The rusty gate swung open with a groan. She hesitated a
moment before stepping through it. Ghosts surrounded her as she
entered, crowding her mind with their memories, questions and
unfulfilled wishes. She pushed through them like cobwebs, following
the overgrown path through the forest of headstones. As their
desperate whispers receded into the wind, she focused her thoughts
on the names passing by her in the moonlight.
Her feet remembered the path
they had learned long ago, when she had first tred this path blinded
by tears. Her fingers caressed damp stone, the last remnant of lives
long past, forgotten even by those who had claimed to love them. The
black curtain of her hair hid the twist of a smile that betrayed her
thoughts. She could remember. She would never forget.
She finally stopped in front of
a tuft of weedy grass and dull marble. Tearing the grass away, she
brushed moss and grime away from the carved stone, revealing the
name forgotten by everyone but herself and one other. Beneath the
name 'George Rafael Brown' a series of marks was scratched into the
stone. Taking a large hunting knife from its sheath at her waist,
the woman added another across a cluster of four. 130 years of death
so that she might be remembered as this artist had not been. He had
refused to outlive the prejudice of his time. Celeste had chosen
differently. Laying a blood red rose in the dewy grass, only the
ghosts heard her words. "Thank you, George."