Everyone has played watching games. I’d taken it a step further. I played dead games. I visited cemeteries and I gave five of the dead my thoughts on their life.
I don’t know when my game changed. I wasn’t making up the stories anymore. I’m not exactly sure when the visions changed from imagination.
…They had no input from me.
Only once did I have five positive stories, there was always at least one bad one.
And only once did I have five very bad reactions to the graves I stood over.
I never wanted those visions.
The first grave was inscribed:
Jeremy Ireland – 1950 – 1997
Beloved husband of Jane.
Loving father of Luke and Peter.
Foster father to many.
Laid to rest after an industrial accident.
Will always be loved and sorely missed.
I touched the headstone and saw him being carried into a forest. Trees were cut down all around. He was laughing and singing and very drunk.
I knew the two young men who leaned him against a tree were Luke and Peter.
Luke nicked a branch above head height with a chainsaw. Peter held his father upright. Luke brought the chain saw down and cut into the inside of Jeremy’s thigh.
They left him with his gin.
I touched the stone again and could taste the gin.
I moved on.
Yvonne Vance – 1927 – 1962
I could only think of secret people. Dark people. Dozens of them, but there was still a loneliness, a blackness, nothing.
I looked at the headstone once again, to see if I had missed an inscription, I half expected one to appear but nothing.
They toasted her. Some wept, some laughed and they sang. No-one witnessed them. They all touched her headstone.
I wiped the sweat out my eyes as I walked to the other side of the graveyard.
David Graham – 1907 – 1994
Husband to Hayleigh
Father of six.
Grandfather and Great Grandfather of seventeen.
Was taken into the love of his mother and father. We’ll all be together one day.
He was in his early twenties, I saw them. I saw the bodies. He had no fear, they’d never be found, not in those days. So many. All together, intertwined.
I saw him in his death bed. He’s smiling, not for thoughts of his mother and father, he smiles recollecting the bodies.
I hate it that there is no darkness for him.
I move on.
Martin Boyce – 1968 – 2014
Loving husband of Gayle.
Missed and never forgotten.
He was down by a river. He’d found a suitcase lying in the mud. He opened it and there was a young child in it. The kid was mottled. I could smell her.
Martin touched the child very gently.
I thought he was going to go for help. But he didn’t, he shut the suitcase and threw it into the river.
I studied him for a second and felt nothing. He had no conscience.
He whistled ‘The Lord’s My Shepherd’ as he watched the case sink.
My unease escalated and I decided to give this one more go. I walked around for a minute or so and was drawn to a plaque on the grass.
Baby George Hill 1993
Much loved by Gran Lilley.
I felt he was still alive.
I saw his father.
I backed off and ran to the cemetery gates. I turned and looked back. I wish I hadn’t. I saw them at their gravesides. Yvonne rocked the baby.
Martin terrified me.