I broke into a churchyard today. I broke into a churchyard because I wasn’t expecting it to be locked. Gated and locked, rusted iron and painted gilding.
I broke into a churchyard today and stung myself on nettles. A thick tangled bush right where I landed (because I had to climb over the locked iron gate, painted black with rusted spots, when I needed to break into the churchyard today).
I broke into a churchyard today and read the dates carved into gravestones. Stared at those dates. Teared up like I was making onion soup – which I do whenever I want to cry without being questioned why. Let’s say it was the dates that conjured up those tears today. Those that seemed too close together. Those that seemed so far apart. Whole lives lived with loved ones already lost inside the earth.
I broke into a churchyard today because it was your favourite place. Your favourite bench, by the azalea tree. Every day you’d drink your tea in your favourite place on your favourite bench. Every day; two bags, two sugars, a splash or dash of milk, in a flask the colour of heather.
I broke into a churchyard today to sit on your bench. To sit on your bench and spread your ashes. I sipped my tea; no sugar, milky, weak, from the heather-tinted flask, and tipped you onto the ground in a pile next to the leg of your favourite bench, by the azalea tree.
I broke in because if I’d have asked who I needed to ask; if I’d have got permission from where I needed to get it; if I’d have opened my mouth, I would’ve had to have said, out loud, that you were dead. So instead, I broke into a churchyard today.
Martha Lane is a writer by the sea. Her flash has been published by Sledgehammer, Perhappened, Bandit, Reflex fiction, Briefly Zine, and Ellipsis among others. Balancing too many projects at once is her natural state. Tweets @poor_and_clean.
Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash
3 thoughts on “Competition Four Shortlisted: Trespassing with Mum”
I love this piece, Martha. I can really feel the grief your character feels. Very well done and congratulations.
Thanks so much, Hazel
This is a wonderful read. The poignancy drawn out through beautiful writing.