Imagine a contemporary graveyard, square, scattered with upright and flat headstones. Green manicured grass and giant oaks with their arms spread out shade the entire spread of the cemetery.
The large graveyard is dimly lit, surrounded by a pink brick security wall. Inside the brick walls are the remnants of a rusty black iron fence that once formed the cemeteries boundary.
The time is near dusk, the amber remnants of the sun blanket the horizon. The sound of children laughing and playing echo inside the walls as I walk through the entrance of the large iron gate and enter the graveyard.
I see a community gathering of some sort, not a funeral, but more like a memorial. Families are grouped together, sitting in lawn chairs around the graves. Gossiping and laughing. No candles, no lights, no flowers, no crying, just people sitting around.
Elementary school aged kids are running and playing throughout the entire graveyard. Stepping and rolling around graves, soccer balls and footballs bouncing off trees. Hide and seek behind headstones. No one chastises them for stepping on headstones or for causing a ruckus in what’s supposed to be a place of rest. It is a festive scene. One boy trips and rolls over 3 groundstones, gets up laughing and runs off into the shadows.
As my family gathers and sits down in their chairs, my 1 year old nephew walks off away from our group, and towards the darkness of an empty part of the cemetery. I get up to retrieve him and suddenly lose sight of him. In a slight panic I call out to him, asking the sparse kid who would run by if he saw the toddler. No one responds.
I find myself at the end of the cemetery standing at a large iron gate that was once a side entrance. I open the creaky gate to look between the two foot space between the brick wall and the fence. As I peek my head in I see the space has been filled with loose dirt. Near the corner of the brick wall I see a young boy, probably 5 years old, sitting with his back towards me.
He’s sitting on a small mound of dirt in complete silence.
In a concerned voice I ask, “Little boy, are you lost?”
In a split second he turns around. His eyes and mouth are gone, as if they were removed and the flesh healed over. He says nothing but his cold stare had me flinch back into the cemetery. I close the iron gate and a giant lump fills my throat. I can’t talk or yell. As I turn my back against the iron fence to run away, my legs stiffen up and I can barely move and my fear quadruples. My shoes became as heavy as cement blocks. I look around and no one is near me. I can hear the intelligible chatter of people who I can’t see. Close enough to hear, but far away enough not to help me.
He's standing outside your door
As I stood frozen in fear, I could still feel the boy sitting on the mound of dirt. Sitting there staring at the empty wall of bricks. Away, far away as he could be from the living children who played and danced in the cemetery. I knew he was there, I knew if I was able to, I could go back and peek and he’d still be sitting there motionless.
In a bizarre scene only seen in dreams, a car pulls up towards me, the window rolls down and my dream ends.
I have to admit, of all the weird dreams I’ve had in my 30 plus years here, this one has to be the worst. Even though the sun is out, the birds are singing, I can almost feel this kid hiding in the shadows and dark corners wherever I go. For the first time that I can remember, I actually know what a ‘cold chill running through my spine’ feels like. And I’m not only awake, but quite sober (for now).
In retrospect, I think that this young boy I saw was a ghost who took on the image of a young boy, but could not image a living face. Why was he hiding? Was he waiting for someone? A lost spirit stuck between the living and the dead world in a painful faceless existence? Unable to join rest of the living because he’d forever be unable to walk among us because he wears the faceless mark of the dead? So he hides? A cursed and lonely existence in a purgatory of sorts? Why did I have to see that shit?
Maybe it has something to do with the Sam Adams Pumpkin Ale I had the night before, which while somewhat palatable, didn’t sit well in my stomach. 12 hours later and I can still taste it.
Someone once said “creepy kids are the worst”. I agree.