30 September, 2015

A Place I Will Avoid On Halloween

30 September 2015

R. Linda:

It came to me attention (as I drove the back roads looking to avoid traffic on highway road construction) that something was amiss up at a crossroads in the village I had come upon. It was the end of the day and I was on me way home, and was none to happy to see a stop coming. As I pulled up to the crossroad, I realised I hadn't avoided the road construction after all. There was a man in a day glow hard hat and what looked like a day glow space suit with a sign that said STOP and with his hand raised in me direction I had to, of course STOP.

See here 
I sat there looking at the mess in front of me. From what I could glean, a heavy dump truck loaded with topsoil had caved in part of the road shoulder just outside the old town cemetery. It looked like I was going to have to back up and go another way, but I had a line of motors behind me and construction trucks now in the way, so I would have nothing better to do than sit and wait. I watched the road crew try to push the truck out of the hole, all the while trying not to fall into it, but of course, that didn't work. I got out as had another driver and we stood there chatting about a course of action to get said truck out of said hole, but it was all beyond our power to really do much about the problem.

Line up of constructions trucks waiting to figure out what to do

I walked over to the man with the STOP sign and asked (because I be a nosey Parker) what had happened, as if the obvious wasn't the obvious. He told me what I told you but added that they were awaiting the town bucket loader. This giant thing arrived just as I was about to go ask the other drivers to back up so I could get out, but being a man when I saw that bucket loader, well I wanted to watch! 

It took some time for a discussion to go on before the big machinery was set up to pull the truck out. I  should mention that while they awaited the bucket loader's arrival, several workmen had climbed onto the dump truck and were shovelling the topsoil over the side while another contingent below shovelled it in a large pile next to the cemetery wall. It seemed after the hard winter we had last year, a good amount of ancient graves had sunk and well, the town elders ordered topsoil to fill in the indentations, thus the stuck dump truck bearing too much weight and road shoulder cave in.


I, and the other driver, were curious at what the workman, dump truck operator, and a few of the ground floor shovellers were pointing at below the tyres of the truck. We casually walked over and looked down to see a few old pine caskets below the tyres. Well, this was a dilemma for sure! They had to get the truck off there before it sunk further and exposed the occupants, broke the pine tops and caused more expense than already apparent!

We were asked if we saw what they saw and when we concurred, there was a pull of bandannas out of pockets, a wipe of the brow and then a look that said, "OH SHITE!" It was discussed with our help (for they seemed to think that we wearing business suits were idea men) would have to first gently and carefully raise the dump truck (unloaded of its topsoil), then get some granite slabs that were left over from another road job, bring them in and lay them gently on top of the exposed caskets and then use some of the topsoil to fill that hole. One of the men volunteered to be as far away from all this as possible by going to the local nursery for sod to lay over the topsoil. One must only think this guy had a tale to tell all at the nursery!

Well, as the bucket loader was easing the dump truck out of its hole, painfully slowly, the pastor from the church across the way came over. I guess he saw all this from his office window and was curious as to what in town was going on. He had only to look down into the hole before he gleaned the situation. His mouth formed a great O as he looked from exposed caskets to the ground crew. He was told what was going to happen next and he nixed that in the bud. 

"No, no, we must say words over the poor souls down there before anything is done." 

Meanwhile, by coincidence, another motor joined our line of halted vehicles and out of it was a man dressed as a priest. He saw the pastor and waved, as he came on.

"Oh no," the pastor murmured, "we are in for an ecumenical service now!"

And he was right, as soon as the priest from the next town over looked in the hole, he took a step back and with a wide smile, declared it a "witches hole" and an exorcism needed.

As you can imagine, the words "witches hole" made everyone uncomfortable, the urge now was to just cover it up fast and get the hell out of there as everyone and I mean everyone who had been on the edge of the hole looking down, moved back in unison.

"You can see the caskets are buried outside the cemetery wall, and can rightly assume these folks were not permitted entrance to sacred burial within the walls. Therefore, we can rightly assume they were witches, murderers, or worse." Father Patrick declared with (I will admit) a fair amount of joy in his voice.

For the life of me I could not think what was worse than being a witch or murderer but OK. The truck driver asked him what was to be done next, but not before he informed the priest that granite slabs were being dispatched as they spoke, sod was coming and they had enough extra topsoil to fill in the hole (he thought). 

"Well," Father Patrick said looking at the pastor, "John I know there is a full moon tonight, be perfect for an exorcism and once I put on that show, you can give the blessings to the departed cleansed souls and the slabs can be put on and everything tidied up."

"Don't you need the Bishop and Pope's approval for that?" Pastor John asked.

"Well, this is a dire situation and I think we can forego all that." Father Patrick said with some authority.

Sounded to me and me fellow drivers of which now there were all of them out of their motors, that we would be stuck here until the moon was up! But before any of us could protest the town clerk appeared with questions and legalities galore. This person declared it wasn't a church problem it was a TOWN PROBLEM! Oh yes, that opened a discussion that got most heated between the clergy and the clerk, then the work crew joined in (something about overtime) and then being informed no overtime because they were the cause of the said event, and soon after we drivers were in on the "discussion" because as all this was going on a large earth breaker tractor had pulled up behind the line of cars and guess what? It had broken down (operator had left the motor running the entire time and it ran out of diesel and there was no diesel to be had but two towns over, and it would require a tanker to fill up the earth mover, I tell ya!), and no vehicle could go forward or backward to get out of the line of motors now parked on the small road. GREAT!

