Last year I did a riff on a style of micro-fiction called creepy pasta. Not wanting to step on anyone’s toes, I came up with the name Macabre Macaroni. There will be one of these stories posted every week in October.
This one came to me in whispers from my Muse. I read a ton of articles about archaeological digs into the graves of ancient peoples. I wondered who they were, and who put forth the effort to place various burial goods with them.
This led to some photos of old cemeteries, and Memorial Day in the United States. I realized that after about a generation, most graves are forgotten. Let’s serve it up, shall we?
There’s a Cat on my Grave
There’s a cat on my grave. To tell you the truth, I was always more of a dog man back then. When they planted me all those years ago, cats used the fresh dirt to do their business. It isn’t as bad as it sounds, ashes to ashes and all that. Still, it’s kind of insulting to the freshly dead.
After the grass grew in thick, the cats lost interest. My kids showed up now and then, and our lawns were tidy in those days. Yessir, my piece of dirt looked like one of those fancy golf courses.
My youngest daughter is in a nursing home now. It won’t be long before she goes in the ground somewhere too. Her brothers all preceded her, but they’re in different states.
This old cat is a big bugger. He isn’t black, like you might be thinking. He’s one of those blue-grey fellers, with electric green eyes. He just curled up by my headstone and made himself at home. Licking his feet like he hasn’t got a care in the world.
There aren’t many spirits left here, and I’m the odds on favorite to go next. When you die, you don’t have to move on, as long as someone still remembers you. You can go any old time you like, but it’s a one way trip. You have to go when nobody remembers.
Sometimes an uppity spirit will try to force someone into thinking about them. That’s where ghost stories come from, but they’re pretty unusual. Just everyday, working class folks in here.
We don’t have any celebrities either, and aren’t likely to get any. Quiet Pines Cemetery has been full up for over twenty years. Those celebrities can hang on for hundreds of years.
After Quiet Pines filled up, the caretakers quit caring. My plot’s covered with tangled weeds, and one bare spot right up by my stone. That’s where the cat plunked himself. I suppose it’s a good spot to watch out for whatever cats watch for. I’ll bet that stone stays warm hours after the sun sets.
Grandkids never really come around, and they never give us a second thought. For most of us, once our kids pass on we move to the other side.
Old man Palmer, two rows down-hill with the military tombstone, beside the tree there. His is an interesting story. He was in World War Two. His grandson got all worked up about history, and studied where Palmer was deployed, and what he did during the war. When he joined a bunch of re-enactors, Palmer decided to stick around a few more years. He’s kind of cocky about it too. Not exactly a celebrity, but Palmer gained some extra time.
I haven’t had a visitor in over twenty years. My daughter used to come every Decoration Day. That was before they moved to Ohio. Did you know they call it Memorial Day now? She never came after her husband died. She hasn’t been to a cemetery since his funeral. She still remembers me once in a while, when she remembers anything at all.
Listen to that old cat, would you. He just flopped down and started purring. I kind of like him, with his tail tip twitching like that. I’ll make this weed move and see if he plays with it. See there, he batted it with his paw.
Little Doris Lisle was the last one of us to move on. Her’s was a tragic child death, and her people mourned her for a long time. Eventually they all got old and passed on too. Nobody to remember, you have to move on, that’s the rule.
Old man Palmer is banking on me being next, but I think I’ll just wander down there and place my bet. I’ve got a secret weapon Palmer doesn’t know about. There’s a cat on my grave, and he likes me.
I recently published The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack. This one has some of my micro-fiction along with a few short stories. I’m only asking 99¢ and think it’s a pretty good bargain. If you enjoyed this story, you might enjoy the book too.
Feel free to share this tale on your social media sites. It’s all about having some fun along the way to Halloween.