Monday, September 25, 2006

From the Cemetery Chronicles

I am overjoyed that Eric. is going to start re-posting his ghost stories. The ones I have read before were terrific.

This also seems to signal that, since it is officially Autumn, it's a good time to begin telling Scary Stories. I'm going to start with one from my old blog, when Raging Mom met T1G. Believe me, this is NOT a Harry Met Sally type of post!

With Apologies to the Almighty (Part I)

On occasion I’ve been known to do something sensible, like after stumbling around in the country, in the dark for a few nights looking for something, do it differently. On my third attempt to find Bald Hill cemetery, I, a) went during the day, b) had directions and c) made my beverage of choice Diet Coke. This change of tactics brought me immediate success; the graveyard was right where it was supposed to be.

I parked the Explorer on the shoulder of the road and got out to survey the object of my curiosity. If you’ve never been to Illinois and just imagine it as a flat prairie, well, you’re mostly right. But up in the northwest corner of God’s Country, the scenery is different. From the Rock River Valley on north and west to the Mississippi, it can be very hilly and there’s a lot of trees. Some of the hills are quite steep. I was looking at just such a one when I felt a presence that I had never encountered before.
“Oh Jesus Christ!”, I screamed as I clutched my heart.
JC replied, “Yeah, I didn’t think you were ever going to get this right on your own, so I came out to check on you.”
So who says God doesn’t watch over all of us?
I was glad for the company, especially since it was the Son of, well, You Know. It appeared from the locked gate and the sign from the Ogle County Sheriff’s Office that I really was not supposed to be thinking about climbing that fence. Who better to have with you if you’re about to break the law?
I turned to my companion and said, “Hey, Jes…do you have a nickname? The other is so formal.”
JC said, ”Well, you and I aren’t as well acquainted as we should be.” I blushed, knowing full well how long it had been since I’d been to Mass. “But you can call me Joe.”
“Great, Joe,” I say, “Any ideas on how to get up this hill and over the barbed wire fence?”
“ I was thinking, since you're the Son of, well, You Know, can’t you get us up there any easier?”
Before I know it, I’ve been hit with a bolt of lightening and reduced to a pile of cinders, staring at a pair of biker boots.
Graveyard stalking with Jeebus can be a real bitch!

To be continued…...

With Apologies to the Almighty, Part II

Realizing the error of my ways, I sent a silent prayer upwards and was restored to my very corporeal self.
“Sorry about that, Joe. Won’t happen again.”
“Good. Get climbing.”

I think this must have been named Bald Hill for a very good reason- there was almost nothing to grab onto except a few scraggly sumac twigs. And it was steep! Once we got to the top, Joe and I did a balancing act while he made some “adjustments” to the barbed wire fence. I crawled through first, managing to snag my jeans on the bad knee and nearly falling flat on my face. But I was in! I was so excited to get up to the top that I left Joe to deal with fence himself. I was almost to the first headstone when I heard a noise like a bull being strangled. When I turned around, Joe was halfway through the fence, but seemed to be hung up somewhere.
“Oh Jeez, I mean oh G*d, I mean, uh, can I help you? What happened?”
Joe’s face was turning red, and in a strained voice, said, “Um, no, I’ll get this.”
“No, seriously, let me help.”
“Get away from me!”
Now I’m close enough to see what the problem is, and told Joe, “Honestly, you’d think as much as you talk about them, you’d be careful enough not to get them tangled in barbed wire!”
I hit the ground hard to avoid the lightening bolts shooting out of Joe’s eyes. Him being the Son of, well, You Know.
Eventually Joe got the Holy Family Jewels released from their pricky prison, and we made it to the top of the hill. It wasn’t anything like I had expected. Just several old headstones on a lonely hill, with a few tall pines for company.

To be continued....

With Apologies to the Almighty (Conclusion)

Three of the stones lined the very west edge of the graveyard. The outer two were the larger monument stones, and the one in the middle was very old looking and rectangular. All three had been painted black on their backsides, but had strange scratch marks in the paint. We thought the largest one, the Camling stone, was the most likely candidate for glowing in the dark. As Joe was looking at that one, I checked out the other two, trying to figure what the markings in the paint were.
“Hey, Joe, does this make any sense to you? It looks like NGMO right here. Maybe OURDA below it.”
“Yeah, I’ve got the same thing going on here, but I can’t understand it.”
We were both stumped, and I was feeling a little disappointed that we hadn’t found out as much as I would have liked about the place. Joe asked me what had motivated me to do this in the first place.
“Honestly, Joe,” I said, “since I started writing a journal, I’ve thought about how much I used to write and how much I loved it. I was an English major, believe it or not. I doubt there’s a great American novel lurking in my head, but I love writing stories. And with Halloween coming, I found subject matter that didn’t have anything to do with a sink full of dishes or what my kids are doing to make me crazy or the fact that my “career” is nothing more than making small rocks out of big rocks. I just thought, maybe, MAYBE I could still be a writer.”
At that moment, a tall apparition materialized out of the pines- a woman who I thought I recognized, but had never seen.
“Joe!” I whispered. “That’s not..not..the Holy Virgin, is it?”
“Ssshhh!” Joe whispered back. “Don’t say virgin in front of her, she’s a little testy about the whole dating thing! That’s Tammi, you idiot! We forgot to invite her.”
I thought I would remind him that I hadn’t actually invited anyone, but the whole being turned into cinders thing had me spooked. Then Tammi spoke.
“Don’t talk to this guy about advice on writing or blogging. He’s into it for two things.”
“Really”, I said, “only two?”
“Beer and chicks.”
“Oh you’re kidding me.”
“Nope,” she said. “Well, maybe gin and chicks sometimes.”
I looked at the two of them, and wondered how a simple trip down a country road had ended up like this. But by this time, it was starting to get dark. I suggested we get out of the graveyard and head down the road to see if the headstones really did glow. Tammi went first, and was able to clear the fence AND the hill with one step. Dang, she’s tall!
I went next and started down backwards, deciding I’d rather fall on my ass than my face if it came to that. Joe started down right after me, face first, and I thought to myself, I KNOW the Corps teaches repelling! Just as I reached the bottom-
“Oof! Hey, get off!”
“Sorry about that,” Joe said. “Nice soft landing though.”
I was torn between informing him that stretch marks are the sign of a REAL woman or wishing I had that whole lightning bolt thing going on for me. But it was starting to get very dark, so we drove down the road instead and started aiming headlights.
“Oh my G*d!” was all Tammi could say.
“Holy Shit!” was the best the Son of , well, You Know could muster.
Me? I just stared at the hill with its three glowing headstones, and all of a sudden the scratchings in the paint made all the sense in the world:




At 9/25/2006, Blogger Tammi said...

No bias at all - but I just LOVE this series! Makes me laugh every.single. time.


At 9/25/2006, Anonymous that 1 guy said...

Sweet... I was just thinking about these tales.


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