Untimely Death

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We had been gathered around the new grave in silence for sometime when granny spoke out, ‘well it was a stupid thing to do.’

We all looked over at her, a few of us even gasping.

‘Granny!’ Isabella scolded and squeezed the old woman’s hand.

Great grandmother and great granddaughter looked at it each other then joined us in silence once more.

Slowly, people began to drift away as they do when a funeral is over. Their whispering voices commenting on the flowers and service drifting across the cemetery.

I looked down at my older sister’s grave. It was but a hole in the ground with the edges of a pink coffin peeking through the dirt and no headstone to name her yet.

Granny had been right though. My sister should never have trusted that flashy magician or his Amazing Invisible Sword trick.

Fog

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The fog lay thick across the countryside creating an eerie scene that was straight out of an American horror movie. To make matters worse, Krystal was standing in a graveyard. She shivered in her fake fur lined Parker coat and checked the time on the church clock. The large hands were still on quarter to ten.

‘Has it stopped?’ she asked out loud then put her hands into her pockets to find her phone.

‘That clock ain’t been a workin’ for years, lassie,’ a voice answered out of nowhere.

Krystal jumped and spun around, but she could see no one.

The fog was wrapped around the large headstones masking them like death shrouds. The smaller headstones were buried in the long frost covered grass. An old bare tree rattled in the wind and when the sky did appear from behind the fog, it was still dark as if the sun was still asleep.

‘Hello?’ Krystal called out.

‘Hello,’ the same voice replied.

‘Who are you?’ she asked.

A figure started to form and an old man, dressed in brown clothes and holding a tool box appeared.

‘I’m Tom. The caretaker,’ the man replied.

‘Oh….’ Krystal trailed.

She stared hard at the old man. He seemed solid enough and his face was covered in wrinkles. His skin also had that brown tan that comes with a life working outside. He came forward and stood opposite her.

‘And what’s a nice lassie like thee doin’ here?’ Tom asked.

‘Waiting for someone,’ Krystal said with a shrug.

‘A boy, huh?’ the old caretaker questioned.

Krystal didn’t reply. She looked away, thinking maybe she had heard footsteps and voices.

‘Thee shouldn’t linger long here, lassie. These old ghosts never rest. Ah, old Tommy got works to do. Farewell,’ Tom added and walked away.

She watched him disappear into the mists then with a shake of her head mutter, ‘what a werdio.’

The sound of running footsteps caused her head to turn. From the fog came another form, but it was someone Krystal was much more happier to see.

‘James! Over here!’ she called and ran to meet her boyfriend.

‘Sorry, I’m late, dad had me printing out tomorrows hymens,’ he said as they hugged.

‘Did you see that creepy caretaker?’ Krystal asked.

‘Caretaker? What?’ James asked and glanced around.

‘I think he said his name was Tom. Did your dad just employ him?’

‘Kris, what are you talking about?’ James cut in.

‘It doesn’t matter…Let’s go.’

Krystal took his hand and they walked over to the church.

 

Thursday photo prompt – Fog– #writephoto

Gates

gate

The iron gates were open again. The vampire paused before the archway looking through in puzzlement. It had been forced, he could see where someone had bent the metal aside to get in. Grave robbers? No, not in this century. Vandals then. He glanced over his caped shoulder, scanning the close by gloomy headstones of the Victorian cemetery.

Nothing seemed out of place, but now he was aware, he could smell the recent humans. It had been a group of young men with some sharp chemical spray. He had seen the red and blue paintings before, nights ago now, on some of the gravestones at the back. Blurred and run together English letter shapes and faces with crosses over the eyes and a tongue sticking out. He had not been sure what they had meant, expect for death. Crosses always meant that.

He stepped under the gateway, just to be safer and gathered his ground touching black cape about himself. His tall, lean form molded into the darkness as if he was one of the shadows upon the stone brick wall. Instinctively, he knew he should leave the cemetery all together. The humans had returned too many times now and though it seemed impossible that they would get into the crypt, he could not put anything passed this generation.

The vampire looked back with longing. The grounds had been his home for a hundred, possibly even more, years. And where would he now go? There where no safe places left from the ever bright lights and searching footsteps. He lived in fear of discovery like never before. Maybe, it was time he went to sleep again? He could easily entomb himself with the dead here, just like he had done before.

He fought with the idea and the risk of discovery deepened further. No, he finally decided, it would never work. What he needed to do was to become a part of this world in human pretense. Perhaps, it was time he found a companion.

