Cemeteries (Original Short Story)

01:03 Jazz Blackwell 0 Comments

  I like graveyards.

 There’s an eerie calmness about being amongst the dead. A distinct lack of mindless chatter and other such distractions associated with living company make cemeteries the perfect place to get some work done. Besides, there’s nothing to dislike about the dead. They can’t hurt you or stab you in the back. They won’t gossip when you aren’t there or steal your lover. They simply lie in eternal rest, content in being silent, invisible company.

 I do my work under a tree beside an obelisk immortalising the brave Mr Robson, who died a hero’s death at a tragically young age. He’s rather a good companion with whom to read books and an even better inspiration for writing them. He’s also, for the most part, rather lonely. In three years, I’ve not seen another soul anywhere near his memorial. It comes as a surprise when, for once, I don’t find myself alone there.

 A young man – just a boy, really – is standing on the gravel footpath when I arrive. He’s studying the obelisk with intent, his forehead crinkled in confusion, like he’s struggling to read the inscription. He turns and smiles when he hears me approach.

 “Hello,” he says, his voice heavy with the local accent.

 “Hi,” I reply. I turn to look at the memorial too. “Beautiful headstone, isn’t it?”

 “It certainly is,” he says, with a nod. There’s a long awkward while we both stand and stare at the granite tower before us. When I realise he’s no intention of leaving, I break the silence.

 “A real tragedy, though,” I say. “Drowning. Supposed to be the worst way to go, isn’t it? And only seventeen too. That’s probably about your age, right?”

 “Exactly my age,” he says. “You come here quite a lot don’t you?”

 “I suppose I am,” I reply, though I’m surprised he knows that. “I’ve not seen you here before. Do you come often too?”

  “I’m always around and about,” he says vaguely.

 “I love it here,” I tell him. “So peaceful. The dead are fantastic company; wouldn’t you agree?”

 “I like to think so, yes,” he smiles. “You’re the one who lays flowers here?”

 “Sometimes, yeah,” I nod. “He doesn’t seem to get many visitors. I like to leave him something nice on occasion. Just in case he’s watching. I’d hate to think of him going forgotten.”

 “Awfully kind of you,” he smiles again. There’s another silence, this one less awkward and more companionable. We both study the memorial for close to a minute, before I turn back.

 “Sorry I didn’t catch your na-” I begin, but I’m caught short by the fact that I’m talking to empty space.

 Without my hearing his footsteps on the gravel, the boy has gone. 

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Happy reading, 
Jazz xo 

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