“Bring out the dead. Bring out the dead.”
The cry came faintly to the cellar. He sat in dim candlelight, resting before a pile of displaced floor stones and a half dug grave. Unwilling to surrender the body of his beloved to the dead wagon, he picked up his shovel and resumed digging.
A large gray rat ran across the huge center beam of the ceiling, eyes reflecting pink in the candlelight. For a moment it stopped and watched the man. The rat reached up and scratched behind its ear with a back paw and then continued on, into the dark.