This was a writing exercise for a class. Enjoy, hopefully.


The wind rolls down the hills, lightly tussling the grass and snaking its fingers through the tree branches. Each burst of breeze feels like rain, the sky overcast, the air sticking to anything it can cling on to.

And it can't cling to much, here. The result is a stillness, otherworldly, between the gravestones jutting up along the landscape, motionless cement rivers of roads winding around them. Barren.

The only living things here are the ants. The dead claim the soil, the ants the rest.

It's so quiet, like entering a cave, where you know all the sounds (the sirens, the cars honking, the dogs barking) are all outside these invisible walls. The only genuine noise from within is the musing of the wind, rustling the tree leaves. A lonely sound.

A car comes by, an old white Buick, tires barely making a sound on the pavement. It stops, turns down the wrong road, backs up, and drives by. Gone.

A white SUV follows a moment later. This time people get out, a man and a woman. Conversation between them comes sporadically as they stand in front of a grave. A moment passes, fleeting as all moments are here. Then they too leave.

After the sound of their car's tires fade, it's as if they were never here. As if they're somehow less real, these people above ground, than the people below. They leave no traces, ghosts in a world infinitely more real than they can imagine.

The past.

The Black Angel, Rodina Feldevertova, stands towards the middle of the cemetery, a crossroads splitting to her right. She's metal –iron?- and literally larger than life at seven feet tall. She is flecked with green from many a year, many a season spent here. Almost all of her fingertips have broken off.

Her right arm is stretched out, head bent, looking down. It's almost as if she's looking down at those she's watching over. Waiting.

She's perched atop a large water-marred granite pedestal, overlooking twin graves. One, Nicholas, is marked, 1825 – 1911, rust beginning to orange the numbers. The other, Teresa, is not, only 1836 -. On. She isn't alive, but she isn't dead. Not here.

I sit next to them. It's oppressive for me, this stillness. It feels like I should break it, say something. Assert my otherness, my independence of these people; or really, these ideas of people who once were.

So like all the rest here, I am silent.

And the wind rolls over us all.


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