Floating Lonely As a Cloud
I’m quite lucky really. I was buried in a churchyard which means I have quite a good mix to hang out with. I’m a 21st-er so all this is quite new to me, but the church is an old one so we’ve got people from all down the centuries, even some 13th-ers, would you believe! They’re a bit set in their ways though, and only one or two have kept up with the language over the years – the rest speak a very guttural Norman-French I can’t understand at all. I don’t think they want me to.
You can’t stray very far from where you’re buried. Nobody seems to really know what happens if you do. I’ve only been here a couple of years so I haven’t given it a proper go, but I did go outside the churchyard once and I felt like I was slowly draining away into nothing; it spooked me and I came right back, I was worried I’d disappear somewhere worse than this, or maybe just into oblivion.
Not being able to move around much means you’re stuck with the souls of whoever happened to be buried near you. As I said, I’ve got quite a choice, with around 300 of us buried hereabouts. Mostly we get on, all things considered, but there is some squabbling – and there’s a lot of bitchiness because everyone’s so bored, especially the old-timers. Because I’m quite new in the ground, I still get quite a few visits from friends and family and that provokes resentment in some. Down on the other end of the scale are those who get no visitors. I mean, you wouldn’t expect a 13th-er to have regular family pilgrimages to their graves, but some folks only popped their clogs a little while back and they get no-one.
So it can get a bit heated around here at times but, like I said, I’m one of the lucky ones. Not like those poor murdered souls – whose last moments were flashing knives and knotted ropes – hidden away in secret graves, floating about with no-one to talk to. Or the ones whose ashes were scattered at sea, or laid to rest in a beautiful, lonely wood.