When I was younger, I loved graveyards. They weren't spooky so much as mysterious. Each tombstone another story to uncover. Another life to learn about. Now that I'm older - I won't say how old - I hate graveyards. The only life - or rather death - I see in the tombstones is my own.
The bookstore was a parking lot for used graveyards. Thousands of graveyards were parked in rows like cars. Most of the books were out of print, and no one wanted to read them any more and the people who had read the books had died or forgotten about them, but through the organic process of music the books had become virgins again.
I stopped looking at the cars after the first few miles. Once I started to see past the exteriors, I saw what lay inside some of them and felt the urge to sprint to the nearest freeway exit. Some people had tried to outrun The Plague by leaving town. They hadn't realized the illness could still find them in their cars, and now the 405 was one of the largest graveyards in the world. I thought for a moment about all of the other cities across the globe that probably had scenes just like this. My eyes stung, wondering if my mother, my dad, or any of my friends were in similar graveyards. I made the mistake of glancing into an overturned Volkswagen Beetle as I passed and saw a pair of legs clad in jeans and white Jack Purcell sneakers in the shadows of the car. They reminded me of Sarah's shoes. The man who laced those up that morning hadn't realized he wouldn't be taking them off again.
It's more eerie to be alone in a city that's lit up and functioning than one that's a tomb. If everything were silent, one could almost pretend to be in nature. A forest. A meadow. Crickets and birdsong. But the corpse of civilization is as restless as the creatures that now roam the graveyards.
it may be worth while to note again how often finely developed skulls are discovered in the graveyards of old monasteries, and how likely seems Galtons conjecture, that progress was arrested in the Middle Ages, because the celibacy of the clergy brought about the extinction of the best strains of blood.
We are all our own graveyards, I believe; we squat amongst the tombs of the people we were. If we're healthy, every day is a celebration, a Day of the Dead, in which we give thanks for the lives that we lived, and if we are neurotic we brood and mourn and wish that the past was still present.
What on earth did you say to Isola? She stopped in on her way to pick up Pride and Prejudice and to berate me for never telling her about Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy. Why hadn't she known there were better love stories around? Stories not riddled with ill-adjusted men, anguish, death and graveyards!
Mary Ann Shaffer
I write simply because I hear voices of people in my head who won't give me peace until I convey their stories to the rest of the world. Seriously. They've always been with me. While other girls played with dolls, and my brothers with Hot Wheels, I was busy traveling through space or traipsing through graveyards with my imaginary playmates.
Graveyards were usually, in his team's experience, a bad idea. This one was full of greenish lights that danced between the graves, and there were a couple of swaying figures, one an emaciated husk with glowing eyes who had taken to... yes, there he was again this morning, like every morning. Quill tiredly raised his hand to return the wave.
Suddenly exhausted, she closes her eyes and slips into nightmares again. Graveyards rising out of the ocean. Her friends' corpses in the light of their burning school. Skeletons ripping open men's chests and crawling inside. She endures it patiently, waiting for the horror film to end and the theater to go dark, those precious few hours of blackout that are her only respite.
I see you go bare-shod. This is most likely extremely sensible. Shoes are no end of trouble for girls... How many have danced to death in slippers of silk and glass and fur and wood? Too many to count-the graveyards, they are so full these days. You are very wise to let your soles become grubby with mud, to let them grow their own slippers of moss and clay and calluses. This is far preferable to shoes which may become wicked at any moment.
Catherynne M. Valente
Man, " he said, "I'm not afraid of graveyards. The dead are just, you know, people who wanted the same things you and I want." "What do we want?" I asked blurrily. "Aw, man, you know, " he said. "We just want, well, the same things these people wanted." "What was that?" He shrugged. "To live, I guess, " he said.
And in all those escapes he could not help being astonished by the beauty of this land that was not his. He his in its breast, fingered its earth for food, clung to its banks to lap water and tried not to love it. On nights when the sky was personal, weak with the weight of its own stars, he made himself not love it. Its graveyards and its low-lying rivers. Or just a house - solitary under a chinaberry tree; maybe a mule tethered and the light hitting its hide just so. Anything could stir him and he tried hard not to love it.
Not only are we digital immigrants, we are also media dinosaurs. We enjoy thumbing through glossy magazines, and maybe still subscribe to a daily newspaper. We schedule at least one evening per week around a favorite TV program, created by one of the major television or cable networks. We can name at least one local or national news anchor. And scattered around our homes and offices are veritable graveyards of physical media - old tapes, vinyl records, floppy disks, and magazines - that we insist on keeping, even though we'll probably never use them again.
