Just Visiting

Gravel crunched beneath her feet as she traveled down the dirt road. Juicy ripe blackberries wound themselves on the barbed wire fence and posts along the road. Picking the berries was precarious business, avoiding the barbs as she plucked them off the vines.

She popped a couple in her mouth as she walked along. Mist hung in the trees on the mountain side as she rounded another curve. The community cemetery lay ahead of her. Should she walk through or around today? Father is buried here, as are much of her ancestry. During the daytime, it isn’t a scary place, but when the sun is sitting low, strange things have been known to happen to passer-throughs.

The sun still was high enough, there should be time to get through. She stepped onto the gravel drive and walked along the upper ridge. The graves were all freshly decorated from the recent holiday. American flags adorn the soldier’s graves, and flowers adorn the tops of many of the headstones, remembrances from their families.

She finds her way down to the valley in the center of the cemetery, and stops for a moment. She sees her Dad’s gravestone and decides to stop and chat for a while. She sits on the grass along side the plot…the place she will likely one day rest. She doesn’t get any chills…so she wonders, Will I actually rest here one day? There’s an old wives tale that says when someone walks across your grave, you get chills. Maybe it doesn’t work if it’s yourself?

The sun starts to drop lower in the distance. She looks up and decides its time to head on. As she stands up, she feels a cool breeze and hears a distance jingling sound. She realizes there is a small dollhouse built above a grave in the distance, up on the next hill. Curiosity piques her interest, so she walks over since it is on the way out.

Outside is a small set of chimes, clanging, caught by the wind. She walks around and sees faded flowers. No one had visited the grave in years. She found the markings indicating it was a small girl. As she turns, a figure in her peripheral moves. A small child in a baby doll dress, holding a rag doll, smiles and waves hello. Nothing scary, just peaceful greetings. As she turns toward the child, the child disappears from view.

The winds calm, the chimes no longer sound. She glances around, thinking her imagination is getting away from her. She starts towards the exit, alert. Maybe it was real. Maybe it wasn’t. Maybe the little girl was just happy to know someone stopped to say hi.

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