Here is Tomb, my most recently finished story.
This is the story of perhaps the strangest encounter I have had with any of my fellow beings on this planet. But perhaps she wasn’t. You can tell for yourself by the time this is over.
My story begins at the end. The end of a life, specifically. A man I barely knew died, and, being somehow related to him through several complex and unsure relatives, I had to go. I somehow stayed awake through the ceremony, and afterwards I was left standing around wondering what to do. I meant to look “needed” to the company, and therefore was planning to stay slightly longer than everyone else. I thought (for some reason) that they would think I was attached to the old codger (I can’t even remember his name!), take pity on me, and let me keep the job. Most everyone had left after a half hour or so, but a few others kept milling about. I presume that they had similar plans as the ones I had. But in time they left, tired of looking upon the trees, reading the planner, and trying to put on a sombre appearance. I outlasted them all, I am proud to say. I was just gathering up my things to leave when a small girl came up beside me.
“Who lives there?” She asked, pointing at the grave.
“No one.” I stated.
“Then why is there a door?”
“There isn’t.” I said, confused by the nisse-like girl.
“Right there!” she ran up to the gravestone.
“That is a gravestone, not a door, pet.”
“That’s what my door looks like.”
“Your door? Where do you live?”
“Right over here! Come!” She said, pulling me north-eastwardly.
We ran past – or rather, I should say, she pulled me past the graves of Bernard Travis, Kine Blacksmith, Ronald Threader, and several other non-notables. But eventually we came to a large tomb in the centre of the graveyard. The name on the tomb was blurred, not scratched out. You could easily see where it was supposed to be, but it just wasn’t readable. She let go of my hand and went over to the opening.
“Here what? You don’t mean to tell me you live here.”
“Well, yes. Where do you live? In another yard?”
“I live in a house. This is a tomb. It is where the dead are.” After I said this she reacted violently.
“No it isn’t! How dare you! Come inside!” She grabbed my arm again and pulled me in before I could protest. Inside was much how I imagined a tomb to be; stone, cold, and bare. But there was one thing just as out-of-place as this young girl: a small clay pot painted with symbols. She went over to it and picked it up talking to me in the process.
“Do you like it? It was given to me by my mother,” a far-away look came into her eyes as she mumbled, “My dear mother…”
I had had enough of this.
“This is no place for such a girl as yourself! Now stop being silly and let’s go find your mother.” I took her hand. My first mistake. A gleeful look came into her face.
“My mother? You want to see my mother? Let’s go, then!” Before I could stop her, she shook the pot. I felt myself moving quickly without doing anything. When I stopped, I looked around and saw…nothing. Nothing at all. All around me was black, but it wasn’t dark. If I looked down at my feet, I could see the ground, a flat tannish ground. It was solid. The girl was still holding my hand when she called out.
“Mother! Mother! Where are you?”
What did I know about these these things? I was an accountant. I didn’t know where I was or what to do.
“Take me back.” She looked at me as I said the words. Tears came into her eyes.
“I don’t know where she is.”
I was shaking. “Just take me back.”
She nodded, saying “Okay.” She made a small gesture with her hands, then we were back in the tomb. As soon as I realized that fact, I backed away slowly through the opening. I stammered out a goodbye. As soon as I was out of the graveyard, I broke into a run.
Even though I went to the funeral, they still didn’t let me keep my job.
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