Very rarely do I give a story an introduction, but this one is an exception.
No matter where you go, travel or reside,each place has a story or two to tell.Be it a ghost story,a fearful lurking creature,a place that sends
shivers up your spine, or worse- a person who commits something so heinous it boggles the mind and alters your perception of reality forever. Upon
relocating to a new place, I was inspired by such a local story. Believe me when I say, you will never view things the same way again.
Ladies and gentlemen,allow me to introduce,
The observer watches them from slightly off to the side of the room, their eyes fixed upon one another,not a sigh, nor a word between them. As if not
a single phrase could capture the essence of this moment.
They were in love, and the observer knew it,everyone knew it.
He would walk down the street and lean over her picket fence just to comment on how lovely her garden was,or how delicious her baking smelled that
day. She, in turn, would deliver some of those home baked goodies
to his door step, and remind him time and time again that the creaky front step needed fixing, or the lawn needed a mow.
Every Sunday they would meet and walk up to St. Joseph's parish, then downtown for a light lunch and tea at the Grande Cafe'.
Neither would have admitted to being more than just friends before now. Yet here they both were, ironically,at the same
place, at the same time,holding hands, gazing into each others eyes, and to the observer- hopelessly in love.
Tibbs walked over and tapped Grace on the shoulder,
"Sorry to interrupt you my dear, but you have a previous engagement with the widow Johnson this afternoon.One must not
be late! Come now, and let's freshen you up, and you and Hal can meet up later."
He winked at Hal,and silently Grace was led away from her one and only love, and he could only watch as she disappeared
with Mr. Tibbs.
Grace was staring at her reflection in the mirror, as Tibbs brushed her hair, slowly, softly, styling it just right, with the
silver curls behind her ears.He picked up a crystal decanter of her favorite scent , lilac, and gently misted it around her.
"There my dear. You are a vision of loveliness.Must get going, or I'll miss my own day of fun! My, but you keep me busy..."
He whisked her off the chair and out the door as quick as you please to the sitting room down the hall where widow Johnson was awaiting her
arrival.Tibbs carefully eased her into the chair, and nodding at them both, bid them a wonderful afternoon
and a hasty goodbye. With that, off he went.
It was a chilly day, and he pulled his jacket closer as the rain misted on him, and the autumn leaves swirled in colorful cyclones at his feet.His
quick pace was interrupted when Miss Lynsey Waters came running up the sidewalk to him , arm in arm with her Aunt Kimberly. Both had puffy red eyes,
tears mixed with misted rain on their cheeks, and blond curls clung to their faces.
"Mr Tibbs! So glad we caught you before going out!" she sobbed.
"Oh my Lynsey!" Tibbs offered a sympathetic hand.."What's happened? Is it your mother?"
"YES! She cried in anguish as Tibbs handed her a tissue, "She's gone. Oh, I can't believe she's gone!"
"There, there, now dear..it's alright.Now this is no weather for you to be out and all upset.Off to your Aunties and I'll see what I can do about
this now, OK?"
He hugged her, nodded at Kimberly, and spoke a soft apology- then carried on to finish his errands. The evening had taken a different turn than he
The sun glistened the drops on the grass left by the rain the previous evening.Father Perry cursed as he trudged through the mud in the cemetery,
trying to keep his robes from getting dirty. Twas alright to curse the ground below, he thought,
just not the heavens above.
A small group of mourners gathered around the freshly dug grave. The old woman had few friends, sad to say, since her husband past many years before
her.She became a recluse, solely dependent on the kindness of her neighbors.
It was those same neighbors, who now stood before Father Perry awaiting his last prayer for her.
He sighed, remembering her in younger, happier times when he was but a child. She was always keen to visitors then, and Father Perry would come to tea
with his mother quite frequently.He remembered vividly the smell of her kitchen, and fresh baked cookies.
Clearing his throat, he spoke quickly, lest his own emotions get the better of him. The mourners dispersed soon after,leaving Father Perry alone with
The service had been closed casket, as were the wishes of the old woman.But Father Perry, feeling the overwhelming desire to say goodbye properly,felt
no harm in opening the casket before it was to be lowered into the ground forever.
Carefully, he lifted the lid,just enough so that he should be able to see her peaceful, sleeping face-
But that was not what he saw.
Father Perry fell backwards into the muddy grass,shocked, horrified, gasping and choking at the sight and the stench of what the simple pine box
Staring back at him was Mr.Higgins. Dead 6 weeks ago from a heart attack.Mr. Higgins was cremated and his ashes spread over the family farm.Yet here
he lay! Rotted almost beyond recognition.
Father Perry stood there, dumbfounded.
Obviously some horrible mix up had occurred.
He half ran, half tripped over his robe back to the parish to call the mortuary.
Oh she was stunning.
Her golden curls surrounding her head like an angelic halo as she laid so peacefully on the pillow.
For many years he had admired her beauty.Wanted her.Now here she was in all her glory, awaiting him to work his magic on her.
He thanked the universe for his luck.
Tracing a finger along her cheek, he smiled, then lowered his hand to her chest and traced the shape of a heart.
She didn't move, and to him, this meant it was ok to keep going. He knew she wanted this as much as he did.
He walked across the room and from a small table retrieved a new set of gloves. Tightly he squeezed one hand in
then another,as a satisfactory "SNAP" completed the task.
He gazed back at her, and believed he saw her smile.
Father Perry took it upon himself to go there in person. The mortician was, an odd fellow at best, very social.
Most people took that as bad for business for him to be so friendly.It gave one the heebie jeebies to shake hands and warmly greet the man who would
put you in your coffin.He had a feeling the mortician would be somewhat less than friendly about his visit.
Just as the sun was setting,and the air grew damp,he walked along the street headed for the only funeral parlor for 100 miles around.A remodeled old
Victorian home it stood very picturesque amid the boxlike homes that surrounded it.In winter time, it was worthy of a post card.But this time of year,
with the trees skeletal and sparse of leaves, it resembled the eerie haunted mansions of nightmares, especially when one remembers it is a place of
Father Perry couldn't understand how anyone could take pride or pleasure in performing such a service, but then again, everyone had their place in
society and if it was the call of destiny to be a mortician,so be it.
Tibbs let out a sigh of exhaustion.Too much going on, too much to do. He needed to cut the ties to a couple and he needed more time to devote to his
new interest.Sad to say they all came down to this. After a few weeks, they didn't need him anymore. He had done all he could and tonight it was time
to bid Hal Anderson and widow Johnson goodbye. Poor Grace. She would be so unhappy and alone without Hal.Perhaps he should make sure they stay
His decision made, he got up from his office chair and walked down the hall. As he passed the sitting room he saw them there, all three. Grace and Hal
sat on the sofa, propped in front of the TV.Widow Johnson by the fireplace, knitting on her lap, apart from the lovebirds to give them their space.
He sighed. It shall be lonely here without them.
(con't next post)
[edit on 13-10-2009 by AccessDenied]