“Someday, the dead will rise from the earth,” the gravedigger spoke. “Everyone who deals in corpses knows this to be true, whether or not they’ll admit it.”

“How can you be so certain?”

“We plant them like seeds for a reason, my friend. We bury their bodies, and the surrounding fruit rots away, leaving behind pits of bone. If nature teaches us anything, those pits will eventually sprout. Maybe it’ll take thousands of years, or maybe it’ll start tomorrow, but mark my words, something will bloom from these graves. And it will be beautiful.”

I shook my head. “I would think that, given the span of human history, we would have witnessed this happening at least once if it were true. And surely, humans wouldn’t be the only affected species? Animals have been leaving behind bones for millions of years.”

“The scales of time involved are even more vast than this,” he replied. “According to the Gravedigger’s Almanac, there are cosmic seasons which are far longer than those of our world. Our planet was born in the heat of a universal summer, then cooled into shape over the course of autumn. By the time life as we know it had emerged, winter was already upon the cosmos.”

“Life emerged… in winter?”

“Seems a bit backwards, doesn’t it? But no, life as we know it, the tangible kind, emerged in winter. There was life before then, too, but it hadn’t yet been compressed into matter. And death is actually older than life, believe it or not, but that’s another story for another time.”

“I had no idea that there was this much to the science of gravedigging,” I admitted. “Even so, what does all this have to do with the return of the dead?”

“It’s been winter for a long time,” he grinned. “We’re here to prepare the world for spring.”

Some say that when the dead return, they'll be more beautiful than the living.

Others say that their resurrection will take place along a different axis of time.

Gravediggers and bone traders don't exactly get along.