Blood Bloomin' Tomb

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Yes, this really did happen to me. I composed this letter to a dear friend.

Dear Baby Cousin,

 

I promised you an eerie story and here it is.  Very simply, Paul and I availed ourselves of the underground subway and headed for Pere-Lachaise, the renowned "City of the Dead." Located on 105 acres twenty minutes east of the center of Paris, it is the elite final resting place of many of the City of Lights' esteemed artists, writers, poets, actors, thieves and patriots.  I’d read an article about this cemetery approximately eight years ago in GEO magazine and was mesmerized by the photographs of the Gothic sarcophagi and stately mausoleums as tall as guard stations, built side by side, bounded by a grid of old cobblestone streets, ivy-covered walls  -- all shaded by large, spreading sycamore trees.  Most, if not all, of the tombs could certainly be called works of art.  The carvings, the mosaic work, the sculptures, even the hundreds of porcelain flowers left in remembrance on the slabs are meticulously designed.  From the moment you enter, there is a palpable aura, an atmosphere that I am bereft of words to describe.  You are first aware of the smell...musty dust and wet stone, the hard bite of damp wrought iron and the clean leaf odor of the trees reminded me of Grandpa's attic over the garage. Corruption, old, yellowed books, stale, fusty drawers . . . something like that.  The tombs, most of which average three feet wide by twelve feet tall, were literally erected side by side, some were still well-tended and festooned by flowers and other memento mori, others obviously long neglected, their foundation cracked, the mausoleum door sagging on its hinges, exposing the carved dark inner walls and the mouldy stone floor opening into the crypt below.  As one walks along the narrow paths, which is rather testy if one haven't worn good, sturdy walking shoes, one becomes immediately aware that this cemetery is mammoth, as far as one can see, rising higher and higher into the distance, it is a necromantic landscape.  It is quiet save for the trills of birds and the hollow echoes of far-off footsteps, most of which, we discovered, were headed the same place we were headed -- the grave of the Doors' Jim Morrison, whose grave site is nicely indicated on the map I purchased at the Flower Shop for 10 francs.

Having found Master Morrison and paid my respects, Paul and I ambled off down another cobblestone path to have a look at some of the other famous graves.  Balzac, Chopin, Bernhardt, Gertrude Stein, the mystic Allan Kardec, Oscar Wilde, Maria Callas. It had started to drizzle and we had not expected rain and were therefore unprepared.  We had lamented that it had seemed a little cloudy that morning and then, there we were in the middle of the cemetery, the clouds clustered together over our heads like a rising bruise and the fat drops splattering down faster and faster.  I had not been feeling well and was suffering from the monthly gyno-purge with the accompanying cramps and headache.  Since it had been very hot and humid in Paris I had worn my lace underwear and a short skirt, thinking myself to be most shrewd in my plot to keep cool.  The rainfall became more intense and in the distance we heard the low grumblings of thunder.  Other visitors were rushing past us with back-packs and newspapers arched over their heads but we had nothing, no umbrella, nada.  I don't mind the rain at all, usually, but Paul wears glasses and within seconds he can't see a thing so he was getting pretty vexed and before I knew it he had yanked me under the archway of one of those upright tombs. I refused to stand inside of it, even though the door was open.  We stood just inside the doorframe, a heavy affair with a twisted Iron Cross carved in it and watched the thunderstorm pick up speed and fury.  It smelled awful in that crypt -- just awful.  Greasy dust and cobwebs matted the walls and floor and water was seeping through a hole in the ceiling and ugh! I saw a fat spider hustle across the stone shelf/altar protruding from the back wall.  Paul was grousing about the weather and I hated to tell him, but I had to go to the bathroom big time, my bladder disease always picking the most inauspicious times to afflict me.  He advised me that I would just have to 'ride out the storm', as Big Jim Morrison might have said and left it at that. The rain was just pouring down like a waterfall so heavily that you could barely see across the path.  My cramps were giving me Holy Hannah and my bladder was starting to go into spasms.  Suddenly I felt a dampness on my leg and I thought, Oh no! I peed myself and I didn't even know it, it's time for the funny farm, little lady.  Then I looked down and saw blood scrolling down my right leg and I just about screamed, "Paul! Paul!  Something horrible has happened!  I'm bleeding!  I'm bleed-ing!  Help me!”

 

Then I realized that somehow, very very unfortunately, my pad had slipped and I was bleeding right through my lace underwear and since I had a skirt on, the blood, attracted by gravity, went zipping down my gam, and I don't wish to gross you out, dear, but it was a lot of blood.  I didn't know what to do, I was so upset.  Paul looked halfway bemused and halfway disgusted and asked if I had any back-up supplies, so to speak, and I said, yes, in my green bag, and he said, "Well, I suggest that you go inside and clean yourself up as best you can."  So I retreated deep into the vault and Paul shut the door on me, leaving me alone with the interred bones of one Colonel Brizard et al, and boy, do I hope the Colonel once possessed a sense of humor.  It was so dark in there I could barely see but I fumbled around and dug out our bottled Evian water and several napkins that I had fortuitiously snitched from the restaurant the night before and employed them in cleaning the blood off of my leg.  Meanwhile Paul says, "There's blood all over the steps in front of the crypt!" and I'm thinking, well, at the rate the rain is coming down there soon won't be . . . and then, if you can believe it, some damn tourist walks up to Paul, in the rain, and asks him if he knows how to locate some division of the cemetery, simultaneously trying to sneak a peek through the open iron work of the door.  If he had angled himself properly so that he could see over Paul's shoulder, this stupid bozo would have been able to observe me, a modern day grave-borrower, changing my underwear and my pad in the gloom of the stone vault.  Fortunately for me, he got tired of standing in the downpour and left. Words cannot describe how revolted I felt, how embarrassed, how utterly macabre, standing there in this dead guy's narrow house, trying to change my underwear and Modess pad.  I hate to admit this, but I think I left some of the stained napkins and other detritus behind but it was too dark to see.  Paul started laughing about the whole ludicrous scene: Vampire Writer Repairs Menstrual Mishap Inside Tomb Of Decorated Soldier but at the time I still had to pee horrifically badly and I was also very concerned that there might be bloodstains on my skirt or shoes and that someone walking by might see me leaving the open crypt in such a besmirched condition and be stricken with horror.  Not to mention that they might very well report me to the many guards strolling about the place, who might then cite me for desecration of graves or something equally ghastly.  When Paul saw that the coast was clear he opened the door and we both bolted into the rain, which had slowed down slightly, in order to seek shelter and a bathroom, before I relieved myself in the Colonel's ad hoc changing room/tomb/bathroom facility.  Needless to say, we haven't told a soul about this calamitous adventure but I swear every word is true!  The next day Bliss and I returned to the cemetery so that she could have her photograph taken while she lay flowers on Morrison's grave and  afterwards I took her over to the Colonel's crypt and she took a photo of me in front of (Not in) it.  As soon as we have it printed I'll be sure to send you a copy!   Can you believe it?  Can you believe that this shitski happens to me?  Bleeding to death inside a tomb!  Only me!!  Paul says I should be glad it didn't happen someplace really embarrassing, like an expensive French restaurant for instance.  I suppose he's right, but I mean, how long have I been having periods and I still don't know how to keep a stupid pad in place?  May I remind you that my so-called I.Q. is considered relatively high when compared to the majority of the great unwashed?  Bleeding copiously inside a crypt?  This, my friends, is genius?  Go figure!

I pray Colonel Brizard forgives me my rude intrusion into his sacred rest.


Submitted: December 10, 2020

© Copyright 2021 RexMundi555'.-. All rights reserved.

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