On the outskirts of the metropolis lies a cemetery where people are laid to rest. Due to the increased crime rate, the cemetery is a commonly visited place during the day. By
night, it becomes a place for a presence one could call otherworldly. On a dark starless night, D.S. stands guard, perched on top a stone cross.
*I look out at the gravestones all around. 'What a big place.' I think to myself, 'Then again, with what's going on in the city, I'd imagine that it has to be a big place to hold all the victims of this shit.' I've been hearing word of grave robbers on the streets looking to graves for buried valuables and body parts for the black market so I decided to make a stake out to look for them. It's a slow night, don't see anyone, don't hear anything. I sense around and don't detect anything.
'I'm bored as shit,' I think to myself, 'well, may as well do something to pass the time.'
I reach into my pants pocket and pull out a glass reliquary. The inside of the cylinder is filled with holy water and the finger of a deceased priest. I hop off the cross and begin to walk around the cemetery, waving the reliquary around as I go. It begins to glow with a pale white light that causes the ground to produce a fog-like substance as I walk by. I don't normally do this sort of thing because the light this thing produces gives me a migraine if I use it too much. By the time I'm done walking around, the fog forms into the images of four people who all gather just outside of a crypt, they each take a seat in a circular formation around each other at a nearby table.
One of them is a casual looking skinny guy wearing a brown jacket and messy hair who looks like he's had one too many at the bar. Another, this fancy looking woman who resembles Audrey Hepburn wearing a fancy red dress and fishnet veil hat holding a cigarette in a long cigarette holder. Another, some geek looking guy wearing glasses and a brown business suit. The last one is some young looking guy, wearing some kind of harness looking outfit, almost like parachute gear.
"Hey, a newcomer." says the business guy looking over to see me, "Hey now, don't be shy, come on over."
I go ahead and go over to them taking a seat between the casual guy and woman, I sense that these people were to appear regardless of me using the reliquary which I put away. I look around at them.
"So...what are you all doing out here?" I asks them.
"Oh, we're doing what we always do, playing cards." says the casual guy pulling out a pack of cards from one of his pockets, "So, are you in, newcomer?"
"Nah, think I'll pass." I say to him. As he deals, I asks, "So...you guys all dead?"
"Of course we're all dead." says the parachute guy, "You are too, aren't you, that's why you can see us?"
"Well...it's complicated." I say casually, pulling out a cigar and lighting it up by snapping my fingers to make sparks. I notice their surprised faces.
"Neat little trick," says the woman, leaning over to me, "you must had been a magician in life. Mind using that trick for me?" she says holding out her cigarette holder. I kindly snap my fingers lighting the cigarette at the end of the holder, she pulls back and takes a quick puff.
"So tell me stranger, what brings you out here?" asks the casual guy.
"I'm here to catch grave robbers."
"Oh, so you're a cop?" asks the business man.
"Not exactly. I catch criminals but I'm more like a good Samaritan. You can say I put them under citizen's arrest."
"One of those do-gooders, eh?" asks the casual guy, "Well, I guess someone's got to be, with all the shit going on in the city someone somewhere has to be."
"So you know about the crime?"
"Yeah, a little. I use to be a gambler and owed a lot of debts. I could never pay the guys I owed money to so they sent goons to make me swim with the fishes."
"But during the time I spent on the streets, I knew all about the crime and what folks do at night."
I begin to grow curious about the other three, so I just out right and asks them...
"So, how did the rest of you die?"
The woman takes another puff of her cigarette.
"Guess I got a little too obsessed with looking good. I know I'm hot and sexy as hell but it wasn't good enough for me. After several botox injections the doctor cut me off, saying it wasn't safe to take any more. So one night in my apartment, I took a needle and sucked up some cooking oil and injected it in my face."
"You substituted botox for cooking oil?"
