The Cemetery Stop

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 “.

Photo By J.M Moscoso

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.

It said.

“ 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.

Photo A.M. Moscoso

The Chair Next To The Door

RDP THURSDAY: MYRIAD

 

Do you know that in some

morgues and embalming rooms

there is a chair next to the door.

It’s always a sturdy chair that won’t slide across the tiled floor easily.

 

The chair is there for people who come in

to fall on or use for support if they feel faint

because  these rooms will steal the air from your lungs

with no warning at all and nobody wants to end up face down on a morgue floor.

 

There are so many stories like this one

just waiting to be told, but they are hard to listen to

and sometimes when you hear them you might wish you had that chair

next to the door that doesn’t slide across a tiled  floor easily.

 

When Batibat Calls

RDP Tuesday: Universe

When I was little my Filipina Grandmother told me about the Batibat- she also told me that the only way to keep Batibat out of your home was to have a cat for protection.

The cat wasn’t a part of the traditional folklore- on the other hand we never had trouble with Batibat when other people did so maybe she was on to something,

Anita

Shadow, 1954 Boris Petrovich Sveshnikov ( 1928 – 1998 )

Let’s talk about the shadow that the cat saw on the door just after sunset.

The cat heard, from it’s uncomfortable but necessary perch in the drafty part of the kitchen, the black oily shadow  slither out from inside of the dead tree that had fallen over night in the storm.

The cat smelled dead mice and bird innards as it slid up the walkway to the backdoor.

He watched the shadow’s figure grow taller and fuller against the door and he even heard the floorboards under the shadow groan and creak.

The Cat didn’t twitch a single whisker, he didn’t blink and eye, he kept his tail quiet and still.

He saw the shadow waver, as if it were about to knock and ask to be let in, but it stepped back from the door and then it moved forward, just a little again.

The cat held it’s breath, the shadow filled the doorway and then it raised it’s dark hand in front of it’s face and just before it was about to step in, the cat opened it’s mouth and it hissed.

The shadow at the door turned towards the cat, and it hissed back at the cat and then it growled at the cat and in a puff of smoke it was gone, flying as if the Devil himself were after it,  to the dead tree in the backyard.

The cat blinked his eyes, he moved his ears from front to back, he let his tail stretch and curl around his body and then

from down the hall his human came, her face lit up when she saw him sitting at the table.

” What have you been doing all day? ” she asked ” Have you been waiting for me to come home and give you dinner?”

There was no way for his Human to know this, but when she smiled at him the darkest corners of the Cat’s world sparkled with sunlight.

She swept him up in her arms and he rubbed his face against her chin and when she turned around and he was facing the door, he looked for the shadow and dared for it to come in.

” I love you more then there are stars and moons in the entire universe. ” she told him.

He fell against her chest, he looked up into her eyes and if he could have said ” and I would make a meal out of anything that tried to take you away from me. ”

But he supposed she knew

he was right, she did

And now the Batibat in their backyard

knew it too.

Villages of The Forgotten Dead

RDP Monday: CRUMBLE

Graves that are crumbling and falling into ruin seem to be more lively then the often visited and well maintained ones – which is funny when you think about it,

anita

Photo A.M. Moscoso
Bear Creek Cemetery/Turner Cemetery
Washington state.

Photot A.M. Moscoso
Bear Creek Cemetery
Washington State

Photo A.M. Moscoso
Comet Lodge Cemetery
Seattle, WA

Photo A.M. Moscoso
Saint Louis Cemetery Number One

Photo A.M. Moscoso
Saint Louis Cemetery Number One

“Over all was that air of abandonment and decay which seems nowhere so fit and significant as in a village of the forgotten dead.”
― Ambrose Bierce, The Death of Halpin Frayser