 

Photo prompt and image from: https://scvincent.com/2016/09/15/thursday-photo-prompt-gate-writephoto/ with thanks.

Here We Stand (Part 6)

Religious Statue in Greyscale Photo

I walked back through the graveyard, avoiding the nearly hidden headstones. Once the grass would have been cut short and and the names would have been readable. I had never seen an old graveyard like that. People didn’t have time to care anymore and the way of dealing with bodies now had to be fast. The mass burning and burying in cemeteries and parks was easier and better to stop the spread of disease.

My boots hit what had been the pathway to the church. I could smell the motorbikes’oil and petrol  as well as something else. The biker gang had been smoking something powerful and disgusting. I wrinkled my nose at the possible homemade drug and looked into the church doorway. I couldn’t see anything.

Stepping in, I wondered where she had hidden. The church looked the same as when I had fled from it. Rumble was still on the floor, light was peeking through the window and silence had returned. I started walking to the altar and halfway there give up trying to be quiet. There was just too much shifting rumble.

Climbing on to the altar, I stopped and looked left and right. I could hear the dripping water from the sink and settling stones. If she was still here and alive, she would have heard me by now. There was no way she would come out of hiding unless I called out as she probably thought I was one of the biker gang.

What was I even doing here anyway? Why was I making this matter? I hitched up my rucksack and turned to look down the church. I still felt torn for some reason, but finally I convinced myself to start leaving. Maybe the girl was armed and unfriendly? What if this was some kinda trap?

‘Hello?’

The voice was soft and wispy, yet it me like a bullet. I spun, my hand reaching down my leg to the hunting knife in my boot. I never made it, because one look at her made me freeze again.

She was pretty, yet her skin was very pale and sick looking. She had bright blue eyes that looked tried and puzzled. Her lips were making a little frown. The blue dress hung loosely off her, that was why it was more floaty then it seemed. It reached down to the floor and pooled around her feet.

I could see the bones in her neck and shoulders starkly. She was wearing a necklace; a small gold cross. Her really light yellow, almost white hair was swept back, away from her face and trailing down her back. Then there were the tops of large breasts, framed by blue lace which did nothing to hide them.

‘I’m not going to hurt you,’ I forced out as I slowly straightened, ‘unless you’re going to hurt me…’

She shook her head and showed me her empty hands. Then dropped them to her side again. I looked her up and down, my eyes lingering on her moving cleavage. She could have concealed something in the dress, even if it was a baby kitchen knife or a needle.

‘Were they after you?’I asked and nodded to the doorway as if the biker gang was still there.

‘In a way,’ she uttered, ‘They like to bully, but they are all talk really.’

‘What are you doing here?’ Now I had opened my mouth I couldn’t stop.

‘Praying.’

She looked up at the large glass stained window and the hollows. I looked too, but couldn’t see anything there. The window was dark as the sun hadn’t moved around yet. I could make the pictures though; an angel, a man on a cross, people crying.

I looked at her, the next question pressing against my tongue and yet I was worried to ask it. I couldn’t see anything strange about her though, so maybe she was just a normal girl. Still though…

‘Are you an angel or a ghost?’ I asked.

She looked at me sharply, ‘are you?’

I shook my head.

‘Me neither.’

We both stared up again.

‘Why are you here?’ she asked suddenly, ‘I saw you before running from the staircase when the roof give a little.’

‘Oh…I thought there was a cave in…’ I trailed into a shrug.

She looked at me, trying to see the truth in my words and waiting for me to go on.

‘It seemed a safe place to spend the night,’ I added.

She hummed, her eyes going back to the window and though I thought she had further questions to ask me, she kept them to herself.

‘I should go,’ I spoke out.

I made to move, but my eyes met her’s and I stopped.

‘Why did you come back in?’ she asked, her voice still a quiet.

‘I…thought I’d forgotten something, but I hadn’t,’ I answered.

She turned her head and nodded.

I waited a few moments then walked down the altar. I did half want her to call me back, but then I knew the urge to rip the dress off her would be too hard to resisted. I shook my head and tried to clear the images of her away, but they were locked in my memory now. She had stirred me awake.

I reached the door, stepped out and went into the graveyard. Not heading in an actual direction, I walked back through and towards the line of trees.

‘Wait!’

I spun so fast the weight of my hiking bag almost threw me to the ground.

