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Restless Greens

          Eric had never seen this type of place.  A well-kept clearing in the woods just off the cemetery's main body was an area set aside for the new trend in burials.  Forsaking caskets, burial vaults, headstones, and embalming, "From the Earth we sprang and to the Earth we shall return" was its philosophy.  A "Green" burial that would have a more minor impact on the planet.  Done so well that if it wasn't for the freshly disturbed ground behind him, one might not even realize what or who lay beneath in this beautiful resting spot.

          Well-placed granite benches lined the perimeter for loved ones to reflect, mourn, and spend time with their dearly departed.  Eric made a beeline to the nearest and sat down.  A light fall breeze moved through the area, just enough to rustle some leaves and bring about that atmosphere of fall and Halloween, which was today, he realized.  It made sense to him then, the jack-o-lanterns, the old-fashioned type with an actual candle inside, placed around the area.  It was Halloween, and they added a welcome creepiness to the ambiance.

          Eric stood up, brushing dirt off his pant legs and shirt sleeves.  Looking at his fingernails and the ground packed underneath, he was slightly embarrassed.  A quick stretch felt so good.  The last few days had not been kind to Eric, and of course, rigor had lasting effects.  He took his handkerchief, quickly wiped his forehead, and tossed the now filthy rag into the hole.  Turning towards the various visitors, staring at Eric with faces of shock and horror, he proudly announced, "I have figured it out!  The casket, the vault, and the embalming are not to preserve us.  It's to keep us…….DEAD!" A glance back at the ground he had just clawed his way out of, and then giving them a maniacal smile, he exclaimed, "Time to eat!"


© 2023 by Philip Swartwood

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