This is because I have to present something in my Creative Writing Tute today, and my poetry is too short, and my "Dark and Stormy Night" thing is being a bastard.
So, I somehow came up with this. No idea where it came from, and it somehow ended up completely different from my original idea, but oh well.
It doesn’t look like a cemetery should look – instead of crumbling statues and ancient, imposing headstones, all that could be seen was an endless sheet of shining green grass, with row upon row of grey stone tablets.
But for all it’s bland modern styling, it still feels like a cemetery. There is an empty silence to the place, broken only by the rushing wind, as it races in from the ocean and over the hill.
You can’t even hear any birds calling.
Despite the bright sun, the day is chilly, and so Louise is wrapped in heavy coat and scarf. She walks swiftly through the stone edged aisles, before swearing under her breath, and dashing back to the car. The gloves on her hands make her fumble with the keys, but after a failed attempt, she manages to get the door open, and like a magician with a rabbit, pulls a large bunch of flowers from under the driver’s seat.
They aren’t expensive flowers, just something cheap from a supermarket, nothing special. But the vivid reds and yellows add a welcome dash of colour, standing out from the black car and dark coat Louise wears.
She holds them tightly as she strides back towards the hills. Almost too tightly, really, and some of the flowers are starting to get that crushed look, as they are clutched to her chest. When Louise reaches the base of the hill and starts climbing – not an easy matter in her high-heeled boots – a few of the petals drift down to sit amid the blades of grass.
It was overdue for a mowing, really.
There was a fabulous view from the top of the hill. If you looked down behind you, over the acres of cemetery, and past the road, you could see over the bluff into the ocean, stretching out to meet the horizon. It was still early, so traces of mist could be seen, but otherwise it was never-ending blue.
A cemetery was an odd place for such a gorgeous site.
Louise paused for a moment to catch her breath, then wandered along the row of headstones. Seven – no, eight – places along, past a white stone with a mass of dying pink flowers at it’s base, she stopped.
1948 – 2003
For a long moment she simply stood there. Then, ever so carefully, she bent down and placed the battered flowers at the stone’s base.
There should have been silence. The wind should have stilled, and air should have warmed, and it should have been perfect.
Instead, the wind caught her scarf and hair, making her eyes water as they flapped in her face, scattering the flower petals into a riot of colour over the grey stone.
Louise sighed slightly, wrapping her scarf firmly around her neck and pushing her hair behind her ears. It didn’t help much. She brushed the petals down off the headstone, and stood as she wiped her hands on coat.
The wind whistled softly, and she looked down.
“I…I didn’t mean it, you know. What I said. I didn’t mean it. It…it just came out, I couldn’t help it! But I really didn’t mean it at all.”
Louise’s eyes darted up at the headstone briefly, then fell to the ground again.
“I’m…I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it, I didn’t mean any of it, but it came out and I said it, and I’m just so sorry!”
She bit her lip, before crouching down and running a hand over the engraved name.
“I hope…I hope you can forgive me.”
“I’m just so sorry, Mum…”
There was a long, long moment. The sun shone, and the wind blew, and Louise knelt there, still as a stone next to the carved marble.
Then she closed her eyes, and with a deep breath stood again. She opened her eyes slowly, and then, swiftly and silently, she turned on her heel and headed back along the row and down the hill.
The wind swept her scarf behind her, and it flickered like a long banner as she swept along the sea of grass and stone, headed towards the endless ocean glittering in the sunlight.
It was going to be a beautiful day.
A note: The cemetery I describe in this is actually real - it's the one in Warrnambool, where my Pa is buried. His grave is also up on the hill. Everything else is fake, though.
Please, tell me what you think.
Also, the hot water in my building is broken for some reason. Which means I don't get a bloody shower. Bastards.