Most people were down at the beach but she had known upon waking that morning that she wanted to go somewhere different. She didn't want to go somewhere to forget the daily grind. She didn't want to forget life. She wanted to feel it. She wanted to look at it from a different angle and size it up. Where better than from the other side of things? She drew another deep breath that was the only audible sound in the cemetery apart from distant birdsong and she continued to wander the grounds slowly, deliberately. Why are cemeteries always so quiet? She thought. It is as if they are pockets of silence in the hectic ebb and flow of life. Even the air is different here. It moves carefully and quietly, as if it wants to disturb nothing.
She passed the chambers and came to a sweeping entrance that led into what can only be described as a sculptor's playground. It was as if she had reached the centre of the maze; the heart of the labyrinth.
Mouth agape, she stepped gingerly up a small staircase. To her right were large vaults. Each with their own story to tell. In the first she came to, there was a large Jesus upon a crucifix, looming over her with its great height and profound tragic air. She cocked her head slightly and looked up at him, smiling sadly. She hadn't had much time for Jesus since she was little. On Sundays, she would be sent to school and would read all those wonderful stories in the bible and was happy to make her own conclusions about them. However, as she grew, so did the pressure to choose one camp or the other. The believers or the non-believers. Either way, choosing one or the other always led to some kind of conflict or argument and she preferred to keep her thoughts and interpretations to herself. Religion had always been quite a personal thing and so she had buried the idea of Jesus in order to avoid the one thing she hated most: judgement. He was still there inside her. Just not in the shape or form you'd imagine. His story was there in her thoughts. He existed in the words of her mind.
And so she walked and walked. Trying her best to keep to the shadows. She could feel the blood in her cheeks.
Silence followed her as she moved between the statues. There wasn't another soul in sight. Even the sky was cloudless. She looked up at this lady and said, rather nervously, 'I'm sorry but I've forgotten all the Latin I studied at school. I can't quite understand what you are pointing at'. The woman said nothing and pointed all the same. Her expression fixed.
A piercing stab of fear struck her heart. Who had opened these doors and why? Don't be silly, Sally. She told herself. You've been watching too many movies. Still, she started to move with a little extra caution. Ready to run if she needed to.
Just then, something caught the corner of her eye. Something small and motionless but most certainly alive...
A cemetery cat!
To be continued....