He liked nature so much he decided living amongst it was his second calling. He became a monk hermit, famed for his curing herb mixtures and blessed water. People travelled from afar to his shelter to exchanged food and tools for his remedies. He never took money and stayed true to God.
The monastery remains were haunted. By day, it was a nice walk around the foundations in the middle of the park but come night a sinister feeling fell. Nothing living, not even teenagers, hung about the crumbling walls, they belonged to the dead.
I had seen the shadow monks whilst at the bus stop, waiting for the last bus of the night. I ignored them and they ignored me. The story was; if the ghost monks saw you, they would kidnap you. I didn’t believe but at night anything was possible.
There was something about returning to the abbey ruins that made him go cold. It had been his childhood playground for so many years, it had become like a second home. Now, stepping off the bus and entering the abbey grounds after twenty years it still smelt the same. He breathed in summer grass, warm soil and a hint of sweetness which came from the visitor building and shop.
He walked slowly down the stone path, noticing the groups of young families. Everyone seemed so happy and completely oblivious to the past that was rising up around him. Going around the back of the Abbey, he found it quieter and further out some ruined walls that marked separate houses and buildings which the monks had used for guests and storage.
He stopped in front of a corner wall that was about three foot off the ground. He looked around with a lump in his throat, but there were no signs or flowers marking the spot. Strangely, he thought there would still have been. He looked over the top and across to a low tree, there was a bench just in front of it.
He walked over, not remembering a bench ever being there before. He looked at the bronze sign and his heart sink. She had not been forgotten. He sat down on the bench and thought about that summer. He had been ten, one of the oldest in the group, but there had been nothing he could have done.
It had been the normal game of climbing and jumping, but she had gotten scared and not wanted too. He could not recall her face, it had faded, but he remembered her cries and mumbled nos. Someone had pushed her. One of his friends, but no one could ever say who.
She had fallen, hit her head somehow and landed on the ground never to get up again.