Cheryl Aubin and Russ McIntosh

Russ McIntosh

Digital Photo Illustration
Inspiration piece

By Cheryl Aubin




She lay down on top of the graves, arms stretched out, reaching as if she could embrace those who lie beneath. She presses her nose into the warm earth, breathes in the scent of grass and dirt, feels the grass tickle her face.

On a night like tonight with a bright, almost-full moon, a single ray of light falls across the last name on the headstone, Love. That’s what she knew they had. A great love. That’s what has been missing in her life ever since they died.

The air has cooled a bit and fog begins to rise up slowly. This graveyard at night doesn’t scare her, her parents are here, and it is here she has come often, when she’s wanted to share good news, needed help figuring something out, or for solace when her heart has been broken. And now she’s here again tonight.

She feels a subtle shift in the air around her and turns over. She reaches up to brush away the dirt on her cheek and feels the imprint of the grass on it. She watches the fog swirling around her.

She wishes her parents were really here with her tonight. She wishes they could really be with her tomorrow. Her tears start flowing as she thinks about how they are supposed to be there. Even with time, even with understanding, she still misses them, wants them, needs them.

The stars cover the sky, pin pricks of light on a navy blue sea. She sees the fog gather together as a curtain falls across the moon. She makes out one figure, then another and they are dancing. Her mom has her arm resting gently on her dad’s shoulder, her dad has his arm tightly around her back. Her mom throws her head back in laughter as he dips her. They are humming a song, one of the songs their daughter will have played at her wedding tomorrow.

She smiles as she watches them dance and starts humming, too.

The fog starts to lift and the figures become less defined. But they hold hands and come toward her, covering her like a blanket and she feels warm as she closes her eyes.

A little while later she opens her eyes and the fog is completely gone. The brightness of the moon illuminates everything in the cemetery. As she gets up she moves toward the tombstone. She kisses her fingers and presses them against each of her parent’s name.

She knows now her parents will be with her tomorrow. That her dad will have her other arm as she walks down the aisle. Her mom will sit in the front row watching and sending her love.

She will be a bride. A daughter. And become a wife. And her parents will dance at her wedding.

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