year’s Halloween dare is a piece of cake. I’ll be done in an hour. Honestly, Thursday’s
full moon should make it easier.
I slipped through a gap in the stone fence, I realized I’d made a mistake not
bringing a flashlight. Deep in the oldest part of the cemetery, the giant oaks
blocked most of the moon and cast eerie shadows. I picked up my pace. I wanted
to get this done.
Sinclair family burial plot is protected by a wrought iron pavilion topped with
a lacy metal dome. The corner posts supported an ancient tangle of snowy white
climbing roses twining around the iron braces creating a fragrant woven roof
over the brooding graves of generations past.
I wasn’t here for a history lesson. At the peak is an elaborate copper-plated
I’d claim bragging rights for the year and then I’d off it to an antique dealer
for a bundle.
Piece of cake.
used the trunks of the roses as a ladder and crawled out onto the dome. I swore
as thorns tore at my hands and the century-old iron creaked under my weight.
Okay, maybe not cake. But still worth
cross was within reach. I shifted my weight and my knee slipped off the support
strut, sending me face first into the roses. Cradled in the tangled vines,
countless thorns bloodied me.
tried to grab something for leverage, but every time I moved; I sank farther
into the barbed agony of the bower. If I broke through, I’d end up skewered on
the iron crosses below.
screamed when I heard the first crow. My granny always told me that hearing a
crow at night is a harbinger of death. When the first two landed, I buried my
face in the cloying blooms.
morning after Halloween weekend dawned cold and clear. The cemetery sextant
fumbled the ornate key around in the rusty lock.
It’s been a while since we’ve had a Sinclair kick off. You pick the spot and
I’ll get the gravediggers working.”
funeral director looked around and said, “No worries. The funeral’s not until
Friday. This really is a lovely place. Look at these roses; I don’t think I’ve
ever seen such an incredible shade of red.”