"Well, I thought it was just as good as real botox. I read somewhere that said it was just as good. Anyway, afterwards I didn't feel good, I laid down and went to sleep. I woke up with blood pouring out my face. Guess your not suppose to put cooking oil inside yourself." she says with a chuckle.
The business man clears his throat, "I was heading off to an important business meeting when I decided to cross the street. I saw a bus coming and honestly thought I could outrun it. I took off before the walking sign could change, I was in a hurry so I ran as fast as I could but the bus got me."
The parachute guy sits up, "Me and my friends were extreme sports men, you know, free runners, parkour and all that. So anyways, we decided to bungee jump off one of the skyscrapers. I didn't check my gear good so what happened was my rope came loose while I was falling and...the rest should be obvious."
"Yeah, I see."
"Well you know what they say, if at first you don't succeed bungee jumping isn't for you." the parachute guy says casually.
"Yeah, no shit."
A gambler, a woman obsessed with appearance, a busy business man and a reckless young athlete. I think about them for a second and I just can't help but to comment.
"Um, listen. No offense to any of you...but you all died from some pretty dumb ass reasons." I take my cigar and smoother it out on the table, "And worst of all, none of you seem to care that you all died some pretty undignified deaths. Don't any of you care?"
"Of course we care," says the casual guy, "we're aware that we died some pretty dishonorable deaths, but hey, at least we had fun along the way. Listen, newcomer, you may want to be a good Samaritan, but sometimes doing bad things is good. It gives people a rush and adds a certain flair in life. You can't go through life by only being straight, you got to live a little. Why do you think people keep breaking the law, it doesn't matter what it is people are going to do what they want to do regardless of how wrong it is."
"But there are better ways to live life then to live recklessly. You can have a fulfilled life by doing the right things."
"Come on now," the casual guy says slowly glancing at me, "there's like, what, seven billion people on earth give or take and someday they will all be dead one way or another. You may as well let them have some fun before they go out and the only way they're going to do that is to add a little chaos in their lives. Besides, hundreds of years from now will anyone really care what anyone now was doing?"
"We have our regrets," says the woman, "but ultimately you have to put those aside and look to what you loved in life. I may have died, but hey, at least I looked good when they buried me." she says with a smile.
"Whatever, listen I have to get back to work. You all, just enjoy your game."
As they continue to play cards, I quietly get up and step away from the table. I still don't sense anyone else around, living otherwise and all I've done was speak to some people about how they enjoyed nonsense before they died. 'I'm done here, I doubt any grave robbers will appear.' I think to myself as I begin to walk through the cemetery.
'How the hell can anyone think like that? All you did was stupid shit that cost you your life but you still feel good in death, doing bad things just to get a rush out of it? You know, maybe I should just give in and do what that guy back there said, just let everyone do whatever the hell they want, let them fuck up as much as they want so they'll have no one to blame when something goes wrong in their lives. I still keep wondering, why do I do what I do when all that's happening is the very people who I help still go back out looking for trouble.'
Near the cemetery gate, I hear sobbing. I look around and sense a presence nearby. I walk to where it is, which is behind a gravestone and find a little girl sitting on the ground. She's got to be no older than seven, she has long whitish blonde hair and blue eyes. She's wearing this long white dress and is barefooted. She's crying and holding a red ball. I bend down to speak to her.
"What's wrong?" I asks her, "What are you doing here all by yourself?"
Noticing me, she slowly raises her head up, "No one will play with me."
"No one will play with you? Well that's not right, leaving you here all by your lonesome. You know, I can play with you if you'd like."
"You would?" she says with an enthusiastic smile, "Yes! I'd love that!"
We get up off the ground and step away from the gravestone moving to a more open area. We spend about an hour throwing the ball back and forth. I'm not much of a playing game type of person, even less someone to watch a child, but for what it's worth I can say that...playing catch with this kid...it was...well I wouldn't want to babysit all the time but...you know, being nice to a sweet little kid and all. So we finish playing and take a seat together by a nearby gravestone, not the same one I found the little girl behind but another one close by.
