The wind howled outside his hovel as Kerwyn Argyle ladled the last of the pungent stew into his bowl. It was going bad, but the thick glop warmed his innards nicely that December evening.
It was a thankless job, being the cemetery’s caretaker, but Kerwyn didn’t mind it. In fact, he took pride in his occupation, as did his father and grandfather before him. Unlike them, however, Kerwyn never felt the necessity to marry. Women scared him, just a bit, if the truth were told. He knew neither what to make of them, nor what to do with them. Thus, he gave the fairer sex a wide berth and they responded in kind.
It would follow then, that Kerwyn would be a lonely soul, but this was not so. He found his friends, such as they were, in the residents under his care. He took note of every birthday and departure date, never failing to acknowledge the significance of each. Sometimes it was with a fresh flower or a shot of rye; other times, as in the case of a child, he’d offer a sweetmeat or perhaps a poppet if there were the time and spare cloth from which to fashion one.
The gifts were always appropriate, even as the recipients aged.
As the years passed, Kerwyn’s circle of friends grew. He thought himself the best kind of friend; one who would never forsake the old in favor of the new. He was such a good friend, in fact, that he worried as to whom would look after them upon his own demise.
Then, it occurred to him, that perhaps when a soul departs this world, so does its need for looking-after. Could it be that when the soul becomes free; free as it is meant to be, it leaves behind only the spent vehicle that could carry it no further?
Relieved and enlightened, Kerwyn Argyle dug a space in which to deposit his vehicle and joined the many, many friends whom he held so dear.