Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Only Sleeping

Wandering through the graveyard I find myself strangely drawn to a small stone in the top corner of the thick grassy plot. It is clearly very old as the carved inscription is quite worn.

I kneel down to try to get a better view. I lean into the stone to try to make out what thoughtful message the letters spell out. I can just make out the top line:

J D aged 6 mths

The age causes me to double-take. This clearly is the final resting place for a very small child- a baby in fact.

I cast my glance to the lines below to try to make out the epitath:

Let not your heart for me be weeping
I am not dead but only sleeping.

I recoil in horror upon reading this, gripped by some sudden instinct that a baby must be buried here alive. Unable to seperate the notion of Victorian sentimentality from reality it seems, I feel compelled to act: To free this poor innocent and endangered child.

Like a wild animal I begin clawing at the earth in front of the stone, digging with my bare hands, digging to release this wretched soul.

After burrowing down only several inches, what at first I had thought to be a mist, arising in the graveyard, now starts to take on an altogether different property: A nauseous smelling and tasting vapour which is now attempting to invade my lungs.

Coughing with the sensation, I draw back. I cannot continue for fear I might pass out. I look around me and decide to dive for shelter in the large stone hall just yards to my left. So I stumble off in the direction of the hall.

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