I admit that Mr. Kennedy’s words grabbed my attention. It wasn’t so much what he said but how he said it. I had been told before to be careful of things…things unseen…things unknown…things that couldn’t be explained, but I was young and you know what they say about being young. You feel immortal. Death or dismemberment or sickness is in old person’s future, not ours.
Did I believe what he said or did I think he was teasing me? The way he said it was the most unsettling part. There was no twinkle in his eye. There was no wink. There was no subtle grin. Nothing but serious dead-pan affirmation that I should go nowhere near that grave. Did that fuel my curiosity? Yes it did, but first I aimed to stalk the other graves.
Week after week I stalked Resurrection Cemetery, searching the names. I found none that stood out as historically famous or even somewhat notable but one thing became crystal clear. I was the only person stalking the dead. I had never seen another living soul walking the grounds, save Mr. Kennedy and I understood his feelings of being watched. I have stalked many, many cemeteries and there’s always a hint of uneasiness. After all, you’re walking amongst the dead but cemeteries like Resurrection, hidden away and neglected, even during the light of day seemed somehow, dark and twisty…and lonely.
There were no visitors, so there were no tears, no prayers, no sadness…nothing. It was as if these poor souls had been planted and forgotten. There was no life anywhere. Even the flowers were plastic and had they been real, I couldn’t imagine that they would have lived beyond a day. The grass covering the graves seemed to struggle for life and on one grave…the lone grave, it had given up and gone the way of the departed.
The following week, I wanted to talk to Mr. Kennedy about the cemetery and the lone grave. Surprisingly, he was amenable to my request with the caveat that we talk quietly and away from the lone grave. I asked him why I had not seen one person visit the cemetery.
He said “I don’t rightly know but I imagine it’s because of the lone grave, as you call it. You know, you’re not the first person to have a fascination with cemeteries and you’re not the first person to have a fascination with that lone grave.”
He went on to say “I never go anywhere near that grave and I never will. I don’t even know what’s written on the plaque and I don’t want to know.”
I told him that nothing was written on it and watched as the color drained from his face. He said “you’ve looked at it?” I told him that I had only glanced at it. Then he asked me if I touched anything. I told him that I hadn’t and he seemed to breathe a sigh of relief.
I asked him if he could tell me what he knew about it. He said “well, there have been a lot of people who have tried to beat the ‘curse’ and the last folks who decided to try was a bunch of teenagers. There were four of them and they decided to come up here and dig up Jimmy Hoffa’s head.”
“What happened?” I asked.
He shook his head and said “they never got that far. Nobody really knows what happened but three of them were found dead atop the grave a week later and they say they died from fright. The other one was found sitting beside that tree over yonder. Word has it that his hair had turned snow white and he never spoke another word. He’s down at the nervous hospital where he’s been for more than ten years now. I guess you could say that he beat the curse..if you call being an alive dead person beating the curse.”
“And there have been other deaths associated with the lone grave?” I asked.
“Yep. There sure has,” Mr. Kennedy said. “I remember a cocky young man who decided to spend the night up here and as he put it ‘dance with the devil’. A week later, all they found of him was one arm and one leg laying on the grave.”
I smiled and said “like I told you, I don’t believe in things like this and I’m not interested in desecrating a grave but these kinds of stories are intriguing.”
Mr. Kennedy looked at me with the same stern look he had when he warned me before and said “those young fellers didn’t believe either.”
Again, I smiled. As I was walking away, I suddenly remembered what Mr. Kennedy had told me about the legend of the grave. “Wait a minute,” I said. “If nobody can touch the grave, how did they move the bodies?”
Mr. Kennedy looked at me and said “they didn’t. They left them there.”
To be continued__________________