This piece is titled Stretched On Your Grave.
It's around 900 words in total. It is based on the song "I Am Stretched On Your Grave" By Kate Rusby.
Stretched On Your Grave
Eleonore shivered. Her bare feet crunched on the frost sprinkled grass as she slowly walked further into the field behind her family home. She blinked tiredly, her breath condensing in front of her eyes as she gasped for air. Goosebumps rapidly spread across her exposed skin like a rash.
Perhaps she should have put something over her nightdress.
Perhaps she shouldn’t have left her warm bed.
Perhaps she should come to her senses and put a stop to her night time wanderings once and for all.
Perhaps …perhaps it was time to let go.
That’s what they all told her. Her family. She knew they were worried, they were concerned with her sanity, her state of mind. They were frustrated and tired of her odd behaviour. They ensured the parish priest visit her three or four times a week, to cleanse her soul and repair her mind.
They would sit, she and the priest, in the parlour. Sometimes in silence, sometimes in forced conversation. Occasionally they engaged in flowing memoires of time long past.
She would never retell her sessions with the priest to her family, no matter how many times they asked, begged, pleaded with her. She would lapse into long periods of silent contemplation, sometimes for a few hours, sometimes for days. Lost in her mind, lost in memoires and in a dead girls’ voice.
Eleonore paused for a moment, her hand reaching out into the darkness. It was dark, it was hard to make out shapes ahead of her. Tentatively, she stepped forward. One strep, two steps, three, four…finally.
Her hand curled round the wrought iron bar. She let her eyes fall close for a moment, the cold stinging her throat as she took deep breathes. It seemed to take her a lot longer today to reach the graveyard. Her body was failing her, it was weak and fragile. But her heart was strong and unyielding, just as it had been since the day Madeline had passed.
Brushing the tears angrily away and with a growl of pain, Eleonore pushed the gate with the remaining strength she had left. She stumbled into the silent yard, the gate clanked shut behind her and she tread along the familiar path to her love’s grave. Her feet screaming in agony with every step she took, the cold was gnawing away at her flesh and was halting her movements.
Her shaking hand stretched out once more, her white fingers soon brushed along the glittering hedgerows that surrounded the graveyard. She blinked, her eyes adjusting to the dim light, the moon’s rays flittering down through the dense clouds. Eleonore moved carefully along the path. She needn’t be afraid. She knew she was safe. Madeline was beside her, guiding her through the stones and crooked wooden crosses that littered the graveyard. The wind began to pick up as she inched forward. Her wispy, straggly hair blew into her watering eyes, the hem of her nightdress whipped around her exposed legs painfully.
Her fingers snatched at the freeing air, until finally, finally, her fingertips brushed against the familiar weatherworn stone. Eleonore sighed in relief, her hands smoothing over the stone, over the etched and faded words. She allowed her legs to buckle under her at last. Her body fell to the hard ground, tired and exhausted, malnourished and freeing. Her head bowed, she once more gasped for breath. Her lungs constricted painfully, her heart pounding against her chest. Breads of perspiration began to break out on her forehead and roll down her white skin.
She had done it.
Tears rolled down he cheeks, falling onto her already damp nightdress. Her frozen fingers dug frantically into the ground, searching desperately for an anchor, for a lifeline. Something to ground her, something to keep her sane. Her fingers once more traced the words on the gravestone, she pressed her palm flat against it and held her breath for a moment.
The wind whistled painfully in her ears. A harsh, cold laugh escaped from her throat, it burned as it echoed around the empty graveyard. She was tired. She couldn’t lie to herself anymore. After eight long years, it was time to let go.
Slowly, Eleonore closed her tired eyes. She let her head drop to the glass like grass, let her body stretch out. Her hand remained on the weather worn gravestone, fingers tenderly stroking Madeline’s name. The letters were faded, smooth, forgotten. Just like the sweet girl who laid under the ground.
It was time they were together once more.
Eleonore smiled and let the darkness overwhelm her.
That’s how the priest found her the next day.
Clad only in a thin nightdress, a thin layer of frost covering her white skin. Her once bright hazel eyes closed, a blue tinge to her lips. Wild, untameable hair spread on the grass like a blanket.
The priest fell to his knees, head raised towards the bright blue sky, hands clasped in front of his chest tightly. Quietly, as if not to disrupt the peace in the graveyard, the priest muttered the prayer for the dead. He didn’t focus on the words, he didn’t have to. They were etched into his memory, like letters engraved into a gravestone.
His mind was at peace, for the first time since young Madeline Knight had died.
They are together, he thought as his cold fingers preformed the cross in front of his chest. His eyes stared down at Eleonore Adams. They are at peace.