There were people dying everywhere getting massacred in every town and village, there were people being picked up and thrown into dark jails in unknown parts, there were dungeons in the city where hundreds of young men were kept in heavy chains and from where many never emerged alive, there were thousands who had disappeared leaving behind women with photographs and perennial waiting , there were multitudes of dead bodies on the roads, in hospital beds, in fresh martyrs' graveyards and scattered casually on the snow of mindless borders.
alone with everybody the flesh covers the bone and they put a mind in there and sometimes a soul, and the women break vases against the walls and them men drink too much and nobody finds the one but they keep looking crawling in and out of beds. flesh covers the bone and the flesh searches for more than flesh. there's no chance at all: we are all trapped by a singular fate. nobody ever finds the one. the city dumps fill the junkyards fill the madhouses fill the hospitals fill the graveyards fill nothing else fills.
They told of dripping stone walls in uninhabited castles and of ivy-clad monastery ruins by moonlight, of locked inner rooms and secret dungeons, dank charnel houses and overgrown graveyards, of footsteps creaking upon staircases and fingers tapping at casements, of howlings and shriekings, groanings and scuttlings and the clanking of chains, of hooded monks and headless horseman, swirling mists and sudden winds, insubstantial specters and sheeted creatures, vampires and bloodhounds, bats and rats and spiders, of men found at dawn and women turned white-haired and raving lunatic, and of vanished corpses and curses upon heirs.
Silence is another element we find in classic fairy tales - girls muted by magic or sworn to silence in order to break enchantment. In "The Wild Swans, " a princess is imprisoned by her stepmother, rolled in filth, then banished from home (as her older brothers had been before her). She goes in search of her missing brothers, discovers that they've been turned into swans, whereupon the young girl vows to find a way to break the spell. A mysterious woman comes to her in a dream and tells her what to do: 'Pick the nettles that grow in graveyards, crush and spin them into thread, then weave them into coats and throw them over your brothers' backs.' The nettles burn and blister, yet she never falters: picking, spinning, weaving, working with wounded, crippled hands, determined to save her brothers. All this time she's silent. 'You must not speak, ' the dream woman has warned, 'for a single world will be like a knife plunged into your brothers' hearts.' You must not speak. That's what my stepfather said: don't speak, don't cry, don't tell. That's what my mother said as well, as we sat in hospital waiting rooms - and I obeyed, as did my brothers. We sat as still and silent as stone while my mother spun false tales to explain each break and bruise and burn. Our family moved just often enough that her stories were fresh and plausible; each new doctor believed her, and chided us children to be more careful. I never contradicted those tales. I wouldn't have dared, or wanted to. They'd send me into foster care. They'd send my young brothers away. And so we sat, and the unspoken truth was as sharp as the point of a knife.
You. Man at the machine and man in the workshop. If tomorrow they tell you you are to make no more water-pipes and saucepans but are to make steel helmets and machine-guns, then there's only one thing to do: Say NO! You. Woman at the counter and woman in the office. If tomorrow they tell you you are to fill shells and assemble telescopic sights for snipers' rifles, then there's only one thing to do: Say NO! You. Research worker in the laboratory. If tomorrow they tell you you are to invent a new death for the old life, then there's only one thing to do: Say NO! You. Priest in the pulpit. If tomorrow they tell you you are to bless murder and declare war holy, then there's only one thing to do: Say NO! You. Pilot in your aeroplane. If tomorrow they tell you you are to carry bombs over the cities, then there's only one thing to do: Say NO! You. Man of the village and man of the town. If tomorrow they come and give you your call-up papers, then there's only one thing to do: Say NO! You. Mother in Normandy and mother in the Ukraine, mother in Vancouver and in London, you on the Hwangho and on the Mississippi, you in Naples and Hamburg and Cairo and Oslo - mothers in all parts of the earth, mothers of the world, if tomorrow they tell you you are to bear new soldiers for new battles, then there's only one thing to do: Say NO! For if you do not say NO - if YOU do not say no - mothers, then: then! In the bustling hazy harbour towns the big ships will fall silent as corpses against the dead deserted quay walls, their once shimmering bodies overgrown with seaweed and barnacles, smelling of graveyards and rotten fish. The trams will lie like senseless glass-eyed cages beside the twisted steel skeleton of wires and track. The sunny juicy vine will rot on decaying hillsides, rice will dry in the withered earth, potatoes will freeze in the unploughed land and cows will stick their death-still legs into the air like overturned chairs. In the fields beside rusted ploughs the corn will be flattened like a beaten army. Then the last human creature, with mangled entrails and infected lungs, will wander around, unanswered and lonely, under the poisonous glowing sun, among the immense mass graves and devastated cities. The last human creature, withered, mad, cursing, accusing - and the terrible accusation: WHY? will die unheard on the plains, drift through the ruins, seep into the rubble of churches, fall into pools of blood, unheard, unanswered, the last animal scream of the last human animal - All this will happen tomorrow, tomorrow, perhaps, perhaps even tonight, perhaps tonight, if - if - You do not say NO.