For Flashback Friday:
The Cemetery Stop
First Published at the SFC in 2006
I’m enjoying these Friday Flashback trips back in my blog- it’s interesting to see where I’ve grown as a writer. Also, I’ve noticed that after a lot of us swarmed to Social Media, my stories got shorter because I became aware that most people read on their phones and they just don’t stay in one place long enough to want to read through a story that’s longer then 500 words.
I should probably care less about that and go back to my original word count of 1000 words or more. It takes more time to write those stories and I’ll probably loose traffic but that’s the way the cookie crumbles-
now on to
” The Cemetery Stop “.
Cilla Breck works as receptionist in a Funeral Home, her husband is a Grave Digger for the County and Cilla’s only other living relative beside her husband is distant cousin named Georgina who until her appeals run out will be sitting on death row in a State that has never executed a woman before.
Cilla wakes up hoping that the world will not start paying attention to her next and so far it hasn’t.
That night she stood alone at the bus stop, which was locally known last the ” Cemetery Stop ” where she waits for the S-4 and where she always sits alone at the back of the bus.
Cilla does not say hello to the driver she does not from left to right and it’s debatable that she actually focuses on anything in front of her as she makes her way to the last seat.
Like most nights, Cilla set her backpack on her lap and looked out the window and began to wonder what she should make for dinner, or maybe she should have a Pizza delivered when she felt something bump her elbow.
She looked over and sitting there right next to her was a man in a blue suit.
He smiled at her.
She did not smile back.
“ Chilly tonight, isn’t it?” he asked.
She did not answer.
She was busy thinking, he didn’t look familiar so he wasn’t a regular rider. She guessed he was a new rider.
And a chatty one.
Cilla hated chatty bus riders.
She was looking out the window when a thought crept up behind her and tapped her on the shoulder.
“ Cilla, did you see this guy at the bus stop?”
No, Cilla told herself.
“ Did you see him when you were walking to the back of the bus?”
Can’t say I did.
“ Doesn’t that bother you Cilla?”
Does what bother me?
“ Well, first of all that you don’t seem to focus on anyone-which seems to be something a lot of people are guilty of. But look at this awful position you’re in because of that. Some guy came out of nowhere and touched your elbow. He got that close to you Cilla. He touched your elbow. And he’s talking to you”
Cilla ended her one sided conversation and looked at the man from the corner of her eye and then she then she looked out the window.
She saw him sitting next to her.
He was looking out the window and that’s where their eyes met.
Cilla turned back to him and stared into his face for moment.
And then she turned back to the window.
She never saw him change seats.
Now he was close enough to touch her
and now he was staring at her.
“ I don’t think I’ve ever seen you on this bus before.”
“ I ride it every night. “ he told her.
“ This bus?”
“ This bus.”
Cilla pulled her shoulder away from the man and she said bluntly. “ I’ve never seen you before.”
“ I’ve seen you.” He said.
Cilla did not doubt that.
“ I’ve even sat next to you a few times. “
Cilla looked straight ahead.
“ I’ve even gotten off at your stop with a couple of times.”
Cilla wondered if anyone noticed the two of them talking.
“ But mostly I get on at the stop on Second and Washington.”
Cilla clutched her backpack to her chest.
Nobody used the stop on 2nd. Cilla didn’t even use it. She walked around the block to the front gates of the cemetery and used the stop there.
That stop was located by the Southwall at the cemetery – back in the old days that’s where the John and Jane Does were buried.
Traditionally the women were buried in simple dresses and the men…
In Blue Suits.
I am sitting next to a ghost, Cilla told herself. I am sitting next to the ghost of a dead man.
He knows that I know what he is and people are looking right at us and they don’t know what they are looking at.
She looked ahead as the bus pulled up to a stop and when she turned to look at the Dead Man in the Blue Suit…
He was gone.
She looked out the window and she saw him at the bus stop standing next to a woman talking on her phone and a man reading a book.
They were looking around the Deadman and right at the Deadman and Cilla guessed they weren’t actually seeing the Deadman.
But he saw them.
He was looking right at them.