We’re all zombies, really. At least, that’s what I tell myself as I set up my folding chair against the wall of the cemetery. We’re all just going through the motions of our lives without actually living them, swimming through the ache of surviving each day. And when someone asks ‘how are you,’ you give them the acceptable, expected response: ‘I’m fine. Doing better actually.’ Maybe it’s just me.
I step on to the folding chair. It gives me the height I need to vault the wall, carefully setting my hands between the vertical spikes designed to discourage the exact thing I’m doing. Well, maybe not exactly what I’m doing. I land on the grass on the other side of the wall with a thump that I feel in all of my joints and all the way up the scar on my arm. Then I stand, and begin walking. Even in the dark, I know where I’m going. I’ve been there more times than I can count in the last 3 years. “Don’t do this to yourself. It won’t work. And even if it does, it won’t be what you want. It’s time to move on, Steph. To really move on,” my mother said when she caught me with my great grandmother’s book of home remedies. She snatched the book out of my hands and went to pack it up with the rest of Grammy’s things. That was what everyone was always saying. It’s time to move on. It’s time to start dating. He’s dead. It’s time, it’s time. It’s like they think I can just flip a switch, just decide to get over it. Just stop loving Harry. But I can’t. It doesn’t matter that he’s dead. It doesn’t matter if Grammy’s recipe works. He’s still the one who holds me in my dreams, still the one whose name I taste on my lips in the dark. How can I not try?
It’s dark now, in the cemetery. They lock the iron gates at night, and there aren’t any lights. The ambient light from the city and the cold starlight above me is all the light I have, but it’s enough for me to find the paved road that winds through the plots. Everything is a light gilded shadow. But the moon will rise soon. A crescent moon, waxing towards full. I must do this in the moonlight, as it rises, and grows.
I don’t have any trouble finding Harry’s grave. In the darkness, I can’t read the headstone, but I know which one is his as much by feel as by following the road and counting stones. I step up to the headstone. It has his name on it, and dates, though I can‘t read them in the dark. He was 27 when our car crashed, and he will never be another day older. I woke up in the hospital with a deep gash in my arm. He never woke up. We were arguing in those final moments, and I can‘t even remember what it was about. I never got to say I was sorry. I never got to hold him again. I couldn’t live with it then, and I can’t now. He’s still sleeping here, under the ground, and I intend to wake him.
I kneel in the middle of his grave and glance up at the sky. The moon is rising. It’s time.
– from “Resurrection Girl” in the Iron Doves Charity Anthology. Find it here. Think of it as donating to a women’s shelter, and getting a free book 🙂
|What I Write
I write what I like to read: science fiction, fantasy, and sometimes horror. Sometimes it’s serious, and sometimes it’s silly.
“There are More Things in Heaven and Earth Than Are Written in Your Thesis, Professor Kingston” in Tales of the Talisman, Vol. 9, Iss. 1
“The Plumbing Hex Incident” in Tales of the Talisman Vol. 6, Iss. 4
“Cry to the Sirens” on January 9, 2015 at Acidicfiction.com
“Resurrection Girl” in the charity anthology Iron Doves from Dragons Rocket Ship Publishing