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The Grave Keeper

I walk past their beds, counting row upon row, watching the blooming heads.

I stalk the stones; tend the garden, day in day out. Loved ones come and fall beneath each cracking slab. I dig on, role my wheelbarrow past, but watch from a far.

They come bearing pruned buds.

They lay them as offerings at a shrine to a god of false restoration

They've come to harvest the memories of lives past, to pick away the worms they feel blemish fine skin. It's not the truth though.

As if dismissal will wash clean and save.

Their angel's of salvation are the limp bristly arms of a scarecrow warding off the pecking beaks of famished fowl. Gnashing at a fanciful image. The shining faces of this savior rot away into the twisted grimace of a decaying pumpkin. Hollowed out eyes, crude and empty.

I see the true essence of these past-people; they float out during the night when the birds no longer come to beak. Free at last from the awful binds and false decency.

They gather round the fountain when darkness folds. I sit waiting, watching pure-glass pools slip down marble, until their phantom hands join. In a circle, fluttering over ground, they raise heads to the sky and coo a sweet swan song. Their voices travel over me and my eyes are open. I see their serenity, their peace.

To recall the daily imposition of mortal monotony on the liberated enrages me.

I long for the day a single soul will turn and welcome me into that world.

Story by:

Hannen Sabean

1 March 2014