Too much time was spent with arguments going on all around the dead in the hole, that people who lived on the common were coming out of their houses to see what the chatter was about and this bought more chatter and the attention of the Baptist minister who heard the sound thinking a town meeting had broken out without his knowledge, and of course he scooted down the road to find out what the subject was, and if he had any dealings in it and well you know he did. When he heard the clerical show that was going to go on once the moon rose, he wanted in!

Well, this lead to the two main officiants saying no, because that meant they would have to ask the Methodist minister, the Unitarians, the Jehovah's Witnesses, the Christian Scientists, and whoever was left from a religious denomination to join in and my God we'd all be there until the middle of next week!

That was enough for all of us to join in the fray and inform the Baptist minister he could not utter a word, the other two had it by a vote of all there and basically to seal his lips and stop shaking his head no, it was so ordained and that was that.

Meanwhile, the town clerk was on the phone, the selectmen had arrived with the town lawyer and oh R. Linda, it was awful the shouting at the holy people, the work crew defending the clergy (because they wanted out of there and they knew the town lawyer would get an injunction and we'd all be there into the middle of next year if he did that.

So by this time the day was setting, the moon was just starting to shine over the Congregational Church across the way, the priest had called someone at his church to bring the necessary vestments and holy water and so he was all set, town lawyer, injunction or no. The pastor of the Congregational Church had only to run across the way for his glasses and Bible and well, the religious part was ready. The slabs had arrived, the sod was there, the towns folk had made sandwiches and lemonade for all bystanders and witnesses to the SHOW because that was really what it was, about to be performed for the entertainment and awe of all standing around, and possibly to actually bless the poor exposed dead in their caskets and damn the town clerk and her assembly. 

I called home and no one there believed me, of course they wouldn't, I wouldn't have believed me either. They were all for driving on over to see for themselves if Gabriel was telling the truth or not. I told them not to we'd never get out that village for the number of gawkers who were arriving with lawn chairs, thermoses of coffee and hot chocolate, all we needed was a campfire and marshmallows. Gees, small towners!

So I and many people I didn't know and still don't, were subject to watching the moon rise, the Catholic priest doing his thing and then the pastor doing his, followed by all of us helping to get those slabs in place, filling in the hole, and cutting and placing sod over the top. All this while the town clerk muttered about it being illegal and that the caskets should have been dug up and put inside the cemetery walls. Of course, she was told that those below were witches or murderers or what have you, but she argued they'd had an exorcism against their will and were supposedly cleansed, and then she was told by the road crew they were probably satanists and the whole affair wouldn't mean a damn to them, and on this went until a tanker arrived with diesel for the earth mover and we could all go home.

I haven't heard a word since. No one wrote about this but me! I won't mention the village or anyones name in case they decided they want to throw me in that hole. But what a way to spend the end of a work day!

I had arrived home full of dirt, pieces of grass on me jacket and a sweaty shirt filled with stains of all kinds, including holy water; which because I was standing too close to the hole, sprayed me. I was up to the edge for the crowd who came to "witness" and because I had been there first on the scene and thought I deserved a front row view. I am lucky I wasn't pushed over the side and down into the grave. I will tell ya this, I won't be driving that way any time soon. Call me superstitious, but come Halloween, I have a feeling those spirits will rise out of that hole and come looking for those who disturbed them and made a spectacle of spectres who only wanted eternal rest outside or inside the walls of that cemetery, I don't think it really mattered which side to them. Or witch. 

Just in front of the wall -- a witch hole?
Gabe
Copyright © 2015 All rights reserved

17 comments:

  1. ROFLMAO IT could only happen to you! I always thought it would be dull in the boonies. I figure most of the crowd were men? That explains why it took so long. LOL

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    1. Yes, yes they were. You know when it comes to machinery that is the case every time.

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    2. Yeah more than one man, a problem means planning, discussions and it takes F but I jusy KNOW you had fun!OREVER! LOL

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    3. Don't let him fool you Mobit, you and I both know he can't help himself where loud mechanical things are concerned. As long as he doesn't have to operate them he's right there.

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    4. LMAO when you go home late AND dirty, it means you never really tried to get home in a timely fashion. LOL I bet you.would have left if Ton had gotten there.

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  2. What happened? Ms Salad ... in the kitchen ... with the salad tongs ... didn't beat everyone to the punch? This is refreshing! As to your story I smell a s-load of blarney here Gabe, though you had me for a while. I think the true part is as Mobby up there says, the machinery had you and your mind went to the imagatorium. Big time.

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    1. I think Mr Tom . In the kitchen . with a salad fork . . . Heck she fell in the salad bowl and is under the weather, I mean lettuce!

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  3. Mobby? Lo too close to the name of the elf in Harry Potter! Mu adult children sing around here a song about dwarf miners . Short people bias? LOL

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  4. ha ha funny men. you gave me flack about the headshot now its over the salad photo. why is what i want to know.

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    1. I'm at lunch and have a salad in front of me. Nom nom nom! LMAO Speak for yourself Gabe, any college educated woman who doesn't use capitall letters is a target for criticism.

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    2. ME TOO! I be on me lunch break with a salad in front of me bad self, LOL. We love you Fifi really we do. So tasty.

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  5. Oh we are just having a little sport with you. Don't take it personally. I rather like the salad photo over the make believe photo anyway.

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