"Um, mister," she says to me looking down at the ground, "that gate is always locked when I go near it. Do you know why the gate always locked, I want to go home and see my mommy."
I pause for a second. I know why the gate is always locked for her...and I begin to feel bad, similar to how I feel when I catch a victim lying on the streets.
"Hey," I say to her, glancing to her from the sides, "tell me, sweetheart. What is the last thing you remember before coming here, to the cemetery?"
She looks down and clutches a part of the gravestone we're sitting on. In a really soft, choking sounding voice she speaks out.
"Well, I remember I was playing at the park. My mommy just got me this pretty red ball and I really wanted to play with it so she took me there. I was playing for a little while when my ball rolled from my hands into the street. I went to get it and looked up and saw a car coming. There was a police man car behind it. I saw a brown bottle being thrown from the man's car as it was coming to me."
I look to her face and see a confused look in her eyes.
"I was on the ground. I saw this red stuff on my arms and legs. I felt something go through me, it really hurt. I blinked and saw my mommy above me holding me, but she had tears in her eyes. After that, I think I fell asleep and woke up here. I don't know why I'm here, but I just know that before you came, no one played with me."
There's a bright flash of light that suddenly appears before us causing us to look forward. I shield my eyes while the little girl looks on with a surprised face.
"There's something there. It feels like something's trying to pull me in. What is this?"
I can't describe it either at first. I can feel my body growing weaker. I quickly catch on however, I know what's going on.
"Sweetheart, that light there. You have to walk into it."
"Hu?" she turns to me in curiosity, "What do you mean?"
"That feeling you're getting, it's from that light. It's calling for you."
The girl turns to the light, looking on with fear in her eyes. She turns to me with tears dripping down her cheeks.
"But what's going to happen to me, where am I going?"
I turn away and look down, "Where you are going...there's nothing but good things. You will make many friends and be with many people who will take good care of you." I slowly turn to her and crack a small smile as I look into her blue eyes glowing from the light, "Don't be scared, you're finally going to have people to play with."
She pauses for a second as she looks me in the eye. She gradually smiles back.
"Will mommy be alright, does she know that I love her?"
"Absolutely, she knows that you love her, and always know she will always love you no matter where you are, I know this."
I look down and spot her ball nearby, I pick it up and hand it to her.
"Here you go, don't forget this." I say as I hand it to her which she takes.
"You're welcome sweetheart."
She turns to the light and begins to walk to it. I was about to offer to walk with her so she wouldn't be scared, even though the light hurts my body for some reason. Turns out she's a brave one, walking there on her own. As she steps into the light she turns around one last time to give a last big smile to me which causes me to smile back. The light fades leaving me in silence.*
As D.S. exits the graveyard, thoughts run through his head of what he has experienced.
*So there are people who will do the wrong things in life just for the hell of it, to get a good kick out of life? People always want something good NOW and not later, they do reckless shit that gets them that rush of what they want but has dire consequences. They cannot accept the long wait to get something good, doing the right things, living right doesn't always immediately give you the best life but gradually takes shape and leads you to a better path in the end. But I guess there are people who just want to make bad decisions to get a quick thrill. Seven billion people and they will all die someday, yeah that's true, but it doesn't mean that you have to live such an ignorant life to feel good, especially if it's just a temporary feeling.
I wondered if I should just give up and let people just mess up how they please. I now know that I can't. For if I do, if I let another person intentionally do something wrong knowing that their actions affect the people around them then that means another little girl will not live pass being a little girl and no one is meant to die young like that. Guess that's why there are people like me in this world, to keep those people in check from getting to wild with their free will.
As I exit the graveyard, I look toward the sky and speak quietly, hoping that she will hear me.
"Ria, there's a little girl coming up there. Please, would you look after her? She could really use someone to play with. You were always good with kids, weren't you?"*
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