My Graveyard Sense of Humor

My Graveyard Sense of Humor

A Story by OhDeer!

The night blessed me, my eyes adjusted easily to her darkness. The world was barren in her witching hour, the wind picked at my bare skin, piercing through my thick sweater and dancing around my skirt. Goosebumps appeared in waves whenever the chill passed. My legs faced the worst, yet even the cold night could not calm the inherent restlessness in them.
Nothing was far in this town, you were walking distance from everything. I don't know if that's a blessing or a curse. The shops were abandoned, their insides barred and enveloped in darkness. Red neon 'Closed' signs glowed like a beacon in the night, I paid them no mind. The buildings laid out before me, seeming to go on forever, like jagged teeth waiting to take a bite of out the purple sky which remained forever out of reach. As I passed each one, I let a hand trace brick and mortar.
Some part of me believed the town breathed when no one was watching, another part of me believed that I was apart of the town itself. Like some spirit or ghost haunting its innards, except I wasn't dead. Some days, I felt like it though, felt like I was moving through life in a constant state of apathy. The truth is, I don't want to do it. I don't want to get up every morning, I don't want to fight with my parents, or watch people die around me. I don't what to learn to drive, or experience love or heart break or any of those things that people say make life worth living. I just want to fall asleep and roll into a different life. People tell me that's normal teenage behavior.

This is my peace. This town, in all its abandoned glory, is my sanctuary. I can't sleep on most nights, sleep just feels like a waste, so I roam. I know this place like the back of my hand, know every building like they were freckle on my own body, know every road like they were my own veins. There's only one place in the whole town that I haven't explored every inch of, and that's the graveyard.
As if conjured by thought, my feet have compelled me to the site of which I had focused on. Before me, in its unshakable glory, stood the large ebony gate that completely surrounded the entire graveyard. Multiple nights I had spent searching for some kind of weakness in its rods or a ditch that I could roll myself under or a hill close enough to hoist myself over its iron spikes. Still it remains forbidden to me, a large padlock and chain the only thing standing between me and its secrets. Except on this night, for on this night, the large padlock had mysteriously disappeared, leaving it's chain hanging lonely in the chilling winds.
Something in the pit of my stomach flickered, something deeper than my usual apathy. Curiosity, excitement, intrigue, fear. Winds, heavier and stronger than before blew past me and into the graveyard, causing the gate to widen further. It beckoned me further, inviting me into its forbidden insides. I paused in the array of feelings that assaulted my senses before my fingers traced the cold iron bars of the gate as I moved myself into its keep. I never really had been one for hesitation.

The grounds were littered with weeds, overgrown and unkempt like some wild creature. This was the only truly abandoned place in our town, even in the daylight it remained untouched. A sliver of me felt wrong for tainting it with my presence, but my own excitement and curiosity overrode that quickly enough. The headstones that surrounded the single path stretched on as far as my eye could see in the dim lighting of the waning moon above. They sat crumbling and nearly unreadable, while the flat grave markers were impossible to see in the unruly grasses. Statues of angels were placed every few yards, none of which seemed to have kept all of their limbs in their old age. The one closest to me stood headless and without a left arm from the elbow down. Her body was turned toward me in a seemingly malevolent posture, she knew I did not belong here.
Blood pounded in my heart and ears, I walked with caution, careful not to trample too loudly. Why, I didn't understand. I had no fear of ghosts or rogue spirits. I suppose it's just that ancient response, that ancestral knowledge to stay near the fire, for there are things out in the darkness, bad things, that want nothing more than to devour you whole. Doesn't matter how far humans advance, it's always going to be a part of our internal instincts.

Something soft and shadowy moves across my path, brushing against my legs. I stifle a quick scream, settling for an automatic whimper of fear and the reflex to jump back a pace. Before me sat a rather large black cat, his tail curled around his body, while moonlight glinted off of his pristine fur. Two large green eyes stared at me in implied amusement. No other details could be seen in the lack of light. I breathed a sigh of relief and bent down to extend my hand toward the cat. His brilliant green eyes flashed with mock laughter before he turned tail and began to creep away up the path.
My eyes followed the creature as he walked away, moving like liquid between stone and fallen tree limbs. He was clearly heading toward the center of the graveyard, which was a seemingly modest hill and on top of that hill sat a small wooden chapel; both which sat several yards away from me. He stopped once to stare at me, his eyes shining like a small devil beckoning me onward. My feet moved toward him, climbing the hill, which turned out to be a good deal steeped than anticipated. The cat continued his own journey, acting as a guide and encouragement, stopping to watch me whenever I faltered.
I made it atop to take in the view before me. The chapel was indeed small and wooden, with an obvious dip in the roof from where the ceiling had apparently caved in. As I walked closer to it, I saw that it's entrance had once hosted beautiful double doors, yet now they stood plagued with rot, one had even fallen off of its cast iron hinging, leaving a clear view into it's insides. The milky moonlight cast it's infinite glow into the chapel from the somewhat destroyed ceiling. Its long forgotten stained glass windows nearly came to life once more in the moonlight, despise the dust that the windows had gathered over the countless years. Half of the pews had broken under the weight of the collapsed ceiling, the altar seemed in good shape from where I was standing, although it looked plain and robbed of any offerings. It was a beautiful sight to see, such beauty in decay.

