Cemetery Letters

1 Aug

Everything started when I had an idea for a new hobby-one that was interesting, yet didn’t involve people. Well, not technically.

Living alone, eating T.V. dinners for one, coming home to the sound of your own breathing, leaves something to be desired. However, for me the missing piece is most definitely not another human being. I can’t deal with people’s filth, rudeness, or weird personal habits, but most of all I can’t stand people’s mouths- can’t bear the putrid ignorance that streams from their constantly flapping jaws.

Disgusting creatures we are, with all our problems and
whining, cheating and lying, poor manners, smelly feet, gross
illnesses……The list goes on and on.
It seems every time I try to include people in my life I only discover how horrible and dysfunctional we all are, collectively.
Basically I have found little evidence the human race deserves to even exist, never mind be saved. This has been consistent everywhere I have explored, so I have therefore decided to remove myself from the world.
I hide in the woods with no neighbors within a 10 mile radius. I have a personal assistant of sorts that delivers supplies from the people-filled city and provides me with all kinds of information, so I have no need for other people. His name is Tobias, and he seems nice with his kind hazel eyes, wry sense of humor, lack of questions, and gentle manner. He might be a decent specimen, as far as people go.

One lazy afternoon, my boredom got the best of me, so I called Toby to ask if he knew where the town cemetery was. I loved the tranquility that cemeteries provided-the utter quiet found where there is no life, but I wasn’t about to offer that up. Turns out, true to form, he asked no questions and gave me directions. I expressed my gratitude, grabbed my purse and left.
I arrived at the cemetery shortly thereafter and began wandering around. I knew I was surrounded by people, but no one was bothering me. I was encircled, yet completely alone; and I loved it. Such peace I found, but not the lonely sort.
Enjoying myself thoroughly I closely examined several ornate tombstones, reading dates and names, in some cases looking at tiny pictures of the deceased that had been attached to the stones.

I had just stumbled into the newer section of the cemetery when I spotted a little square sealed and waterproofed with clear tape, lying by a temporary cemetery plaque. Confused, I peered around and saw at least two other odd little squares. They must be notes, I concluded. How curious that there were so many; I wondered if maybe it was some sort of town tradition. Yet another question for Tobias…… Unable to resist, I got to work, pulling a pocket knife from my bag. I carefully severed the tape and reverently opened the folded letter.
It was written by a woman named Willow. Apparently Mr. Harvey Wilson, deceased as of six weeks ago, had been her father. It appeared Harvey had been a rather demanding bastard, never happy with his daughter’s achievements. The main focus of
her letter to a dead man was sorrow that he had never been proud of her and her law career, which had hindered her starting a family.

I was enthralled; it seemed I had finally found a way to relate to someone, without actually having to be present in their life. I was connected.
Such a happy day to have found the impossible……But after the initial wave of joy, I began to pity poor Willow. She had only wanted her father’s love and pride, and I didn’t think that was much to ask. I felt maybe there was something I should do. I could find her and tell her I had known her father and that he had indeed loved her, with all his cold, dark heart.

I stewed for several days over the issue, wondering what exactly, if anything to tell this girl. I eventually decided I had to make contact with her; my “cover” would be as an old friend of her fathers. Easy enough I thought, the man was 41 when the brain aneurysm took him under; I was 28, we could have easily known each other in the confines of this town. I would keep the message simple, say I knew her Pops had been a real hardass and would never have admitted his love for her, or for anyone, to their face.

I did exactly that about a week later; Tobias pointing the way. When Willow answered the door I immediately told her I had a message for her from her father. No desire for small talk; no time to sit and chat. The young woman had an odd look on her face that I didn’t yet understand. I told her Harvey had once admitted that he’d never known how to show her he loved her and I thought she should know. I said some little awkward bit about “closure”, and then turned to leave.

The pretty blonde had finally found her voice, “And you are……?” “Mercy”, I replied, giving only my first name, without turning around. “How did you know my father? He was bed-ridden the last thirteen years of his life-and you’re too young to have known him before that” Willow said, her voice picking up speed.

As I thought fast for a reasonable lie, she broke the silence by saying with a tone of awe, “Are you……gifted?” Oh. No way. A psychic? That was her way of making sense of the situation? Maybe it was my odd behavior, maybe it was that I knew things she didn’t think anyone knew- like the time at the beach her father had drove off with her two brothers and left her behind. Or maybe it was just that she hoped I would be someone with super powers. I wondered if I should lie. I’d already lied to her, what was one more? I simply said yes. It seemed to be the right answer because her dull eyes lit up and the tears came streaming down her pale face.  She seemed so very happy.

Well of course she had questions, most of which I answered easily, with the help of her own letter. Finally she was silent. Tears streaming down her face she said thank you, went to her purse, and handed me a check for $500. I left quietly, amazed at what had transpired, the seeds of a plan already sprouting in my head.

What if I started a career as a pseudo-psychic? I could change people’s lives at will. I could be a god among men. From this thought onward, there was no turning back. I decided to take business, a business that deals with death, into my own hands. That turns out to have been a mistake.

A year later and things have gotten complicated since my original innocent plan, with my “clients” trying to drive me out of town, the media crucifying my character publicly, and worst of all the whispered voices.

Maybe they are all right and what I have done is wrong. Maybe I shouldn’t have meddled with people’s lives. That’s what the whispered voices say.

All I know for sure is that the loved ones of the ghosts have found me, are at the door, and trying to get inside- while their dead family members and friends have already found a way to “get inside”. Their voices can’t be stopped, not even if I choose this bottle of sleeping pills and loaded gun. I may die, yes, but will still forever be bound to these souls. They’ve told me their pain is mine now and I will never again be free. Or bored.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: