I pick my way around the stones, careful to not trip over broken pieces of marble. My mother’s voice cautioning me to not step directly on the graves plays in my head. As a child exploring old cemeteries, I once imagined a gnarled hand reaching up toward me from the buried crypt, snaring me in a death grip then dragging me down into the earth before I could be rescued. My trepidation now the only proof I am alive.
Wandering through this boneyard comes with a mixed ethos of peace and dread. My face is a false mask of apathy.
Upon entering through the wrought iron gates, all sound is muted. Even the birds still their singing, giving reverence to the dearly departed. The wind, trapped between the mausoleums, softly moans, sending shivers up my spine.
The pathway is familiar. The names on the gravestones, recited from memory, fall from my lips like a litany of sins.
Kneeling at the foot of her plot, I pull dead leaves and vines away from her stone. Tracing the letters etched there so long ago, my fingertips tingle with anticipation. Far off storms boo their displeasure at my intrusion.
The sun hides behind the rolling clouds, chilling the air and my hands. Rising, my clothes tangle in a tree root, and I nearly fall. Reaching down to free my skirt from the snarl, my childhood nightmare becomes real.
Pawing at the ground, I try to gain purchase while the wraith pulls me backward. I scrape at the buried stone, begging for an anchor in this world. Her desiccated fingers close tighter around my ankle. Darkening shadows and cracks of thunder swallow my screams for help.
The rich, black earth envelops me, wrapping me tightly in woody tendrils to thwart my escape. Above, the only sign of my passing is a torn fragment of cloth. The wind quickly sweeps it away, along with any memory of my existence.
15 thoughts on “Français douairière”
Tomorrow’s the day everyone pays their respects at graveyards. Will be skipping it, again. lol
Terrific ambience and build up to that creepy, creepy end.
Love, adore, covet storms that boo their displeasure.
Great write and triple prompts! I love the idea of the wind booing its displeasure.
Very cool! And chilling, not as in “chillin like a villain”, but chilling as in goosebumps.
Very well written piece ! Haunting !
Eek! Made me want to pull the covers up to my chin!
I love the creepiness of this too! It’s definitely the season for it!
Just this morning both my dogs ran upstairs and refused to come back down. I have to admit I had the chills for a few minutes, imagining the ghosts and other terrors that sent them into hiding! I love that about this time of year-that and leftover Halloween candy:)
Great story, Tara!
Wow! Three prompts in one and beautifully done.
My heart is beating faster, after having read this. You’ve conjured up a bunch of childhood fears, masterfully. I can see the scene in black and white, in my minds eye, of course. My mother(like your character’s) always told me not to walk on graves.😱
This is creepy and I love it!
Ack. That is why I steer clear of cemeteries, especially during the stormy twilight! Very creepy–well done.