Prompt: City of Lost People
|Word Count: 583
A violin echoed across the Lost Hope Cemetery and Crematory sending ice cycles up Vera's spine. She forced her legs to move zombie-like along the granite flagstones that formed the cemetery's footpaths. On either side of the path were perfectly manicured Leylandii hedges approximately six feet tall which effectively prevent Vera from seeing into the graveyard's separate sections. In the middle of each section of hedge was an oak gate giving access to that section of the cemetery.
This night, Vera had only one thing in mind. She had to find the part of the cemetery called the City of Lost People where the indigent, homeless, and nameless were buried. In that section of cemetery she could find the solution to her problem and the end to her quest, at least that was what the fortune teller, Gypsy Rose, had said. Vera did not know whether the woman could actually see the future or was just another con artist trying to make a living off the despair and hopelessness of others. Vera did not care about the motives of Gypsy Rose, all that Vera cared about was to find relief from her fruitless quest.
She remembered when it started. It was the day of the plane crash. The day she almost died. She had spent months in intensive care followed my years of therapy. Finally, on Christmas Day her memory returned and her nightmare started. No one could tell her where husband and daughter were buried. She had tried to find Doctor Becker, the physician who brought her back from the dead, but everyone ignored her request. Everyone she asked looked straight through her as if she did not exist. She knew it was because they were frightened of her. She could not blame them for being frightened because she knew her scar covered face would frighten any sane human being.
Vera found Gypsy Rose by accident when she ambled through the grounds of a traveling carnival. The local constable has asked to see the fortune teller's business license. When the woman went into her tent to get the license, he followed her in and fondled her breast. Vera had slipped in after the constable, when she saw what he was doing Vera reached out her hand to touch the man's shoulder. Her hand went through his clothing, flesh and bone. Shivering in fear, he turned around to face Vera and his hair turned white.
"Thank you," Gypsy Rose said directing Vera to sit down. "How can I payback your kindness?"
"I need to know where my husband and daughter are buried."
"Go to the Lost Hope Cemetery and Crematory on the west side of town. You will find what you seek in the section called the City of Lost People, but you must pass through its gate before midnight."
Vera pulled her thoughts back to the present. On her right was a door with the words City of Lost People inscribed into bronze door. Reaching out her hand, Vera turned the knob and the door opened. As she entered she saw a man chasing a woman around the headstones. Ignoring them, she walked toward the middle of the section, stopping at each headstone to read it. Finally, she came to a large gold veined granite headstone. She look down at the name engraved on the granite marker. Written on the stone was "Here lies Vera and Rodger Newcastle and daughter." A shiver ran up her spine as she descended into the grave.