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The Graveyard

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A graveyard is seen by many to be simply a place of burial for the dead. However, these people do not realise the interesting features of a graveyard and all of its properties. Graveyards, although all have the same function, have many different sizes, arrangements and can give a totally different atmosphere depending on the way the bodies are arranged. While one graveyard may be beautifully decorated with flowers and blooming with other wildlife, another may be overgrown, decayed and untended. A graveyard isn’t necessarily a haunted place; in fact, it can be quite an interesting and even exciting place to go to when you have some spare time.

It is around 4 o’ clock in the afternoon on a normal day in autumn, near the centre of London. It is raining lightly. He stops and looks at the sign to the entrance to the cemetery. He notices that although there are a few scratch marks, the sign shows that vandalism is almost non-existent in this area. A car whizzes past behind him and he feels a slight cool breeze behind his back. He walks through the entrance past the large iron gate. The wooden fence nearby is covered with vines and ivy. He immediately notices that he is the only person present in this graveyard, for now.

He slowly follows the gravel path to the left towards the scattered gravestones. He stops by the nearest gravestone he sees and examines it closely. It reads “Edward Banan 21 April 1689”. He notices that the gravestone has worn away, particularly at the corners; and he also notice fungi at the sides as well. He moves on to the next gravestone beside the one he just looked at. He attempts to decipher the name inscribed on the gravestone, but it is so faint that he could only work out a “p” in the name. Everything else engraved on this gravestone is also illegible due to erosion and he soon give up on deciphering the contents.

He now moves on to the right of the graveyard and peers upon this gravestone: ‘Joseph Smith, died 19 May 2003, aged 78 years’. He compares it to the first two gravestones he looked at; those two were worn away and quite tatty whilst this one looks new and seems pretty well cared for and looked after. All three gravestones look similar in size but the first two seem smaller due to the fact that they are old and parts of them have worn away.

He now comes back to the gravel path and slowly wanders towards an old wooden shed that looks like it has been abandoned. He notices, as he is walking, that the gravel path he are walking on is uneven; there are piles of stones back near the old and worn gravestones but just sand and a few stones scattered around near the shed. He hears the crickets chirping in the nearby grass and the squawks of the birds in the sky. He sees a brown squirrel scurrying along the grass. He then notices that the raining has ceased and the sun is now shining brightly over the graves towards the left. The dew collected on the grass is still clearly visible.

Following the gravel path to the top end of the graveyard, he notices suddenly that the ground feels different. He looks down and notices that the ground has shifted from gravel to concrete. It looks like the owners decided to completely change the gravel path to concrete but it also looks like they either abandoned that plan or halted it.

He notices a worn stone foundation at the end of the concrete path. He immediately thinks what could have been originally there: an extension to the church, another shed, a building for people to stay in…. He also notices fungi growing all over the foundation. He begins to step onto the foundation but almost slip; there are loose parts of the foundation. He begins to walk back to the concrete path.

He slowly moves from the concrete path to the gravel path and walk towards the gravestones at the top far right of the cemetery. He notices a tall thin gravestone: unlike the other gravestones this one does not feature a name or date of the person who died. It bears a strange blurred image of what looks like it consists of snakes, bones and more snakes. He also just notices that there is another smaller entrance right next to him but it seems like it is stuck and the wooden gate does not open properly. Like the wooden fence near the main entrance, this gate is covered with vines and ivy. He now walks back towards the main entrance of the graveyard.

As he is walking back towards the main gate, he realises that he have found a few gravestones a few yards away from the entrance that he hadn’t seen when he walked in. He walks towards them and feel the surface of the gravestones. Most feel quite smooth whilst the odd couple feel quite bumpy. Not surprisingly, the smooth gravestones look new, are new (the people whom the gravestones represent died pretty recently) whilst the bumpy rough gravestones are several centuries old.

He now walks out of the main gate into the street. It is getting late but surprisingly it isn’t dark just yet; and a cold wind blows in front of him. He looks at his watch: it reads 5 o’ clock. A car zooms past him as he takes a turn to the right. He notices an old woman hobbling into the graveyard. He now walks further into the distance, away from the cemetery, towards the bus stop.

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