Wednesday, April 6, 2011


So the next night, Jonathon went out with Albion. He had spoken with his best 'familiar' before the dawn and he knew about the flight. and he knnew about their sighting. This time he was the guest. They did not fly. They sublimated through the atoms of creation until coming to a stop within the boundaries of Laurel Hill. Albion liked this death-park. He and the others sometimes played there. And although it is the spot where the little cherub, known as Mary French, met her demise, he still could not forget the good times. So they recondensed near an old mausoleum and walked on. The elf spoke in his quiet voice. He told Jonathon of the ghosts inhabiting the place. He shared the secrets. Who were these gossiping spirits? Nobody special. Just dead folks. And they weren't always there. At times they rested on a higher plane. But there were those occasions when reunions were held. Families got together for visits, each member drifting back from their own particular sojourn in the cosmos (both physical and spiritual). They usually avoided people. But elves were different. And so they spoke. Albion asked for certain nuggets concerning the boney one. Oh, they knew who he meant, especially those who had died in the nineteenth century. Strange things happened then. Premature burials were common. How did they know? Well, sometimes a grave would have to be moved. And sometimes coffins were opened. Now dead people aren't supposed to squirm around after we plant them. Sure, they might slide a little up to the head of the casket, or maybe down toward the foot. You know, like a sleeping infant that gets all scrunched up against the bars of its crib? And that's usually the result of careless pall-bearers. But on occasion the eternally sleeping would be completely repositioned. How? Let me see....Like maybe turned over on their stomach, as if trying to force the lid with their back......Well, lots of luck with that. Do you know how much hard packed dirt weighs? Poor old Uncle Toby was gonna sufficate no matter how strong he was.  So families started taking precautions. Thin, little copper tubes would  come up through the coffin lid, running right on till they popped out the ground like morbid flowers. They'd tie a red string around Aunt Libby's emmaciated wrist, run the other end through the tube and tie a little silver bell to it. Then, if the old piece a baggage decided she wasn't quite dead enough, all she had to do was shake her arm bones a little and ring for help. Good system.....Worked too.......But times were hard back then. Not everybody could afford fancy silver bells. And those recently resurrected from coffin ships, sometimes made the rounds searching for shiny souvenirs. Oh, it was so easy. A little snip here. A little snip there. And a family might eat for a week or two. Besides most of them what's been planted ain't gonna start breathin' anyway. Trouble was, some of 'em never stopped breathin'. Who could really tell back then? The doctors? Pah-leez! The only thing they could sniff out was money. Specially them what had rich folks for clients. So, and you probably figured this out by now, Johnny Jump Up was one of the unlucky ones. He started out as a beloved son in a rich family. But a fever took him (that's why he looks so bad). And they put him in the cold, cold ground. Yes, precautions were taken. He had the thin, copper tube. He wore the red cord. He had a silver bell. But not for long.....Some cheap, little urchins clipped it. And it went to pay for Pa's drink and Ma's laudinum. The beloved son was left to die. Now a tiny bit of air was able to make it down the tube, just enough for him to gasp and cough and choke for three  long days. On the fourth day, the caretakers discovered they'd read the plans wrong. The beloved son was encroaching on Mrs. Gottrocks' territory. So they dug him up and proceeded to scootch him over a bit, leaving more room for any dead Gottrocks relatives. One of the gravediggers said that they had to open the box and make sure it was him. What he really wanted to do was go jewelry shopping. Yeah, yeah, know what I mean. So he cracks open the lid....and they hear whistling inside. Can you imagine? Right there, late at night in the middle of a tombstone-crowded, damp, mossy cemetery. I think it was She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain When She Comes...I don't know. Zebulon knows so little of country music . The crew-mates thought he was joking them and they laughed. But when that boney arm shot out and crushed his wind pipe, that kind a took the humor out of it. The crew-mates ran away. And Johnny Jump Up came out to play............Come back later. I'll tell you more.....

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