(Once again…thank you little T for your inspiration)
There was once an epitaph writer. All he did in his torn down shack was carving epitaphs on tombstones. With his earnings, he barely managed two square meals a day but never did he complain. People barely saw much of him since he kept to himself at most times except for when the family of the dead sought his services. He lives in a corner of the cemetery, excommunicated from the world…almost.
But life had not always been like this. He had been a jolly young man. He had dreams, ambitions, and a beautiful woman who made life seem brighter every following day. That woman meant more to him than the breath in his body and for her, if humanly possible; he was ready to challenge even the divine. Their love was stronger than the mountains that encircled their little village and deeper than the fathomless sea that lay beyond those mountains. She was a beautiful damsel with auburn locks running down her shoulders and the eyes that would make the Sun seem like a bleak spot in the sky. Her laughter was like the gurgling brook that ran by his house and he looked forward to meeting her by the banks. She arrived every afternoon and stayed till the Sun sank below the horizon. They laughed together, sitting on the rocks nearby. They held hands and made love under the shade of the apple tree.
Life, though, had different plans. One day, she was diagnosed with an incurable disease. No doctor had ever witnessed such a case before. The epitaph writer was a rich young man. The sole heir to a grand fortune. He left no stone unturned to get her the best treatment. He spared nothing to bring her back from the clutches of death. As every moment passed, his love for her grew stronger, knowing that those were probably their last moments together. And the day she breathed her last, ailing, in his arms, she asked him for just one thing. She asked him to write the epitaph that would be inscribed on her tombstone because she wanted to feel close to him even after she had departed from the world of the mortals. It was her last wish and he, who hadnever denied the smallest of her demands, couldn’t bring himself to dishonour her last wish. So the day they buried her forever, the tombstone on her grave carried an epitaph written by him. In the beginning, he was angry with life. He despised the divine powers for having done this to him but as time wore on, he accepted the occurrence as a decision of destiny. His love for her, he knew, would never wane so he left his mansion and took up residence in the torn down shack in one corner of the cemetery. That way, he thought, he could stay close to her vicariously and through every epitaph he carved, he thought he was sending her the message that though life put them poles apart, in death they would be reunited.
It had been decades since she was dead but his love remained just as strong and when one day, they found him dead in his shack, he had his own epitaph carved on a block of stone. It said, “Here lies the epitaph writer who has finally been united with his princess. Though in death, but united nevertheless.”