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Friday, 18 January 2013

The Night Group

Looking around the graveyard it was so quiet and peaceful, a balm on the soul. All of those carefully tended graves in tidy little rows that show how much the living miss the departed. The head stones standing to proud attention some weathered and old and some new recruits, each one with a story to tell a marker for the future to remind of the past. Turning around in a circle you cannot help but be overwhelmed by the history that surrounds you, just thinking about those countless lives, all of those stories, hopes and dreams. Had they been good or evil? cruel or kind? the romantic in all of us defaults to good and kind but in our hearts we know better. The night is cold now as the weather has turned recently and welcomed winter with open arms, breath mists the moment it is exhaled causing miniature clouds that hang in the air. There are clouds overhead and the forecast is snow but not one flake has yet descended from the heavens but if it did it would be a little piece of chaos in this regimented environment. There are candles that have been placed around supplying light but very little heat. Flames dancing in the breeze fighting to hold off the darkness as the shadows flicker and attack in opposition. The group is huddled together partly for warmth but mostly for the security of having someone near, there is hushed conversation as if they might disturb the peaceful slumber beneath their feet. Every now and then there is a nervous laugh as a joke is told or someone makes a funny comment. Halloween is the best time to conduct a seance and where better than a cemetery to try and talk to the dead, looking at the group you can spot the cynics, the hopeful dreamers and the thrill seekers. The event has been organised by a new company that specialises in more unusual ideas and this event is the maiden voyage. Standing off to one side all alone is the company's representative, he is dressed smartly and wearing a long coat pulled tight about him but he does not really seem to be affected by the cold, no one goes over to talk to him and he makes no attempt to mingle. There is something strange like an itch that cannot be scratched, tantalisingly close but just out of reach and the more you grasp for it the more it slips away. He is so still standing there that it is like he is carved from granite and embedded in the ground, if you get close enough you might expect to see your name carved above a date on him. A powerful flash light is switched on cutting through the night and lifted high up the side of the church coming to rest against the face of the clock, only ten minutes till midnight and the witching hour. The torch is switched off and a silence descends in the renewed darkness, suddenly the candles seem dim and the crowd draw even closer together. Surely there is safety in numbers. Conversations start up again and people trying to find anything to do to take their mind off their fears stamp their feet and blow on cold hands to warm them. The temperature seems to be falling faster now and the breath condensing in the air becomes more pronounced . Somebody finally suggests they start as it is getting late, they feel uneasy and the representative is not helping at all, in fact he still has not moved. A sense of foreboding and doom settles on them and they put it down to nerves and the location but a few know it is due to the man standing statue still watching them. One of them looking at him finally realises what it is that has been bothering them, the representative is not breathing out plumes of vapour as his warm breath hits the cold air, there is no sign at all of breathing. Such a strange thing and when they go to point it out the representative turns ever so slightly and makes eye contact. The gaze makes it impossible to look away or speak as the realisation hits home, I am looking at death...

Feel free to leave feedback on this or any other post of mine :-)

1 comment:

  1. I love the way you've written this from start to leading up towards the end. You have described the scene and the atmosphere so wonderfully and of course you totally got the scary/creepy factor in.