Ava yawned loudly, leaning against the old green tree behind her, the woman's legs were splayed forward over the grass. It would be safe to rest for a time, they had made such a great leap in distance from the town, that despite all the chaos, nobody would come up this way so quickly. It would take a man two days to walk from Siebtel up to the next town and one of the only rens around the great chasm sat a few feet away from her, its long neck bent around and its head tucked beneath its wing.

As her eyes closed and her brain began to release itself ever so gently from the waking world, the visions of death and destruction that had played out before her unhardened eyes flashed through. The glossy eyes staring at her with hunger, the bloody hands tearing apart those begging for a quick end to their suffering. Fire and viscera merging into a great red stream, that seeped through the town in her mind where she had lived for so long. She was a free woman now, escaped from the life of an abused servant. In the next town, she would find new clothes and before that, think of a better story.

Nobody knew about the carnage below just yet and she knew that she had to rise out of the great chasm of Oratoria, to escape before word reached the above. Before the clergy and the noble houses ordered it sealed once more. During the last rising, she was just a girl, now as witness to the second she was an adult. A grown woman who held her own life in her hands, bound to no gods or masters. She would ride to Erstel, she would take her sister from the academy and bring her with her out of this place, doomed to belong to the dead sooner rather than later.

She had never thought of herself as a cruel person. But she knew that she would do whatever it took to escape, to get out. To rise. To climb. It didn’t matter to her who died. She had to reach the surface. Some gnawing, grinding voice churning in her chest told her this. Commanded it with wordless whispers. Warm winds touched her skin, bringing with it a strange, suppressive sense of calm and inner peace, the incredible terror of the events before melted away, as if by magic. Slowly, quietly, darkness came to her as she slept and sunk into a place deeper still.

Then as the world went black, as the vague facilities of consciousness were taken from her control, Ava heard the gentle patter of rain strike the ground before the tree. The dewy old smell of an autumn shower. Thousands of sharp, wet taps like a great centipede with a thousand legs, followed by thousands more, striking against the lush grass of the meadow. The strange thought made her smile.

A note from Razzmatazz


(Of book 1)


Thank you all very much for reading! This was the final chapter of Oratoria: Bury the dead, my very first story. I had so much fun getting started with writing with this story. As you can see, the ending is somewhat of a cliff-hanger. There is currently no second book because there just was never enough attention (there was 0, I sold 0 copies of this book) to warrant me making another one.

My hope is that this will find a tiny readership here, so that at least the effort spent writing it wasnt 'wasted'. Who knows, maybe one day, if this one ever gets dug up by enough people, I can justify spending the time to write the rest of the story, which I would love to do honestly. But I have to be pragmatic about my time. There are only so many hours in a day.

If you are interested in that, please consider rating! Again, thank you very, very much for reading! <3


Until next time -


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About the author


Bio: Socially awkward witches, sad hugs, dramatic adventures, spooky stuff, and comfy dungeons: My name is D.M. Rhodes, but I love to write about those things under the moniker 'Razzmatazz'. (Hopefully full-time, one day soon!) I’m a hobby occultist and, more boringly, I’m an XR expert, as well as a government-trained media and information specialist.

The main genres that I write in are litRPG-fantasy, action, adventure, romance, tragedy, horror, and slice-of-life. I seriously vibe with religious and occult overtones mixed in with super obscure story concepts. °( ~ )°

Thanks for taking an interest! Because of supportive readers like yourself, I can keep following my socially unacceptable dream! (I'm going to become the wizard-king.)

– Always open for feedback!

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