Cemetery Sardines

We huddled against the cold granite slabs of the mausoleum while the moon faded in and out amid the moving clouds. Suppressed giggles and whispers, then a “shush, he’s coming.”

This was so much more fun than the traditional hide and seek. We hid together in a group and weren’t out there in the cemetery stowed away alone all those heart-pounding minutes while someone tried to discover each secret hiding spot.

In the game Sardines, there was just one person walking among the headstones, peeking in the dark hedges and searching in the moonlight for everyone else. There were trade offs, of course.

The loneliness for the seeker would end when at least one player was found in hide and seek. In Sardines, the group was often easier to find. But as the seeker neared, the group was also allowed to move, and attempt to find another place to wait out discovery.

rip-tombstone-mdThere were five or six of us hiding out next to the mausoleum that night. My older brother was doing the searching. We heard his footsteps on the gravel road and tried to slip around to the other side of the mausoleum before he found us. But, we were too noisy. Oh, the perils of keeping a bunch of young teens quiet in a cemetery in the dead of night.

It was my turn to go up to the shop to wait ten minutes alone while everyone hid.

The heart pounding fear traipsing around some twenty-five acres of rolling hills and moonlit headstones in solitude was so much different than the pounding a young heart does when trying to squeeze several young bodies together to wait out discovery.

It’s easy to guess which one I preferred.

Now that I’m older and can look back on those memories of growing up next to the cemetery, I’m glad for it all. What fodder for a writer of mysteries to use and embellish!

This story will likely find it’s way into that young adult book I’ve had bouncing around my brain in recent months.

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