I walked for three and half hours before I got lost somewhere outside the cemetery, it was dark a large brick building stood amidst the lush green and pristine comfort of death. I climbed the fence and began walking through the rows of stone white marble, granite and undusted metal markers. Toys lain wet against dark black markers, the smell of freshly turned soil and extinguished candles still linger as a memory from the covered brick memorial. Is this how we are to be remembered? I stand before one unremarkably average tombstone; on a metal plate attached to granite marker read:
Francis ‘Fanny’ Grant
Yet she is. I find it ironic at the base to find not one keepsake, no flowers, and no remnants of who this woman even was. I think to myself, that’s me. Just a decade ago someone said they cared they wouldn’t forget and already they have moved on with their lives. From my backpack I withdraw a can of black spray paint across the stone I tag BITCH. I walk toward the large brick memorial, which stands in the center of the small grave park; two lone trees flank its entrance. A dark yellow light burns dimly; the smell of candle wax is suddenly over powered by a waft of urine. I hold my nose and wonder how I didn’t smell this before. Candles do sit on a pedestal a long row of names above its crest. The light must hit the plaques at the right angle when lit but because of my shadow I cannot read their purpose. I want to light a candle but don’t have the flame. Instead I spray a pentacle sitting across the candles and onto the wall. The fumes are stronger inside the closed area and mix now with the urine.
“FUCK!” I cough and turn to exit.
A shadow moves in the distance among the stones. Low like it was crawling. How can you know if the night creates these images? I walk out into the night even with that small amount of light my eyes take a moment to adjust. Again the night moves beyond the streetlights, I can’t help but follow. I want to stay low, my feet dodging in and out the memories, the flowers and toys left by loved ones against the varies grave markers, slowly I stock the shadow, I want to see what he sees, how he walks among the dead. Silently I reach the fence and follow it low like the night man along the ridge to where I saw his shadow. I sit waiting to see him; he is nowhere, a ghost perhaps. Looking down at the fence a brier has begun to hatch through its tight coils, I reach down to pull at its root and a sharp pain radiates through my hand, I release, its too dark to see but my hand feels slightly wet, dew I cant tell, the tiny thorns defiantly stinging, I wipe a marker on the back of the head and light glances off the red print. From the corner the shadow moving closer now, I duck down in to the shadow. Too large to be a cat or dog maybe too small to be a man, he walks closer. Did he see me? Should I be here? My blood smiles back at me from the grave, the shadow disappears again. I stand slowly and he is completely gone. How can something be here and then disappearing so quickly? I decide to leave stumbling across the yard to find Fanny’s grave. Across the grass before it I write FORGOTTEN.“Hey!” a voice from behind me startles the final letter into a mess of N and M. I turn and a light blinds my perception it is coming straight for me, in that moment I pick up my bag and dart over the fence, I run down the lit street and onto an abandoned road, it is darker than the graveyard and houses line its streets, what a place to live and raise children I think to myself, in that moment I realize I have no idea where I am I keep running the shadow is not following me yet I run to escape the fear.