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Rated: E · Short Story · Death · #2282620
entry for Think About It Contest.
Prompt & WC
I'm not sure how or why I am there. I'm slowly walking along a well-worn path, in a cemetery I've never seen. I'm alone. A thick fog has settled over the entire area making visibility very difficult. It's very hot and humid and the air smells earthy. You can smell the rain in the air, a storm was brewing. I am in a very old part of a cemetery. The markers are worn with age, and many are crumbling or not there anymore. The deeper into the cemetery I go the older the graves become. It is obvious this is an ancient place of burial. I'm starting to wonder why I am there. I follow a well-worn path through a grove of trees and find I wonder if I'm still even in the cemetery.

Then, I hear the unmistakable sound of a small infant crying. My heart races! Has someone left a baby all alone out here? My mind races with the implications. Where is the baby? Is it hurt? Are other people nearby? Why would someone leave a baby here all alone? The thought makes me angry. Cautiously at first, I start to follow the sound. But as the baby's cries get more shrill, more demanding I too become more frantic and worried. I follow the sound to a part of the cemetery near the very back, where the oldest, most unkept graves are. The cries seem to be coming from around a thick oak tree. The cries are muffled and in my panic, I realize the baby must be buried alive! I don't stop to think or consider how that is possible. I just act.

Truly horrified, I begin to dig frantically with my hands. My nails break and bleed, I don't care. I just keep digging and digging...the cries getting louder and louder. Now, I'm crying as hard as the baby. Finally, I get to the wooden box. I rip it open and there...there he is! Without hesitation, I pick the baby up and cradle him close, soothing him, and rocking him...finally, his cries quiet and he snuggles close to me. Why would anyone bury a baby alive? I've got to report this...so many things rush through my mind. But then, I notice there IS a marker there. Dirt and grime covered a small bronze plate. Gently I brushed aside all the grime and could barely make out the faded words. "Baby Boy. December 1815" No name. Only one date, not two. Who was this baby? Where had he come from? What had happened to him? Why had I heard him crying? Somewhere in the depths of my soul, I heard a voice ask me, "Who will care for my children?" My heart responded instantly, "I will." I looked down to study the sleeping baby in my arms and saw I was cradling a blanket of bones.
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