Tag Archives: cemetery

The Graveyard Girl and the Boneyard Boy, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Hello, and welcome to another edition of Lisa Burton Radio, the only show that brings you the characters from the books you love. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and today we’re going to talk about Craig’s new book–. Hold that thought, we have an early caller.

“Hello, caller. You’re on the air with Lisa. What’s on your mind, honey?”

“Oh, hey… I’m on? This is live? Wow, this is so cool — I love Craig’s books — wait, is he there? Probably busy, right? That’s okay, I love girls and robots, too. I mean robot girls. Uh, I guess I’m trying to say I’m a big fan… Anyway, I’m Drake Stevenson. I’ve been wanting to call in for a while — long time listener and all. I guess I’m calling tonight because I have this weird problem. It’s kind of a girl problem…uh…wow, that sounded so lame…”

“That’s all right, Drake. Tell us a bit about yourself, and maybe we can come up with some solutions for you.”

“Where to start? My family — the Stevensons — we just moved to this tiny town in the middle of nowhere — Centralia? Yeah, you’ve never heard of it. Anyway, my dad had this heart attack back in the big city where we lived — he was a big-shot corporate lawyer, but now he has to take it easy, so he moved us way out here to run the biggest and oldest cemetery in the state. It’s been in the family for a long time — the graveyard, I mean, not the state…we’ve been in the state a long time… Anyway, I even help out — graveyard shift — uh, literally. I work nights here, after school…Okay, I’m rambling again. Sorry, Lisa.”

“Okay, the night shift at the graveyard sounds kind of creepy. How old are you again?”

“Sixteen. It’s not that creepy. Not usually. Not for me. You see, I’m not exactly like other boys my age. I have this, uh, thing. Oculocutaneous Albinism Type 1. Some people call me an albino, but I prefer ‘a person with albinism’. It means my eyes are super-sensitive to light, and it’s difficult for me to go out in the sun without crazy amounts of sun screen. My outfit is pretty cool, though! It’s as if I were Doctor John Griffin in H.G. Wells’ The Invisible Man, even though I kinda based the look on the anti-hero Rorschach from Alan Moore’s Watchman. What can I say? I’m a geek as well as a ghost.

“Ghost, that’s what a lot of people call me, especially my sister Brie… Anyway, so I met this girl. Actually two girls. It’s why I’m calling in. You see, I met this really cool girl — Sasha Morris. She’s the principal’s daughter and the only girl who’s ever spoken to me who isn’t also related to me. She invited me to this club, and we’re working on this video game together, it’s gonna be called The Graveyard Girl and the Boneyard Boy…Cool title, huh?”

“Sure. Spooky and indie.”

“This is where things get spooky, for real, Lisa. See, I met this other girl, Scarlet, but she’s…uh… Well she’s sorta different, too. Like me, I guess. Well, not exactly like me… She has this thing about her. A condition…umm…”

“It’s okay, Drake, you’re among friends here.”

“She’s dead.”

“Okay?”

“A ghost. I met her at the graveyard…where I work? So, um, yeah. There’s that…”

“That’s rough. I mean, a human and a ghost? Are you sure Scarlet isn’t using you to get the justice she’s seeking?”

“Oh my God, you totally get it. I mean, yeah, that’s exactly it. There was this accident, before I moved here, and no one will talk about it. I can’t figure out if Scarlet was involved, but I’m totally starting to freak about all this. I mean, what if someone killed her? And her grave is totally blank, except for two photos of her encapsulated in glass. It’s so weird. She doesn’t remember much about being alive. Lisa, I think she was killed. I think Scarlet was murdered by someone, and NO ONE is talking about this!”

“Have you told anyone about this? Sasha?”

“That’s where things get complicated. Sasha’s real, you know? Living. She’s super sweet. I don’t want to hurt her. I want to tell her about Scarlet, but I think I’m…falling for Scarlet. Oh God, did I just say that on the air?”

“Not for nothing, Drake, but lots of high school boys would be thrilled to have two girls to worry about. It doesn’t sound to me like your albinism is holding you back at all. Think about which girl it would be easier to take to the summer carnival, or to watch the fireworks on the Fourth of July. Both nighttime activities, I might add.”

“I wish that were true, Lisa. But I’m not just different, I am Different. Other. I’m the ‘creepy guy’ small kids cross the street to avoid. The ‘super pale dude’ that no one invites to the party. Before I met Sasha, I just played video games and read comic books in my bedroom. My sister Brie, she’s completely psycho. We’re total opposites. Cheerleader squad, prom queen, all that stuff! She’s tried to kill me several times. She once locked me outside at noon during a heatwave. I was six years old! This other time, she changed all the bulbs in my bedroom for UV daylight bulbs. She’s Joker to my Batman. I’m serious, if you look up Brie Stevenson, you’ll find her under CRAZY.

“Anyway, right now there’s this one jock, Chase Chesney, and he’s making my life hell at school. He’s obsessed with Brie, wants to date her. He bugs me about her daily since he found out we’re related. To make matters worse, Calvin Muller — he’s in charge of the video game project I mentioned — totally doesn’t like me hanging around Sasha. It’s weird, like he thinks she’ll say something to me. I overheard them talking one time, and I think he might know something about this whole accident thing…He’s super paranoid. I don’t trust him…”

“They tell me high school is like that sometimes. The phones are lighting up, maybe one of them has a solution for you.

