The autumn chill descended over the town and with it came rot and ruin. “Yeah, that’s what my dad says every year at this time” Hildegard replied to her friend Mona. Hildy and Mona had been best friends since the age of three. Inseparable until high school, when the difference of one year put them in different schools. Today they happened to have a free Saturday and met at the old cemetery.
It was Friday the 13th after all, and the yearly excursion into the cemetery was a must. They walked along, trying to spook each other with tales of what really happened to old Mr. Gronky or Miss Eliza Whittaker, whose gravestones were prominent, but had no quotes or information on them. The two friends always paused by the small embedded markers of infants who passed away at birth or soon after. It was sad they had no chance at life.
The girls tried to avoid the newer mounds, which gave them the creeps. However, the old familiar ones were almost friendly after all this time. The newly mounded dirt gave them a strange feeling as it felt too real, not like the older grassy indentations.
Suddenly, Hildy grabbed her friend’s arm. “Oh. . . look at that!” She pointed to a new mound under a scraggly tree where a temporary cross had fallen over. They cautiously walked over to set the marker straight, trying to avoid direct eye contact with the heaped dirt itself. Mona lifted the broken wooden sticks and righted it while reading the written words.
“Here lies Thomas Tripper, murderer, hung by the neck on October 13, 1792.” The girls looked at each other realizing what it actually said. . .1792. “That was almost two hundred years ago! Oh goodness, Hildy! The grave looks new, but it can’t be! The cross is broken, what could have happened here?”
“I’ll tell you what you want to know…” the voice came as a surprise to the girls, and they looked up to see a dirty, ragged form hanging from the tree.