You are about to read a horrifying tale of two co-eds in a cemetery, on one quiet autumn night. I was one of them, and small details have been changed to protect the privacy of the other girl.
“How would you like to walk through the cemetery with me at midnight tonight?”
This is me to my gal pal, Margie Brynes, who lived in the same dorm.
“Are you kidding? Yes!”
“This’ll be fun! I’ll be back later!”
Margie was funny, smart and reliable. There was an innocence about her, for she was still young. I don’t think I’d ever heard her say an unkind word about anyone. She didn’t even swear.
As I awaited her return, I became nervous. She knocked and I jumped out of my skin. When I opened the door, she stood there: five feet tall with glasses and dark hair in a pageboy hairstyle. She carried a flashlight which was as big as she was, and she was wrapped in a black, wool coat.
By midnight, we wiggled through a gap in the cemetery’s wrought iron fence. It was so dark that branches contrasted faintly against the sky. Margie fumbled with the steel pillar she called a flashlight, while I prayed its batteries had more life in them than what was buried in the cemetery.
And I was frustrated because I couldn’t see her.
“Did you have to wear black?” I asked.
“Oh, I’m sorry, I wasn’t thinking. Hold it a minute — I’m trying to switch on this flashlight.”
Blessedly, the light lit. We walked farther in.
“Margie? Are you scared?”
“No! This is fun,” she bubbled, making me want to forget her adorable pluck and just knock her down. “You?” she asked.
“Oh, you have no idea,” I whined.
I clutched the back of her coat, the toes of my shoes just inches from the heels of her boots.
Margie turned and shined the flashlight in my face, unintentionally blinding me.
“Oops! Sorry. Do you know the real reason I wanted to do this?”
“No, why?” I questioned.
“Because someone told me they saw a gravestone in here with my name on it. I thought it would be fun to come find it.”
“You mean there’s a gravestone in this cemetery that says IDIOT?”
“No, my last name, silly,” she said.
That was when Margie turned around, took a single step and tripped. She was going down as her flashlight, still clutched in her hand, swung up. The light splashed across a granite monument, and there was a name engraved there: BYRNES.
We screamed, but Margie was the one who started swearing and yelling out a string of curse words I had never imagined her saying — along with a few I hadn’t heard before. Then we ran, nonstop until we’d skidded into the steps of Saint Gabriel Hall where we lived.
I doubled over, gasping. I should have been grateful we were safe, but I just had to push through my gasping and poke the bear.
I wheezed, “This’ll be fun! I’ll be back later!”
Those words were not lost on Margie. She started swearing again, saying even more words
I didn’t know.