Saturday, July 19, 2008

Gardens of the Afterlife

"It's beautifully maintained."

"Thank you," Simon replied very simply, smiling. His heart was in his
work, and he felt it was visible how much care he placed in it. Few
people ever said much to him about it, though. Simon didn't really
expect them to, they frequently had so much else on their minds. He
wasn't sure whether she knew that it was his work her compliment had
gone to.

He didn't know her name, either, but she was pretty. Her hair did that
thing where the sun glittered off of it around the edges and made it
look like it was giving off light on its own. She sat down next to him
at the edge of the pond. It was Simon's favorite spot. Not because of
how pretty the pond looked, or the view, though they were both quite
excellent. It was really the sound of the babbling of the tiny
fountains churning the water that he liked.

It was the only noise he ever heard inside of the walls of the
Lakeside Cemetery aside from the guests. It's not that there was
anything un-natural about the quiet inside the gates, or that Simon
was supernatural. He just liked a little bit of noise in the
background, something soothing.

After a moment, he turned to her and asked, "Are you here visiting
someone close?"

She nodded gently, saying, "My father."

"Were you close?"

She looked out, eyes drifting across the mild hilly landscape, filled
with trees and lattice covered trails and so many tombstones, even a
few small mausoleums. His question wen unanswered for an uncomfortably
long moment, and Simon found himself becoming quite aware of the
feeling of the sunlight on his back, hot even with the cool weather.

"No," she finally answered. "No, I wasn't really close to him. I don't
even really know why I'm here today. I just felt sad, and... well... I
don't know."

Wind blew through the grounds, a quick cool breeze that disturbed
Simon's hair. He understood. Not in any way that he could spell out or
express what she meant, but he understood. This place was beautiful,
and sometimes words just could not express why. He looked out to the
right, at the top of the nearest hill, where the sculpture of and
angel peered out, standing guard over the eternal resting places of
the permanent inhabitants of these walls.

"There's healing in this place. I've found it here."

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