Sunday January 20th, 2013

The exercise:

Write something that takes place in: the graveyard.

Canucks did slightly better this evening, as they managed to not lose until the shootout. So... at least they got one point, as opposed to the zero points they brought in last night.

I think they're going to appreciate having the next two days off.


It feels strange, walking through a graveyard on a sunny afternoon. My mind insists on conjuring up ghosts, rain, at least a dash of fog here and there. Too much time spent planted in front of the television as a child, I suppose.

Still though, that blue sky overhead, this bright light surrounding me, the gentle breeze tugging at my clothes, it all seems too... happy for this place. Intruders, all of them.

Perhaps I don't belong here either. I'm not depressed, no thoughts of suicide haunt my dreams. Work is going well, I have all the friends a man could hope for, my love life is... respectable seems a good word. Not lacking, at any rate. No complaints to speak of at the moment.

Yet here I am. As I have been every day for the last month. Surely someone is going to notice me soon, start asking questions. That could get awkward, if not dangerous. I have to find what I'm looking for before that unpleasantness begins.

That bloody grave has to be around here somewhere.


Greg said...

Well, one point is better than nothing, as you noted! Let's hope the two days off are enough to bring them back up to form :)
Heh, I was wondering if you'd just created a little story today about graveyards really just being pretty gardens where people are planted as well as trees and flowers, but then your last line adds a neat little twist! I like the second paragraph a lot, with the idea that the normal things are the intruders.

The graveyard
Mrs. Yin finished reading the letter from the Council and sat back. Her chair was an overstuffed armchair upholstered in a floral fabric and sprayed daily with Febreze. She sank back into the cushions like a tiny china doll (albeit one with wrinkles) and her delicate features distorted with rage.
"Shinsen!" she yelled, the volume of her tone seemingly impossible for a woman so frail and small. There was the pattering sound of tiny feet, cruelly bound in childhood, as Shinsen hurried into the room. "Shinsen, the council have rejected my application to use the back-garden as a graveyard again!" She spat out an expletive in the old tongue that was bad enough to make Shinsen turn away and cross herself. "Where will I lay myself to rest now?"
Shinsen said nothing; her tongue had been cut out nearly forty years ago when she'd started working for Mrs. Yin.
"This is intolerable. My ancestors will raise from the grave and haunt the men who think they can control me like this! I will see to it!" Mrs. Yin started coughing, each cough an explosive punctuation mark to her last sentence, and Shinsen hurried out of the room to fetch the Goldenrod tea.
"We will build the graveyard anyway," called Mrs. Yin between coughs. "I'll tell them it's a bloody swimming pool."

Anonymous said...

marc, yes, nice little twist at the end

greg, whoa, what r u on? heh heh. amazing imagination u have :)

The Graveyard

It was near midnight on the ghost tour of the city.
It was a fairly big group that attended. The history content sure was interesting; the ghostly anecdotes themselves acted like the cream on the top of each story. This was the city of my youth. I was visiting this time as a tourist. I can’t believe how little I knew about my birthplace, stuff they don’t teach you in school, but all that was being replaced, now, with the amazing facts of a hidden world a century old. 

I was standing in a carpark that covered hundreds of skeletal remnants of mixed races buried there back when this spot was considered ’out of town’. I didn’t feel anything, no goose flesh, no creepy cobwebby sensations on the back of my neck, not like I usually do when visiting a normal graveyard, yet this was every bit a graveyard, just minus the headstones and tributes. 
The tour guide finished his spiel and the group began to disband. My friend and I hung back for a moment, wondering if the feeling would change when things got quiet. I looked up at the century-old elms and spotted a possum or two gazing down at us and, fishing in my bag for my point and shoot digital camera, I quickly shot off a few pics before the little critters got spooked by my flash. Being in tourist mode, I decided to take a few shots of my friend standing near the tree, the silhouette of the branches making a gothic backdrop that would keep the viewer guessing as to the theme later on. 
He took shots of me, too, and then I popped the camera into my bag, ready to set off for the walk home.

I took my flight home the next day, unpacked and had an easy couple of days catching up on those everyday chores one does after time away.
It was a few weeks later that I got around to printing off my photos of my trip away.
There were scenes of the beach we visited, the city skyline, various friends and, finally the possum pics from the ghost tour. There were two of my friend and three of me, standing near the old elms.

And there were the orbs.

White, translucent circles surrounded my head in a roughly ordered form. 

They say these are ghost-forms, spirits. Digital photography picks them up the best. 
Looks like that carpark was still a haunted graveyard of sorts, after all.

morganna said...

Seems I wrote a haiku (didn't mean to, the syllable count just worked that way)
Row on row of graves
All dated nineteen-eighteen
Spanish flu was here.

Marc said...

Greg - graveyards as people-planted gardens? I like it!

Great details and characterization in your scene :)

Writebite - ack, creepy. Stuff like that gives me the willies.

Morganna - natural haiku are the best kind :)

Nicely done with yours, it really captures that time in history in a very succinct way.

Anonymous said...

marc, orbs are cool, can't hurt you;)