She was standing at the edge of the headstones, her shoulders moving with the fast breaths she was taking. Her dress and hair settled around her, but seemed to move with a life force of their own. Her hands were balled into fist and there was this indecisive look on her face.

I walked back over. Feeling like I didn’t have much of a choice, but at the same time knowing I could easily carry on walking away. Coming to a stop, my eyes dropped to her breasts. They were heaving against the dress and looking like they were eager to escape. I licked my lips and pulled my attention away and back to her face.

‘What?’ I asked gruffly, sounding meaner then I had intended.

‘I want to go with you,’ she cried out.

 

To Be Continued…

Here We Stand (Part 5)

Religious Statue in Greyscale Photo

She stood framed by the arch of the church doorway, looking at me. She was wearing a light blue, long floaty dress. The likes of which I had never seen as girls really didn’t wear dresses anymore. I guess because it made them stand out too much and was not suitable for running. Skirts were okay though, the short the better, but most stuck to shorts and pants. Her hair was long and loose, very light blonde, made even more so by the sunlight.

My exhausted mind tried to trick me into thinking she was a ghost or an angel. Either wouldn’t have surprised me. Too many people were now claiming to have seen so many different things that it was becoming normal. Even if it wasn’t real…

I should go. I need to just stop staring and leave. But I couldn’t. My feet were stuck to the ground and my body felt frozen in place. I couldn’t even feel the ache in my back, shoulders and arms. I swallowed and tried to look away, maybe that would break the spell? Perhaps, she was actually a witch and was holding me in place?

She turned her head, looking towards a clump of trees then darted back inside. Her blue dress trailed after her.

I heard the sound then, the roaring of motorbikes. With a quick glance around, I dived behind one of the largest headstones. My hiking bag scrapped nosily against the stone and for a few seconds I thought about grabbing my hunting knife. The motorbikes arrived before I could though.

I risked peering around the gravestone, keeping my head next to the top of the grass. I couldn’t see much. A number of people on four bikes were pulling up close to the church. I could hear voices shouting and laughing, but I couldn’t make out their words. Was the girl in the blue dress okay? What were these guys doing? Where they searching for her or just passing through?

So many more questions flowed in my mind and I couldn’t stop them. I tried to listen, but they were entering the church. I kept still in case they glanced across the graveyard. I lent back, pressing my head to the cold stone. A part of me wanted to flee, but I desperately wanted to make sure that girl was okay. If she was supernatural, she could take care of herself right? But what if she wasn’t?

I eased my rucksack off and unzipped a side pocket. Slowly, I drew out my sheathed hunting knife. I tugged her into the top of boot, hoping I didn’t actually need to use her. I wiped my hands on my jeans, already feeling a slight shake in my fingers. I shut my eyes and counted backwards.

My thoughts whirled with a plan, but luckily it didn’t come to anything. The sound of laughter drew me and I risked twisting my head around to look. They were coming out of the church; four huge men and two girls, who looked just as mean. One of the men threw a flicker of light into the grass and they all began climbing on their motorbike.

The sound of engines broke through the serenity of the graveyard and woods. I felt my breathe leave in one big swoosh as I watched them spin and leave. Relaxing back, I listened to the sound fading off. I felt sweat on my forehead and under my arms. I wiped it away, adding more to the edge of my t-shirt.

I counted two minutes before I moved. Checking and double checking the area I got up slowly. Collecting my hiking bag, I almost turned and left, but the thought of that girl stopped me.

Be To Continued…

Graveyard

Cemetery, Gravestones, Grave, Graveyard, Tombstone

Harry liked going to the local graveyard because it was quiet and away from the craziness of the town. He always sat under the same tree; a massive yew that stood in the middle and who’s branches seemed to go on forever whilst reaching over the top of the headstones as if trying to protect them.

Today, as Harry settled down, he looked up through the leafy branches and watched the sun shinning through. The short grass around him was dappled with light and shadows. Harry looked at the nearest headstones, noticing how they were effected too. The contrasted of light and dark over the grey and white stones drew his eyes.

From somewhere, he recalled the names on the nearest headstones and not for the first time started wondering about their lives. To his left were Mr. and Mrs. Dorson, now together forever. After, he quickly read and worked out, twenty-eight years a part. On the right was the sad, lonely headstone of a child. Alex Bay aged 6, the little brown stone said.

How had he died? Harry wondered, and why no dates?

