From the Outside In (Excerpt)

Chapter 1


It’s very quiet where I am now. I can no longer hear the thud of wet dirt, and the lingering trickle of the last pebbly remainders left on the grave diggers’ spade. At first, the noise was loud, and if I could feel, I would have been very scared. But as the hole started to fill up, even the full spade of dirt seemed far off. I wasn’t afraid of the sound… I couldn’t be. If I could breathe, I would have been holding my breath. But I can’t breathe anymore. It’s actually been a while since I breathed on my own. My ability to see ended a long time ago too. I couldn’t see like everybody else sees; you know, through my own eyes. But I could see in a way. I could see from the outside in. I could see me; lying in a wooden box; made fancy with gold trinkets, and little cupid like angels decorating my new home. I could see the burgundy velvet dress, matching Raggedy Ann hat, and big bow that slightly hid my head that was so crooked. My head hurt then, and I remember the pain. It hurt sooo bad…. I could see all the flowers around me, and with my mind, I could smell them. I had to use my mind to remember what flowers smelled like. My nose no longer worked…it was broken; broken to the point that it no longer had a bridge, broken.

I couldn’t see the shoes I was wearing because the box I was in was only open enough to see the top part of my body. The bottom half of me was covered by the box, and the flowers on top of the box. That was probably best. I had to say goodbye to that half of my body oh so long ago. And even though I can no longer physically feel, I can remember. My memory hurts… I don’t want to talk about that anymore right now.

Before the darkness came, I could see the little chapel. There was no music. I saw the man in the front saying something, but they were words I didn’t understand. It sounded as if he was talking about me, but not really talking about me. I saw the people in the seats; some of them I knew, some I didn’t. I saw my grandma. She had a big smile on her face. She seemed to be in her own world; rocking a little from side to side as if she had her own happy song in her head. I saw my Auntie, who I hadn’t seen for a very long time.  She left home before I was born. I’ve seen her mostly in pictures. But I remember her, and she never forgot me. She remembered every birthday, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and every other holiday. She always seemed to remember me… and she remembers me now.

I saw my Grandpa. He was wearing his favorite suit with the preacher’s collar and big shiny cross on his neck. He was quiet, looking straight ahead; not left or right but straight ahead. The top of his body was really stiff, but at the bottom, his right leg seemed to have a mind all it’s on. It was bouncing up and down really fast, like he was nervous or something. Maybe it was hard for him to see me like this. Maybe…

I saw another man I’d only seen one time before. He looked really sad but I’m not exactly sure why. He was holding a picture of a baby girl who looked a lot like me… like I use to look…but I’m not sure.

And I saw my mother; sitting on the third row. I wondered why she sat so far away from me… why she wasn’t looking at me… why she wasn’t crying for me… Did she miss me?

I’m tired now. I want to rest now.  Someone else will have to tell the rest of the story for me; it’s only so much that I know; only so much that I remember…

Besides… I was only five years old when I was murdered.

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