Who are the Dionysian Dead?

Who are the Dionysian Dead?
by Sannion

To begin with, they are not like the ordinary dead. They never went to the house of Haides. They don’t hunger. At least not for the things that the dead are normally hungry for: blood and holocaust meat and honey and milk and oil and shiny baubles and the other things that it is pious and proper to offer the deceased.

You see, the Dionysiac Dead have been revived through union with the Lord; they draw sustenance from the wine that flows eternally. They burn like the fiery stars of black heaven. They want for nothing.

Except beauty. Oh, they crave all that is beautiful and masterfully made and stuffed full of emotion. These dead are artists, one and all, and they feed on our art. They grow strong through plentiful libations of ink. So I write for them, about them, constantly.

They always go about in a host. One may step forward to speak and interact with you but he will always dissolve back into the swarm.

They are strange ones, these dead of Dionysos. Warrior kings and clowns and spider-bit prophets from the desert; transvestites, snake-hipped maniac poets and priests with blood-stained hands. All the ones who stopped being entirely human well before they stopped breathing.

Periodically they go on processions through the city, with Harlequin and Mark Antony leading the hunt, with masks like dog-faced Hermes. Sometimes I go with them.

They are dangerous and you never know what they’re going to do next. That’s what makes them so much fun!