Well no middles too. I always start so many and never ever finish them… I am hopeless.
Here’s one I found from last year.
She’d always liked visiting cemeteries. It was a morbid pass time, and not one to openly admit but the truth was it was the one place where she could truly “feel” something.
Maybe it was the hushed atmosphere or perhaps just some ghoulish fascination with the dead that kept her coming back, but none the less, at least once a week since she’d returned to Willow Creek Cate Burlinger found herself driving in search of a new graveyard to explore.
Sometimes she’d take her camera and try to capture some of the older headstones and statues in some semblance of “artistic worth”, though the market for such images would be small, but mostly she’d simply wander through the narrow pathways reading the inscriptions wondering who really lay beneath the name and dates, and what unrevealed sordid secrets now lay rotting in the ground.
Cate knew all about secrets.
There were unspoken things buried deep inside everyone.
“Peoples all got their own Pandora box.” her grammy would say.
“Sometimes you ain’t got no business tryin’ ta prize ’em open.”
There was no funeral for Ruby Westler, Cates maternal grandmother.
No grave in which to lay flowers each year on mother’s day or birthdays.
No weeds to pull …no name carved into stone to mark the existence of such an intricate and fascinating woman who by her nature had touched the lives of many.
Ruby simply disappeared , a week before Cates seventeenth birthday but the painful legacy of that loss still continued almost a decade later.
Cate had been sent to live with Ruby from the age of ten. Her mother had more pressing things to attend to than raising a high spirited, “difficult” child, like hooking the next man who happened to notice her short skirts, seamed silk stockings and perfectly manicured nails.
Any means to keep those perfect little hands from getting dirty.
From real work, that is.
“Ah… excuse me?”
The voice startled Cate and she spun around to see who had spoken. It seemed unusual to expect to see any people in this particular cemetery as it was fairly small, off the beaten track and listed as heritage.
“You dropped this.”
A man in a long dark overcoat, far too smartly dressed for touring graveyards stood a few metre’s behind where Cate was poised with her camera about to take a shot of “Emelia Rose Winterburns mould and fungus furled headstone.
“Oh, thanks. I didn’t realise I wasn’t alone.” Said Cate walking towards the stranger.
“One can never truly be alone in a place filled with so many lost souls.” Winked the man, handing over the lens cap Cate must have dropped.
“What makes you think they’re lost?” said Cate, a bit puzzled by the remark.
“Isn’t this a place of everlasting peace. The final destination. The answer to all our eternal mortal questions?”
“You can taste their lost-ness in the air.” The man said solemnly, and then like night turning into day his face split into a wide grin, revealing a perfectly straight set of white teeth, laugh lines and a twinkle to his almost sea green eyes.
“I’m Jeremy by the way. I live up there on the hill.” he said, gesturing North towards a forest of tree’s in which Cate could only just make out the vague roofline of what looked to be a rather large estate nestled up there.
“I own this land too – the cemetery kind of came with the property.”
“Oh? Am I trespassing? I’m sorry…I…”
“Not at all. It’s open to the public. I actually came down here in search of one of my troublesome hounds.. My escape artist Weimeraner. Seen her? She has yellow eyes and a goofy grin. Hard to miss. I was on my way out when I realised she’d done a runner. ”
“No, sorry. I haven’t seen her.” Said Cate.
“I was too busy…with the camera.”
“Is it for love or for money?” asked Jeremy nodding towards the camera Cate wore around her neck.
Fixing the lens cap back in place Cate smiled.
“It’s both. I’m actually doing some research on the history of this place. I just moved back here two months ago and I’m interested in old cemeteries and what they reveal.” she lied, unable to simply explain that for some reason she was drawn to them, and always had been, ever since she was a child.
“Back here?” Jeremy lifted an eyebrow questioningly
“You’re from here?”
“A small part of my childhood was spent here…yes, but I’m rediscovering it now. Through different eyes” she said lifting the camera.
“I don’t actually remember this place being here. Kind of just stumbled upon it when I took a wrong turn off Gladstone Rd.”
Jeremy seemed distracted for a moment by something, his eyes moving past her face to gaze at something behind her.
“Yes, it’s a tricky one….I mean. Not many people know it’s here… Ahh! LEYLA, come here now, you bad girl!”
Cate turned to see the sheepish looking “escape artist” dodge behind a headstone before ducking back out apologetically.