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Monday, July 23, 2012

Graveyard Visitors Whately Prep p22

Words etched in tombstone.                dee

As I have every time I have run to the River since Kelly died, I run by the school cemetery buried deep in the woods.  My head swivels in the direction of her headstone.  I see her ethereal form among the dandelions on the far side of the stone markers.  Just as my gaze returns to the footpath below my feet, I am startled by the sight of a headstone that has been overturned.  
Instantly, I am incensed by this violent mischief.  The likely perpetrator is a Whately Prep student.  Unbeknownst to whoever did this, security installed a nearly undetectible
motion-activated camera about five years ago.  Kids were claiming they were hiking, but were here getting stoned.  I walk over to look at which headstone has been tipped.  A rhythmic pounding in my ears means my blood pressure is going up.  I literally feel the pressure behind my eyes.  It is the stone belonging to my father’s brother.  He died at the age of 22.  My parents have always been close-mouthed about the circumstances.  Kelly comes around and sits on the cement pad where the marker had rested.  Remembering the camera, I remain mute.  It is impossible to guess who is on the other end of the camera and what they might do with the juicy tidbit that the Head is speaking to an invisible being.  Mark Twain may have said, “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated,” I might be credited with saying, “The reports of my sanity have been greatly exaggerated.”  
I walk over to my father’s grave and lay a small stone on the edge of the marker.  There are hundreds on his grave.  Everyday that I run to the River, I pick up a small stone.  It has become a ritual that is imbued with meaning for me.   I walk around the back side and I am horrified to see the words,
“The Bitch Must Die.”  It looks like red paint, hopefully, it’s not blood. 
I do not have my cell phone with me.  Looking ahead, I calculate how long it will take be to run back to school.  It will take me about fifteen minutes to end up on Security’s back steps.  I look around before I leave the graveyard;  Kelly is gone.  Whoever is responsible for what I found this morning will be brought to justice.  

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