October 28: CEMETERY




The day was gray and depressing.  The golden leaves had all fallen and been raked away, and the hills around the cemetery were dull as pot-metal from all the bare tree branches.  One or two evergreens speckled the vista, but for the most part it was scenery in need of some snow.  The grass was going dormant for the winter.  Jones could have cut it down to ground level and still not been able to kill it completely, but for the sake of the mice and birds, he cut it about two and a half inches.  That way the snow, when it did come, would catch in it and provide some ground cover.  Plus if he cut it too short, the water would wash the topsoil away, come spring.

The air was warm enough that if any moisture came, it would be rain, at least by the time it hit the ground.

But no rain came.

Jones prepared two grave sites, one next to the other but not on the same plot.  It had been chance that both men had died about the same time.  For all Jones knew, they’d never met.  Soon they’d be sharing the wait to Eternity together.  But that was the luck.

One had been a murder; the other had been a heart attack.  The murder victim had been the first to die.  An autopsy, an inquest, a trial—the whole bit.  The murderer would go to the state pen, and, in a condition suitable only for a closed casket, the victim would be buried here.

The heart attack victim–the dead, no matter what else they were, were all victims–had been sudden.  It was less than a week since he had passed.

There seemed no rhyme nor reason to it, unless it was to serve as a cautionary tale.  Two men had died on different days, but both in such a way as to arrive in the cemetery on this day and no other.

All men would die and be brought to the same place, strangers until at last they came to Heaven.  All souls were strangers, all family dust, all lovers food for worms, the wicked and the innocent mingled together, the tormented and the tormentors—all came to the same graves in the end.

Jones didn’t like the thought of it, that was all.

That was why the babies and the children, he took from their coffins and buried them somewhere else.  He knew who was buried in the cemetery, after all.  He heard them whispering in the dark.

And if it meant a few of them returned before the Resurrection from being buried in unhallowed ground, well, that was just the luck.

It’s a gray day out and I’m feeling depressed (and sick from a sinus infection), and for some reason had written the words “creepy children” on my notepad last night.  I can’t remember what I had intended to write when I wrote the note, which is annoying–the story that got away.

The word “cemetery” always reminds me of the movie Cemetery Man, from which I found the wonderful comic series Dylan Dog.  But…I just couldn’t work myself up to that level of grand Italian black humor this morning.  One twist, and that’s all I could handle.

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