Harry looked further down, trying to remember if the next headstone on, which was topped by a curling scroll, was for Dawkin or Wookin. He knew the next one was Hardwick though because that was his surname. Though his efforts to see if teenager Ben, his parents, two younger sisters and three babies were actually related to him were unfounded. He couldn’t remember next along, so turned back to the Dorsons again.

Next to them, Harry remembered that there was a Mr. Chadwell, his three wives and five daughters, though the three square stacked headstone claimed he had ten daughters all together. Next was a black smith, his black stone marked with a carved horse then another child’s grave. Sadly, this was marked only by a white child angel statue, standing on a small white plinth.

Harry thought about that, surely they had money to buy that statue? Why not get the name put on it?  

Casting his eyes about, he looked across. There were two large joined white headstones for the Ross family. Which also had gravestones marking relatives on either side of it. Seems they had been rich and were still remembered now. Harry could not remember a time he’d visited the graveyard and not seen flowers at the base of that headstone.

Putting his head back against the trunk of the tree, he shut his eyes and let his thoughts drift. He heard the sound of birds singing, bees humming and somewhere in the distance a car engine or two. He breathed deep the summer air, smelling flowers, grass and earth.

He thought about how happy he was to be on this side of the soil.

Rumbled

Graveyard, Headstone, Cemetery, Grass, Creepy, Gothic

The game was up and so was his number. Johnny sprinted through the church gate and headed to the large graveyard. He’s swinging arm scrapped against the rough, cold stone wall and he pulled back. Nearly toppling over the raised corner of a moss covered flag stone, he rounded the corner.

Breathing hard, he wondered, Can I stash my leather jacket and pretend I’m an early morning jogger? These black PJ bottoms would just pass as jog pants from a distance…his thoughts trailed as he spotted the small wooden back door of the church.

He hurried over and tried the worn ring handle. The door didn’t move. He shouldered it, thinking it was only stuck, but it turned out to be locked. Grunting, he looked around, mapping a clear run though the graveyard.

Sirens wailed in the distance, echoing through the streets and making it impossible to tell where they were or how close they were. A dog began barking and voices shouted out.

Panic filled, Johnny ran, dodging around the dilapidate headstones. Long, wet grass whipped against his legs and his eyes filled with the sight of a depressed weeping willow tree in the far corner.

If I could climb it… Johnny thought.

His foot caught on something, his toes soaking up all the pain from the hard stone before he tumbled. He hit the ground hard and spread eagle, breathing in grass and dirt. Johnny scrambled up, not wasting time on seeing what he had fallen over nor the throbbing of his foot. He weaved onto what once might have been a path and rushed on.

He reached the tree and began climbing. Fortunately, there were enough branches and leaves to hide him. Stopping on the last thick branch, he spit the foam that gathered in his mouth out. Calming his breathing, he listened and watched, but couldn’t see any movement or hearing anything else other than the police sirens.

Believing he was safe for the time being, his thoughts flashed back to less than half an hour ago. The realization of how luckily he had been sunk in. His insomnia had actually worked in his favour for once. Johnny had been in the kitchen, back door open, holding a mug of almost finished coffee and watching the microwave clock ticking the minutes to five am.

The crashing sound of his front door and the yelling of police had been surreal. Then mug had dropped, smashing to the floor and splatting coffee droplets like blood. Flight had shot through him and Johnny had raced out of the door, over the low brick wall at the back of the garden and into the alleyway.

Running on, he’d stayed in the back streets, not sure where he was going and unable to get his mind to think. He had seen the church bell tower rising above the terrace house roofs like a lighthouse at sea. Guided, he had followed it and found the front gate by chance.

Rubbing his face, Johnny started to mull things over and wondered how he had been rumbled. His small time drug gang hadn’t been working that hard lately, though he knew that the police could have been watching for months.

What about that new guy? He thought, pigs, are great at working themselves in now…  

A dog barking distracted him. Johnny looked out of the tree and saw a German Shepard sniffing the nearest headstone. A cop rounded the corner, black lead dangling from his hand. He spoke to the dog then to someone behind him, but Johnny couldn’t hear what was said. He held his breath and though he wasn’t religious, he prayed they wouldn’t find him.

The dog moved into the graveyard, nose stuck to the ground and the long grass zinging around. There was a sharp bark and a brown flicker of movement to the left. The dog shot off and as Johnny watched, he saw a rabbit bouncing away. He held his breath and bit his tongue as he saw the cops running and yelling after the dog. It didn’t seem like they had seen the rabbit.

