(Elmwood Cemetery, 2015. Photo by Kimberly B. Richardson)
She waited for the last person to leave before she set foot out onto the lawns. They came to say their goodbyes and pay their respects, yet she knew better. She had that ability, after all. She held herself close to the wall of the crypt as she watched the last car drive slowly down the gravel road. Then, with careful footsteps that caused her to gently rise over the dewy grass by several inches, she made her way to the freshly dug grave that held the shiny marble stone over it. She bent down and peered at the name etched on the stone then gracefully moved back as slow tendrils of thick white fog crept from the earth. She watched as the tendrils snaked through the air like fingers seeking something warm, something lost from a long lost memory. A lock of ash covered hair fell across her face yet she did not pay it any attention; her eyes focused on the increasing number of tendrils rising from the grave. Just then, the mound shifted, revealing a pale and slender hand with dirty fingernails, followed by an arm dressed in a matte black suit. The woman remained silent as the figure pushed himself out of the mound then slowly dusted himself off, although the she knew that once dead, the grave never left you. He stopped brushing his clothes as he stared at the woman dressed in haunting grey and tattered clothing watch him.
"So," he said as he took a step closer towards her, "it is true."
He moved with an unsteady gait towards her, his long and thin hair moving around his face without the aid of wind. "I heard them whispering to me before-"
"Before you succumbed?"
He smiled, revealing still white teeth. "Before I succumbed. I rather like that. Tell me, are you here for me?"
She did not respond yet walked closer towards him, her feet still hovering over the grass. She stopped within a foot from him and delicately sniffed the air. Yes, she thought. He will do well here.
"Welcome," she said in a warm voice, "to Elmwood."