I sat on top of Beloved’s 1880-1964 gravestone till sunset. The orange and yellow light passed through the tree’s naked branches, and disappeared behind the Keeper’s shed. I ran out of film, so I sketched out the colors reflected on the tree as fast as I could. Light transforms faster when it’s right on the edge.
I picked up my bag and said goodbye to Beloved, leaving my sketch as a gift for sharing the seat. People are afraid of graveyards, but I think it’s death that they are truly afraid of.
A nearby streetlight turned on. Its flickering yellow light took away the natural beauty of the night. It would have been nicer if it were just dark. Fog came up over the far hill and settled around the stones, like a wave. I didn’t remember traveling that far into the cemetery.
I heard a snap from behind; I turned, but couldn’t see anything. When I turned back around, a creeper, I mean the Keeper of the graves ,was right there in front of me: a skeleton-like silhouette, pale complexion, and a hunch for a back.
He croaked, “It’s late. The yard closes at sunset.” Dust seemed to come out of his mouth as he spoke, as though no one had talked to him in a long time.
“I know. I’m sorry, I can’t find the exit.”
He pointed, and there it was, not five steps away. I turned to see how far I had walked, and lying by my feet was my drawing. I hadn’t even walked a foot.
I turned to say my thanks, but the creeper was gone. I walked out of the gate and said goodbye to Beloved once again. Light shines on the gray stone from the full moon, always there, but too distant to capture on film.