The German Shepard darted out of a side gate and out of view. The cops followed with their voices just loud enough for Johnny to hear a few snatched words of ‘dog, scent, got him, West Church Lane.’ The police disappeared and Johnny breathed a sigh of relief. He got more comfy and decided that for as long as he could he would stay in the tree.

 

Johnny guessed it was around mid-morning, going off the bright blue, but cloud hazy sky. He could smell cooking meat from somewhere and it was making him hungry. He stretched feeling the stiffness in his back and limbs. He glanced down and saw the ground looking quite far away. Now, that he had time to think though he knew where to go.

Double checking there was no one around, he slowly climbed down the willow. His grip felt numb and his body ached with the movement. He almost lost his footing. Reaching the floor, he rubbed his hands on his pants and looked around for another way to leave the graveyard. Spotting a large black gate, he walked over and through, not noticing the white ball of light that seemed to be following him.

He walked casually down the streets, trying to look normal. There was no way he could go home. And even if they hadn’t taken his girlfriend in for questioning, someone would be staking out the place. Maybe, they were watching the streets too? He almost picked up his pace, but decided it’d look odd. Anyway, his friend’s wasn’t that far from here and he could hide in the cellar’s priest hole again.

When he arrived it didn’t take things long to get sorted. Heading down into the cellar, on the wobbly wooden steps, Johnny wondered how long the all clear would take this time. He helped his friend remove somethings that were up against a small boarded up hole in the wall. Then they ripped it open. Dust motes rose in the torch light and the faint smell of damp tickled their noses.

‘Home Sweet Home,’ Johnny muttered and chuckled.

He took the torch and crawled into the tight space. His friend put the board back then Johnny heard him moving some of the stuff back into place.

Pressing his head against the icy cold wall, Johnny shut his eyes. He dozed, just like he’d done in the tree. Black patterns swirled before his eyelids then a white figure started to form. It was tiny at first, but grew and grew until it took the shape of a young woman in a white floaty dress. Johnny didn’t recognise her.

She reached out her arms as if to hug him, but a loud knocking vanished her away. Johnny opened his eyes and listened, but the sounds were very muffled. He rubbed his head and tried to remember where that girl was from. Nothing came to him. He put his head back again and let himself doze off.

 

She haunted him for days. Every time he shut his eyes, she came to him in that white float dress, arms out reached, a begging look on her face. Countless times he had asked her what she wanted, but she didn’t reply. He didn’t believe in ghosts, but what else could she be?

‘I think it might be a ghost…’ he announced to his friend one afternoon.

The heat had almost died off and they were sat in the living room together drinking beer. In the background the TV was showing a football match whilst the sound of children playing outside could be heard.

His friend eyed him.

‘I don’t know…but what else can it be?’ Johnny added.

‘You know, my old gran use to tell me this thing…’ his friend trailed off.

Johnny nodded and took a drink off his beer.

‘If you don’t leave a graveyard the way you came in spirits can attached themselves to you when you leave.’

Johnny scratched his cheek and thought.

His friend shook his head. ‘She way lost it in the end though…thought birds were spying on her.’

‘What she say about getting rid of it?’

‘You had to go back in the way you went out and then go out the way you came in the first time. Sounds crazy don’t it?’

‘Yeah, crazy! Totally!’

Johnny laughed and finished his beer, but his mind was already planning.

A few days later he left and headed home. Almost a month had past and there was no way the cops were still watching his place. They had better things to do, he was sure. Walking home, he headed straight for the church. The woman in white had even been coming to him during the day now out, he had seen her out of the corner of his eye.

Spotting the graveyard gates, he hurried in. The place looked just the same though it was now under a darkening evening sky. He went to the willow tree and stared up at where he had sat for most of a morning. Then he looked around at the silent graves and wondered if his friend’s gran had been right. Slowly, he walked on and up towards the church. The dry grass crunched under him and the birds sing in the background.

He walked passed the church, along the path and to the gates he had entered by. As he got closer he wondered what was going to happen, but when he walked through them he felt nothing. Letting go of the breath he hadn’t realised he was holding, Johnny went home.

His girlfriend was gone. A note on the table told him so. He shrugged it off and took a shower. Then went to bed and for the first time in years, he fell fast asleep.

Grave

Abandoned graves at the old cemetery at the Sanctuary of Sacromonte, Amecameca, Mexico State. Photo by AlejandroLinaresGarcia on Wikimedia Commons

Dear Hattie,

I hope this letter finds you and your family well. Sorry it has been such a long time since I last wrote to you. My daughter has been trying to get me into sending virtual letters on the computer and though I have made some progress, there’s still nothing like physically creating and sending a letter! To me it is a shame that the new generation might never send a handwritten letter in their lives. I guess everything is going to be ‘digitalised’ soon enough and perhaps it will make the world a better place.

I actually do have a reason why I’m writing to you and not sending this by email, it’s because I wanted to include these photographs, part of a land map and a letter I found the other day in my father’s deep chest. I’m sad to say the chest has been sitting in the attic gathering dust and being forgotten about instead of being put to some good use. It seems like much of the items from our time are being rejected by our grandchildren. Not like when we were younger and our grandparents’ relics fascinated us.

I was walking in the woods yesterday, just like I had done a million times before, it was for no reason, other than to get out of the house for a bit and away from the missus – she’s still fine and going strong by the way, but I leave much of her care in the hands of the nurses and my daughter. I find it much easier and less stressful. It felt like the first day of spring, with the sun in an almost cloudless sky, dappling through the just sprouting tree leaves. Grass and wild flowers peppered the ground, whilst the earth felt drier. I hadn’t planned a route; I was just wondering and reflecting.

Oh, you’ll remember how we use to run through the trees playing some game or just to cool down, laughing at everything and scaring all the animals away. We would paddle in the brook, play ‘Pooh Sticks’ on the bridges and gather wild flowers to take home for mother’s dressing table or the front windows. Those summer days seemed endless and we never thought we’d be so old like we are now nor have children of our own. Everything was easier, quieter and natural back then. Sometimes when I go into the woods now, I’ll sit on a bench or tree stump and imagination myself young again. I make myself believe we are playing hide ‘n’ seek and I am the one counting. My brothers, sisters, cousins and friends are all hiding and the air is filled with laughter and hurried footsteps. Those precious days.

I crossed the bridge you use to call The Fairies’ Bridge and sadly it has been replaced by a metal structure now, which looks nothing like the wooden steep arch we use to skip across and sing allowed to the fairies on. There used to be an old wall which ran alongside the path and no one could see over. Do you remember that? It would grab our curiosity for a few moments and then we’d be off on other adventures. Well, yesterday I found a gap in the wall, which is badly tumbling down and discovered what had laid behind it all this time.

I had to fight my way through over grown bushes and trees, then the ground became slightly different and nature less wild. A large space had opened up before me and trying to defend themselves against the ever encroaching nature were some gravestones. At first I thought it was just a pet graveyard or the resting place of one rich family. However, stepping fully into it and looking around, I spotted the sloping roof of the old stone building we had sometimes played in. Of course, I did actually know this until I had made my way over and further explored the area. I found what might have been the remains of other buildings too.

Going back into the graveyard, I wondered about and tried to look at some of the names on the stones. Most of them had disappeared and the few I could make out had no meaning to me. However I came across, what seemed to be the ‘newest’ set of the headstones and they could still be read. On three of them I found our family name and that of some other relatives. I jotted them down in my notebook and I’ll write them out for you now.

Mary Joneson, born 1882, died 1932.

Fredric Joneson, born 1878, died 1924.

Their son; Jimmy, born 1904 died 1910.

Bethany Joneson daughter of Mary and Fredric, born 1908, died 1948.

Her husband; Edward Joneson, born 1906 died 1939

Their son; John, born 1933, died 1948.

James Jonesson, born 1883, died 1920.

His wife: Elizabeth Jonesson, born 1885, died 1940.

I suspect that like me, you don’t recognize the names, but I did some more research and I did find out that they are from a branch of cousins who died out. Though as you can see from the photographs, it seemed that our parents and grandparents did know them as the names and dates match up. The map, you’ll find I’ve marked a few things on just in case you decide to take a look yourself- though please feel free to give me a call and I’ll happily accompany you. The stone building was actually a small village church. Though I never would have believed that without seeing the photos of it! As for the letter, you’ll find it as deeply interesting as I did. It was written by Bethany to our great aunt Eliza. I’ll have to see if there are any more in my father’s papers, though I fear they might have been lost when we emptied the house.

I’d be delight to hear any light you can shed on this. It has inspired me to keep digging and get a family tree made. I still can’t believe that we never knew about the graveyard, it looks like a place we would have just loved.

Hope to hear from you soon,

Arthur