“Hello, caller. You’re on the air with Drake and Lisa. Do you have a suggestion for Drake?”

“What. The. Actual… Drake? Where are you? Mom and Dad are practically murdering each other at the house, and you’re calling into some dumb talk show? What are you even talking about? Did you say something about ghosts? Holy crap, don’t enough people think you’re a freak without broadcasting the fact coast-to-freakin-coast?

“Who the hell is this Lisa robot anyway — your girlfriend? Oh my God, lame! I swear, if people find out we’re related because of this, I’m going to kill you. Not that any one cool is ever going to listen to some stupid show about some stupid robot—.”

“Hold please, we have another caller… Whew! Sorry about that, Drake. Are you still there?”

“The Psycho Fairy strikes again. Sorry, Lisa. But at least you see what I’m up against here. It could have been worse, I think she’s having an ‘up’ day. She takes meds. Lots and lots of meds.”

“I think we all understand after that call. We’re getting cramped for time here. Do you have any last thoughts for our listeners today?”

“Thanks, Lisa. You’ve been awesome. Bro-fist Craig for me if you get a chance! As for me, I guess I’m just trying to make the best choice here. I don’t want to hurt Sasha, but Scarlet… I have to help find her killer, Lisa. I have to help her. Scarlet is alone, totally alone. I know how that feels. Look, I don’t know how all this is going to turn out… Just wish me luck, okay? I feel like I’m going to need it.”

“You can learn more about Drake and how he tackles several of his problems in the book The Graveyard Girl and the Boneyard Boy, by Martin Matthews. I’ll post all of the pertinents on the website after I go off the air.

“Help a robot girl out, would you? There are some sharing buttons on the website, and if you use them, an angel gets its wings. I’m pretty sure Martin and Drake would do it for you, when your character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio.”

***

Blurb: 16-year-old albino Drake Stevenson lives a life alone in his world of video games and comic books, dreaming of one day saving a real princess. But fantasy becomes reality when his lawyer father suffers a heart attack, and the Stevensons are forced to move to flyover country in order to take up the family business: Stewardship of the oldest and largest cemetery in the state.

There, among the weeping angels and willows of Centralia Cemetery, Drake meets Scarlet, an unusual girl who needs his help to find her killer.

Complicated by his albinism, a mentally unstable sister bent on high school domination at any cost, and a jock with a deadly secret, Drake sets out to find the shattering truth about a murder no one will speak of, to help a girl no one can see.

Amazon Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.com/Graveyard-Girl-Boneyard-Boy-ebook/dp/B0789THWSJ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1517176276&sr=8-1&keywords=the+graveyard+girl+and+the+boneyard+boy

Black Rose Writing Purchase Link: http://www.blackrosewriting.com/childrens-booksya/thegraveyardgirlandtheboneyardboy?rq=the%20graveyard%20girl

Author Bio: Martin Matthews is an expat from England, Great Britain. After living in California for many years, he now lives in Central Illinois with his beautiful wife, amazing son, and a grumpy, old cat named Winston.

Martin began his writing career as a child, storyboarding Sonic the Hedgehog comic books for his family. Later, he progressed to writing Star Trek fan-fiction before attempting his first novel Merlania at 16 — a 200,000 word science-fiction epic. He’s been writing novels and short stories ever since.

Martin holds degrees in Art and Design, Graphic Design, and Computer Information Science. When he’s not writing, he can be found producing music, art, and fried rice.

My website: https://martinmatthewswrites.com

Email: MartinMatthews@MartinMatthewsWrites.com

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Fresh from the oven, it’s Macabre Macaroni

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.

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A Bunch of Writerly Stuff

The radio played “Lorelei” this morning on my commute. I glanced at the passenger seat, but no Muse in sight. I smiled and checked the rear view mirror. She always makes these blog updates easier, but this time it was actually the radio.

I’m new to all this linking stuff, here goes nothing…

I blogged previously about sources for story ideas. Zite magazine had some interesting stuff this morning. There was a great article about Motorola patenting some kind of neck tattoo that would connect via Bluetooth with phones and other devices. When they mentioned that it could also be used as a lie detector, my head started spinning. Take this article, add a cup of NSA snooping, plus a tablespoon of new legislation and this could make one heck of a story. You can read it yourself here Article.

This one really intrigued me. It’s a story about a pauper’s cemetery on an island in New York. I think I might use this myself someday, but I’ll share anyway. Ideas aren’t usually a problem for me. The earliest graves were Confederate prisoners. It’s become the final resting ground for paupers, unidentified bodies, and other tragic people. The intrigue begins when it’s operated by the prison system. The public is not allowed, and there are no headstones. Oh, and it was once the site of an asylum. Read it here Hart Island

Grains of story form in my mind all the time. I have a character that’s partly formed. Add the Hart Island story to my character, and she fleshes out a bit. Hart Island becomes something more sinister. The prisoners and the guards become something else too. “Poof” – story.

I get wisps of stories from music videos, books, movies, art, photos, everything. They move around in my mind like atoms until they crash into each other and form molecules. Aaaand, you get the drift. Then I make notes in the iPad app for future reference.

In other news, I’m going to an editing seminar tomorrow. I’ll learn something, no doubt.

I’m also going to send a letter to see if I can get permission to use some song lyrics in my next tale. I’ve dealt with plenty of big corporations and have no illusions of success. Still, nothing ventured and all that. Maybe Lorelei can teach me how to write around the lyrics and still get the point across.

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