see lots more at: http://coffinhop.com/coffin-hop-2013/ Oct 24 to 31st, 2013
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Hey Coffin Hoppers:
I’ve picked a number between 1 and 1,000.
Whoever guesses correctly or gets closest gets their name used as one of the characters in my next book. Only one guess per commenter, to be fair. I’ll announce the winner November 1st.
Hop hearty. Visit all the sites. Aspen
The Graveyard Fence
I’ve been dead and buried for almost a year, decently laying in that quiet cold earth, contemplating my imagined sins and wondering if eternity began at the moment of my last breath, when my coffin transluced. The earth around me quivered. I heard murmurs of many-accented voices wakening all around me, gently discussing their options as Samhain neared.
Needless to say I poked my head up. Right through my coffin to the earth above.
Night didn’t look the same as I remembered it.
Yes, the sky had darkened. A full moon climbed the heavens, highlighting tree skeletons. That hadn’t changed.
In the distance I saw life forces, glowing green against the dark. That pulsing beckoned me, encouraged me to come close, to partake.
I found myself drifting above the land, across silvered tombstones, towards that something wafting its heady scent of life.
My progress halted. I looked down to find a harsh white line, hotter than any fire, preventing me from crossing. I followed the line for a bit, my attention still on the green incandescence that called me.
“Won’t do you any good, dearie,” a voice behind croaked.
I spun, hunting for a body to go with that ancient sound.
“Here,” a pearly hand waved from a marker. A head popped up, followed fast by a clothed, translucent body.
Before I even thought about it, I stood beside her.
“Mrs Anthony Todd, dearie. Didn’t see you last year. Just buried?”
Now I stood in a crowd of wavering thin shapes, all bobbing heads and talking at the same time.
“Celia Smith,” I introduced myself in a lull of others introducing themselves. “I thought I’d been buried. This place doesn’t look familiar. Where are we?”
Creepy smirks and smiles blossomed immediately. Hundreds of answers clamored for attention.
One came through clear. “You’re new in our graveyard honey. Welcome. Get used to it. This is your world now.”
“What holds us in?”
“The line,” another voice informed me.
“Isn’t that the fence? How can it hold us in? It isn’t tall. Wasn’t meant to hold anyone out.”
My mind whirled with memories from life. I’d picked this graveyard long ago. It looked warm and pleasant back then, lots of trees, bushes almost wild around some of the headstones, flowers in well maintained plots, and that little picket fence, painted white yearly, all around the edge.
“All hallowed graveyards have a wall, dearie,” Mrs Todd informed me. “Keeps us spirits bound. Surely your priest told you?”
When I informed them I didn’t have a priest, many of the more crystalline figures gasped.
“And why did I wake up now? Why are you all awake?”
“‘Tis All Saints Eve, dearie,” Mrs Todd spoke for many of the nodding heads. “This night to seek passage. To go ahead, up or down.”
“So, how do I do it? Go on, I mean?”
“Ya can’t,” a dry voice stated. “I member hearing ya have to follow the moon path. Can’t reach it from here.”
“Jist settle in, love,” a slimy male voice called from the back of the crowd. “Yer here with the rest of us now.”
I checked out the whole perimeter, that painful white line. I circled it twice. My bones trembled if I came too close.
The green pulses of life still called me. The moon overhead sent a river of beams, streaming, running, babbling invitation, stopping firm in front of the cold-iron barred gate.
I bent to examine this break in the line. Memories of a wrought iron scroll worked fancy replayed. I’d thought it wondrous in those days of freedom. Now its sullen warning I felt, like a burning torch ready to crisp my being if I ventured too near.
Still, I had to try. My flesh dripped, puddling to the ground at the fastened gate.
A wizened old specter spoke at my elbow. “We’ve all tried love,” he moaned. Once, years ago, almost further back than I can remember, some fanatic priest spake words over that opening. Had the blacksmith fashion that gate. Bathed it in holy water to keep demons at bay. We ain’t never left since. Now we gather come Saints Eve, and the days surrounding, every year, and wonder if our souls will ever hear the Gabriel’s trumpet call.”
The defeat in his voice almost overwhelmed me. “I will not be trapped,” I declared. “I will find a way out.”
“You try love. We wish you no ill. Mayhap you’ll be the one.”
In the distance I heard young children’s laughter. Cars roared by. The wind played tag with the few leaves left. That all left a beat.
I listened all night to that song of life, testing my new boundaries over and over. I dropped back into the cool ground before dawn bathed the world, still pondering my prison, trying to come up with a plan.
That next night I circled again and again, wounding myself testing the limits. Though those other souls watched, never hindering, they sent me no well-wishes.
I heard life all around me as I pulled visions of past happenings up to the front. Didn’t teens come and visit graveyards on All Hallow’s Night?
I picked up the beat of the wind and the air. Tapped my foot, cleared my throat, such that i could.
And I sang of my quest to the world just beyond. Of my heartfelt desire to depart.
Some group must have heard me. Or they just happened to pass. For they paused, right before me, by the bounding.
One pierced ruffian kicked out at the gate. “Cheap trash,” he yelled as it fell over. Another kick and it sailed over a tombstone, landing on the headstone of old Mrs Todd.
They must have felt our rush to freedom. One young female screamed, another gagged as we pushed past, seeking our freedom.