss over by the pub, eh. There was clearly an event going on because many carts were around the pub door and noise and light came from within.

The men were getting chilled to the soul and wanted a refreshment, and anyway it would be warmer inside than out on this frozen cart because of fires and warm ale. So they decided to go in for a bit.

"What do ye think?" one of the robbers, Hamish, asked his friend.

"I could do with a dram," said his fellow robber friend, Greg. "Let's get innae."

So the two men dismounted from the cart, stamping and stretching to get life back in their frozen muscles, and although they wore gloves their fingers were still numb. They went into the porch of the inn, but soon Greg wondered. "What about our friend?" he asked, looking at the wrapped-up corpse in the back.

Hamish smirked. "Let him guard our cart," he said, and threw off his own coat, put his hat on the body, and slung off the white wrappings, throwing them in his pocket, and soon the corpse was in its own clothes, with Hamish's coat over him. It looked very lifelike, and the two men soon were laughing about their trick, and went inside the inn, which was very warm, with two fires, and were soon mulling over warm drink.

Meanwhile, outside the corpse, still looking very lifelike, began to have pieces of earth blown off it by the wind, and despite it being pale, it looked much like a human as anyone else. Two other wayfarers came down the track from town and went in the porch. Sam and Boris were mill workers and eager to get out of the cold. They came down the road and saw the lifelike corpse sitting on the back of the cart, and hailed him.

"Ach, good eve to you," Boris said.

The corpse said nothing.

"Good eve indeed," Sam said to it, greeting nobody in particular. "Freezing, though."

The corpse still said nothing.

"Are ye not going in for a dram?" asked Boris.

True to form, the corpse still said nothing, for corpses cannot speak. This was one of the firmer rules of nature, and even if God and all the angels had decided otherwise, it still would not happen.

Now, when one is befuddled by the cold, fatigue and surliness from a long day of labour, one's spirits can turn to aggravation. So the two men stepped forwards, Boris raising his fists as if for a fight. The corpse still did nothing, not even recoiled from the oncoming onslaught.

This audacity utterly infuriated Boris, so he punched the corpse right in the face, square on. Nothing happened, so he punched it once again, but because it was a corpse, it bruised easily, and soon half the face had turned black. Suddenly the two men got their wits back, as they saw the discovery they had made, noting the corpse's pale skin. Realizing what this was, they set about debating what to do with their find.

Sam wanted to call the Watch, but Boris was more inclined for mischief, so he concocted a cunning plan. He whispered the plan to his friend Sam who slowly got into mischief as he heard the cunning of the plan. Together, they hauled the corpse off the cart, ripped off his coat, took its hat, and threw it into a field off the track. Then Boris got dressed in the corpse's coat and hat, and sat in the place where the corpse had sat. Sam got in the back and covered himself in the rags and waited.

Soon the two graverobbers, Hamish and Greg, returned from the inn, feeling better than before. This night was going good for them, not only had they got a rich man stolen from his grave, (his rings were evidence of that) but he was also in good condition. They wanted more drink, but just had to get back to the cart and onto town. So they went to the cart and rode on.

It was a little before midnight when Greg who was driving, felt a nudge. He waited, and five more minutes later, he felt a nudge against his side again. He tried to concentrate on driving but he felt another nudge and soon got pissed.

"Cut it out!" he said to Hamish, "I'm trying to concentrate!"

Nothing happened, apart from a nudge.

"Stop nudging me!" Greg complained.

"I'm not nudging you!" Hamish said, "Careful now."

"Ay, aye," Greg said, touching the corpse to reassure himself. But to his sudden horror he felt warm flesh under his fingers.

"It's warm, the body's warm!" he yelled.

"Yes," said the "corpse" in a deep voice, "thanks a lot for this coat it's cold tonight, guys."

Sam, hidden in the back, burst out laughing inwardly as he saw Greg and Hamish, the two graverobbers, widen their eyes in alarm at the "corpse" in the back seemingly alive and moving. They scrambled to their feet and ran miles away from the cart, not daring to stay. It was a cruel trick Sam and Boris had played on them, but the robbers had got what they deserved, and would hopefully stop them robbing any more tombs forever.

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