Yet again I have been remiss with this blog. My high hopes when I first started this endeavor have been shattered. I recall being so optimistic and even attempted to blog about one topic each day. Bah.
I’m afraid that I have been preoccupied by the usual stuff, aka life and all the shit attached to it. Anyway, I’m going to try a different, hopefully more productive, approach. I’ve made efforts to improve my writing skills (one can dream) and have begun composing short stories, inspired by some personal experiences and random ideas that constantly float in my mind.
IMPORTANT: This is original work, written by me. I share this shamelessly, so I hope to receive full credit if or when anyone finds my work interesting enough to share. 🙂
by C Canda
I looked up at the grey sky and a tiny droplet falls on my forehead. It is so faint that it hardly dampens that small spot on my skin. I almost felt it.
The wind picked up and harshly blew my thin scarf to my back. I grabbed it and tucked it furiously into the neck of my coat. A lorry started up in the distance, its motor a violent growl slicing across the quiet. I held tightly to the small bouquet of small flowers that I got at the town market. “These are mostly dried up, could as well give these to the church,” the elderly lady at the flower stand had announced, tutting as she arranged the lot before her.
The walk up the hill was a harsh exercise on the limbs. The drab surroundings particularly aggravated the journey. To my right was a stretch of high, black metal gate, a mess of untended vines and weeds slinking up and pushing through its narrow bars, as if prisoners wishing for an escape. To my left, across the road, a row of plain, poorly constructed box houses, their uniform windows and doors like unseeing eyes, stoic faces. I pitied whoever had the poor fate to live in those homes, whether by choice or happenstance.
I trudged up the steepest part of the hill and the enormous main gate of the cemetery came to view. The gate is tall as three grown men stood on top of the other, black as the dead earth and the shadowed crypts within its premises. The words ‘Haverford Public Cemetery’ in diminutive, gold lettering spanned its center. I reached for the giant gold knob. The rusty hinges screeched in agony.
The main path of the cemetery was littered with dry leaves, clumped and moldy in some parts, testament to the lack of attention. Alongside the path crypts lay in various shapes and lengths, covered in crawling vines, some nearly hidden by overgrown weeds. A gust of wind blew through the grounds. It felt like a warning, a dare for me to journey on.
If I closed my eyes, I could still very much make it to my destination in the middle of the grounds. I could make it through the maze of old and newly built mausoleums, some large and grand with thick pillars and marbled insides, fancy, gilded family crests placed high and proud above its entrances. Some are simpler, unassuming, tombs built with the bare minimum only to house shells of former family members. As they should be, I think.
No one brings riches to the afterlife, this I know.
The cemetery is a sprawling park on Haverford hill. At the center of the grounds is a majestic fountain, twin cherubs stood in the middle, paint mostly chipped and weathered, ominous as they point visitors to the east, west, south, or north.
I veered left off the main path and worked my way towards the less grandiose section of the park. Here the graves lie in simpler estates – plainly imprinted tombstones, grey rectangular niches otherwise unmarked except for the small, uniform cross atop each.
I count and hesitate as I reach thirty one… thirty two… thirty three. I falter in my steps. Tears that will not fall feel heavy in my chest. I kneel and reach for the three small candles tucked in my coat pocket.
One by one I light them, saying a prayer as I do.
For Sarah, my wife…
For Amanda, my daughter…
And for myself.
— End —