Why was I paying any attention to the ramblings of an old lady I’d met briefly in a pub? An old lady only I could see! Was I finally losing my mind? After the year I had just struggled to survive, it wouldn’t surprise me. What had the old woman meant when she said I had called her? I pinched myself, just to make sure I was awake. I wasn’t sure of anything anymore.
Opening the wrought iron gate leading into the cemetery I walked through, wondering as always, if the gate were there to keep the dead from wandering into the village. Cemetery’s always made me uncomfortable. I imagined I heard whispers and saw shadows. I rarely attended funerals for the same reason. My parents funeral was different. At their funeral I listened intently praying thew would whisper to me. I had things I needed to say to them. It wasn’t to be.
My feet crunched on the gravel as I walked along the path, past the War Memorial. I paused in front of it. When I was much younger I visited this cemetery with my Dad. He told me about the two World Wars and how his father served in World War I and he had served in World War II. My Dad proudly told me he had been a Desert Rat. “You were a Rat?” I asked him shuddering at the thought. He laughed. “I’ll show you the photos when we get home,” he said.
My eyes filled with tears as I continued my walk to my parents final resting place. My dad had been dead for over twenty years, but it felt like only yesterday. When I reached the small double headstone that marked where my parents ashes were buried and sank to my knees oblivious of the damp earth.
“Oh Mum, I miss you.” I said out loud “Why didn’t I spend more time with you? Why didn’t I heed your wise words? My life is a mess, I’m lost.”
A breeze whispered gently through the branches of the old trees that shaded the cemetery.
No pet, you aren’t lost, you have just strayed a little.
Was that my mother’s voice? It came from behind me. I turned to look, but couldn’t move.
Shhhh, it’s going to be alright.
I felt a hand touch the side of my face, another rested on my shoulder. The world as I knew it faded away……….
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