St. Mary's Cemetery

The silence of death is pervasive in St. Mary's. Munson has used it for nearly as long as the town has existed, and his slowly expanded decade after decade as more of the population joins its ranks. One could walk alone amongst the stones of the dead and glimpse into lives that began more than a century ago. There are a few family plots and two or three ornate mausoleums, but for the most part, the gravestones and final resting places of the people of Munson are, like the town itself, humble and unassuming.   Aside from Guy Sours the gravedigger and maintenance man or the grieving Bettie Ransted, few visit the cemetery. That solitude is intoxicating, I find, but others find it unsettling. The bustle of the town seems muffled here, absorbed by the memories of the long dead.

Uncanny Occurrence

The peace and solitude of the cemetery has been shattered by the arrival of a different breed of raven. While everyone knows that ravens tend to gather in cemeteries--though no one knows quite why--they are normally nothing more than a benign, if unsettling, feature of the funerary landscape. These ravens are another matter. First is their intimidating size, almost as a big as a large breed dog. Their black beady eyes seem to shine with malice, and their cries are notably sharper and more shrill than their brethren. They have also gotten more aggressive in disturbing the work of Guy Sours as he commits bodies to the earth, to the point where he spends more time with his shovel in the air fending them off than in the dirt. He's tried decoys, shiny objects, you name it, but nothing has worked and they're getting meaner. He's now sporting a few scratches and beak bites on his forearms and back and he's at his wits end with how to deal with them.


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