My curiosity had gotten the better of me. I decided to brave the “curse” and spend the night in Resurrection Cemetery. I had my sleeping blanket, some munchies and a cooler filled with caffeine-loaded soft drinks.
I had spent the night in cemeteries before and the only thing I got from those stays were several bites from blood thirsty mosquitoes and a crick in my neck. Tonight I was armed with insect repellent and a horseshoe pillow.
Sitting under a full moon, I was waiting for midnight…the witching hour…the time when restless souls were supposed to make their appearance. I wondered, would it be like the old movies where people in zombie-like states wandered around looking for brains to eat? Or would it be like the tales I’d heard of beautiful women gliding around in white dresses, softly calling somebody’s name? I had never seen any of those things before and thought it would be highly unlikely that I would see them tonight.
Maybe I would see an apparition of Jimmy Hoffa’s head floating around, searching for the rest of his body. No matter what I saw or didn’t see, I was prepared.
I chose my spot carefully, near but not too near the lone grave. If anybody was going to rise from that grave, I was poised to watch them. I chuckled to myself as I leaned against the same tree where Mr. Kennedy said the only surviving teenager had been found. He had said nothing about going near or touching that tree and it gave me the perfect vantage point for viewing the walking…or rising dead.
At one point, I decided to tempt fate and walked over to the grave. I didn’t stand on it nor did I walk over it. That’s something I had never done. I had seen it done and it always bothered me. Walking over somebody’s grave or standing on it was to me, disrespectful and almost sacrilegious.
“There should be bones here,” I thought to myself. The grave was absolutely covered with dead leaves, so using my foot, I swept some of the leaves off of the top. I was wrong. There were no bones. There was nothing. Nothing at all.
“That makes sense,” I told myself. Animals had surely ravaged the bodies and carried away the parts to eat or feed to their offspring. I think that was my way of self-comforting myself as I suddenly realized that I had done exactly what Mr. Kennedy had told me never to do.
I listened to the dead silence. No crickets were chirping. No frogs were croaking. I didn’t hear that annoying whine of a mosquito is preparing for a quick snack. I didn’t even see any ants or other critters crawling about.
After several hours, I was disappointed that nothing had happened. I had seen nothing, I had heard nothing. No one had touched me or called my name. Obviously the caffeinated drinks had not done their job and my eyelids were getting heavy. I decided to close them for just a few minutes.
It seemed like only an instant had passed when I awoke to the sun shining in my eyes. I was surprised when I noticed that my sleeping bag was gone and so was my cooler. “Dammit!” I said. “The curse of this cemetery is that somebody will steal everything you have if you aren’t watching. You’re lured here by the tales of ghosts and retribution and it’s only a ruse to steal what you have.”
I stumbled to my feet and headed out of the cemetery. I was anxious to find a cup of coffee, talk to Mr. Kennedy and tell him that the long departed souls resting in and on top of the lone grave had remained in their peaceful place. Not only had they remained, they had remained after I had swept the leaves away…and I was still here. “So much for a curse,” I thought.
A week later, they found my body laying on the grave. There were no marks. There were no signs of a struggle. I was just dead.