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Darklins

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The moon remembers drowning. She remembers the hurly-burly of nasty little scraggety claws and black wood, water-weighted, dropping her down into the bog like a coin down a well. She remembers the coffin and the corpse-light and the chaffing of the goblins, the water dark as frozen ink and thick and cold around her as the jelly of an eye.

She remembers the shuffle of the men up above her, praying backwards and forwards like a rope of words hanging down. She remembers them heaving up the coffin-stone, remembers the light of their torches, red eyes through the black. She remembers the creak of fresh air in her mouth, and the smiles they held up as they looked to the heavens, saw her shining above them like a white light through water.

She remembers back when the Carland was bogland, with the earth all uneasy and sunk through with water. Claws and corpse-lights and chittering things all waiting to pull you down under, be you moon or be you maiden.

She has watched as the men drained the bog pools, as the claws withered up and the corpse-lights went out, as the goblins and graspers dried up like empty fish eggs, like stiff little frog-husks on a tarmac road.

And now she looks down at the rich black earth and the neat lines of green growing things, the roads strung with lights like a church stuck with candles, and she knows that down on the earth there is no more black water, no bog-water pools with a corpse-light above them. Only, inside her, the water she swallowed, the brackish black jelly that sits in her stomach, that turns land under moonlight uneasy, unchancey, that opens black pools in the smooth skin of tarmac. She remembers her death and she holds it within her, and on full-moon nights she will spit out a little, so that drained fertile farmland still knows old dead water.