Pauper’s Grave (a story)

Pauper’s Grave

There was a very tiny chapel in the woods, that really only the town folk had known about for ages. Nothing spectacular, Nothing worth seeing. Just a place to gather, for the believers. To pray and to sing hymns. It was such a small place that they couldn’t even get a circuit preacher to come or a fire-and-brimstone type who would preach pretty much anywhere. They’d rather have a tent in the city than speak at their little chapel.
Not that there was anything wrong, not inside the chapel anyway.
Well not anywhere really. All they had was creepy stories. Stories that the youth would tell about the graveyard out back.
It was de-sanctified ground. Well, never had been sanctified. It was for the poor folk around these parts. Especially those who had never been shriven. Still born babies, blue babies, youth who had left the church and never come home to it and the sick elders who had lost their minds. So that is the spirit of the graveyard.
And it’s there that evil lurks they say.
There were a lot of stories of noises, feeling like you’re followed, unexplained deaths after someone visited that graveyard. Yet the youth kept going back there on dares and to “investigate” the claims.
Word got out, and they even had groups come in who wanted to “read” the signs for paranormal activity. I can’t speak to how real these groups were, but nothing got explained. And it just seemed to make the spirit of the yard madder. I guess I might be a bit upset if they used Christian prayers over my grave, when the church wouldn’t bury me unless they were paid too. If I could rise from my grave, I might chase people off who tried that on too.
Then there were the sinners in the lot behind the one for the unshriven.
Those who had gone to jail and never begged for forgiveness. Those who died by drugs or booze and those the town knew were criminals, whether or not they had ever seen the inside of a court. You know small towns and their grape vines. Their stories aren’t always right, but sometimes they are. They just can’t prove it. Not in a court of law anyway.
But no court of law has ever stopped someone in a small town who knows something is true from taking things into their own hands. Not if they were mad enough, anyway.
So that is who was under the ground in the back lot. And if the unshriven had a beef with someone trying to say prayers over their graves, then the sinners were even less likely to accept them with good grace.
Now you’d think that the town folk would eventually just stop going out there, or they’d stop reporting the stories about noises and haints. But this town had a curfew. Nobody in their right mind was out near the graveyards after dark. Not even on the road that ran by it, even though it was the main road into town. And that was inconvenient to say the least.
Even the paranormal investigators were run off. And funnily enough, they never came back twice. You’d think they’d be used to spooks, right? I guess their spooks believed in the Bible and prayers. These ones? Not so much.
Can you blame them? They had been shut out of the church by these small town people with small town minds. And now they could deal with the fallout.
Till they went into the pretty little sanctified plot beside their church. Where nobody but them came anymore. You’d have to hope there’d be one left who gave a crap to bury the last church member. Or the haints just might drag them into the lots behind their little chapel. And they’d never be seen again.

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