Despite the obvious danger, I contemplated actually stepping within the chapel for a better look, but was instantly sent spinning around at the sound of a rather gruff and masculine voice.
"I didn't know they let kids run around at this hour." My heart throbbed within my chest, threatening to break free of my ribcage as I very nearly pressed myself against the one standing chapel door, of course I thought better of it. Before me stood a rather interesting looking fellow with long dark hair and bright eyes, tall but broad, and dressed in casual business attire. He leaned casually against another decrepit angel statue, this one's face was only half missing, she glared at me in eternal silence. He scratched his patchy stubble before he took another drag from his cigarette. I automatically scrunched my face up in disgust.
"Careful or your face will get stuck like that." Another condescending remark moved from beyond his lips. I stared at him, or attempted to. It was like he was just slightly out of focus, like the edges of him were blurry. I could make out specific details, but everything just seemed fuzzy about him.
"Who are you?" My words flowed out, feeling louder than the night silence warranted. I can't say I knew the people of this town like I knew the town, but I feel that I would remember one so strange such as him. After a quick pause, I added, "did you open the gate?"

He took a long drag of his cigarette, releasing the smoke primarily through his nose before grinding it into the angel and flicking it away in some unknown direction. "The bogeyman." His way of speaking was even and easy, yet the sound of long term smoking sounded evident, appearing as a light grating undertone to every word. He smiled in a devious way, showing an obviously crooked smirk, favoring his left side.
"Not very scary for the bogeyman," I remarked, crossing my thin arms. His smile widened and he reached into his pocket to produce another cigarette. An odd fire scent filled the air as he lit it and I made the same face again.
"I can be, if you want." He made a gesture of wiggling his eyebrows at me in a way that I couldn't resist laughing at. I felt that my smile had betrayed me, and attempted to turn my laughter into a snicker at his expense.
"Oh please, old man." He really couldn't have been much older than me, ten years perhaps, closer to thirty than twenty, but still young. He was amused with me, laughter danced in his bright eyes. I didn't need a mirror to know mine reflected his.
"What compelled you to wander around a graveyard at this hour?" Mirth invaded every word, something about it warmed me deeply and that disturbed me greatly. I shrugged softly, but his bright eyed stare drove me to speak despite myself.
"Can't sleep. I dream through the days and the nights are where I find my place in the world. Boredom has this ugly way of following me and I get so restless. So, here I am, hoping to walk the restlessness away." I suddenly felt tired and a couple years older. The man that stood before me raised his eyebrows in interest before laughing softly, silently, his only giveaway the slight shaking of his shoulders. Again his blurry frame twisted in my mind, yet the shadows played against him, seeming to expand for a mere moment in a canopy of darkness before shrinking again against him. Our eyes met again, like old friends. It made me uncomfortable.

"Dawn is nearly here." I nodded slowly, noting the lightening of the sky above us. Another day was to begin soon. "Should you find yourself restless again, come and see me. I think I would enjoy the company." His comment surprised me, but I nodded again. His body still lounged against the statue, which seemed less ill tempered in the growing light. He smirked crookedly again before he stood straight and came to me to close the space between us. He kissed me ever so softly, like a whisper of the wind itself. He tasted like cigarettes and coffee and something deeper, like soul or humanity or sin itself.
I went home that morning and I went about my life for weeks afterward, sleeping every night. My legs no longer ached to leave. The wanderlust no longer plagued me. Some part of me wonders if it was just a dream, yet when I walk by the graveyard on my way to school and note the giant padlock in its rightful spot, something still twists in me. Some part of the wind whispers to me. Not yet. So I continue my little life in oblivion, waiting for the next restless night.

© 2012 OhDeer!

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Added on May 17, 2012
Last Updated on May 17, 2012
Tags: wanderlust, mystery, graveyard, short story



Charlotte, NC

I'm never really good with the whole about me thing. I'm young, in school for Game Development. Writing just makes sense when the rest of the world is in chaos. I like working with my hands, baking, c.. more..

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