Here and Gone

Merideth was here for the weekend. She’s gone again already. It sucks. As I told her sister, I miss Merideth like I would miss the sun if it didn’t rise. I hate it that I get to see her twice a year, if I am lucky. We had a pretty good time revisiting old times. That whole Pretty Woman debacle could be left alone, but other than that, times were good.

Of course we went to 13Graves, one of our favorite cemeteries. 13 Graves is so scary because it is in the middle of nowhere, it is pitch black, you can hear the river running, and a girl was murdered there when we were in high school. The last fact is what scares the shit out of us. Merideth’s sister, Leah, went to 13 Graves on the night the girl was killed. She went to a local church lock-in, and they thought it would be fun to go out to try scare the kids with the whole Halloween, evil spirits, and darkness thing. Plus if you walk across these thirteen graves, one of them “disappears” when you walk back. What happens is that you walk ON the headstones, which are really old concrete bumps used to keep the hurst/death wagon from rolling away, and you forget, because of the scarienss of it all, that you are standing on thirteen. When you started you were standing on the ground and said one as you stepped onto the first one. When you walk back, you count only twelve because you forget to count the one you were standing on initially.

Anyway, when Leah was in high school, they were going to go out there and scare the kids who’d never been there. They loaded up the church van and drove the half-hour to the gravel road that runs along the river. As they were approaching the cemetery, there were about a dozen people walking along the river or maybe they were already in the cemetery. Leah says they had on dark cloaks with hoods and they were carrying some type of lights. She thinks the moon was full, but they still couldn’t see very well because of the thick tree-cover. Even when the moon is full, you can’t see out there. Well, they obviously didn’t get out of the van and they kept driving and just turned on the next road and went back to the church. I am sure they were scared shitless. I saw a group of guys wearing all black in a cemetery at night once. I lost my breath for quite some time. I am sure they were hysterical because of the legend of 13 Graves. The people dressed in black only added to it.

The next Monday at school, a rumor was circulating that someone, a girl, was killed in Wells county over the weekend. They found her body in a trailor, raped and murdered. Gruesomely. The trailor just happened to be graffitied with Satanic symbols and horrible images. The trailor just happened to have several black cloaks thrown on the floor under the body. And, the trailor just happened to be across the road from 13 Graves. To this day Leah will not go back there. Even in the full sun of noon.

Merideth and I go back every time she is home. We want to get a picture of this girl, so we take a digital camera with us every year, hoping to get more than two or three pictures before the camera stops taking them. We have learned in our amateur ghost hunting that the magnetic resonance of spectres makes betteries run out of power. Supposedly rechargeable batteries last longer, so we charged the batteries all day. We got three pictures, one of which I took on the way home to prove that the camera was still working.

This time as we pulled up we realized they had put up a new fence around the cemetery. We were afraid we weren’t going to be able to get in, because in the dark we couldn’t see the gate. We drove along slowly until we foudn the entrance and Liza, Alex, Merideth, and I sat in the Jeep deciding if we wanted to get out or not. This whole situation is pretty funny because Alex is six feet tall and used to be a bouncer at a bar. The three of us are pretty hard core women, who don’t scare easily. But this place makes us all sweat. The headstones were clearly illuminated by the lights of the Jeep, and it didn’t look too frightening, besides it is just dead people, so we got out. We stood, quite bravely, in between the stones near the “13 Graves.” We were all spread out, and I said, “This isn’t that scary.” Just as I said that, Merideth said, “Well, we got two pictures. No auras. Just dust. And the camera stopped already.” As she said it, and the light from the flash dispersed, the lights on the Jeep went out. Black. We couldn’t even see each other. Like drops of mercury, we slid across the grass and coagulated, grabbing each other’s arms. Liza screamed, or maybe it was Merideth. Maybe it was even me. I turned around and walked us back to the gate, “Okay. I am finished. In the Jeep.” We got in, locked the doors, lit cigarettes, and drove away. We never get any auras. We always only get dust.

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