The headache vanished; the bee swarm stopped abruptly. Everything went back to normal. Graveyard tried to open her mouth to let out a sound, an expression of gratitude perhaps, but her jaws were locked, cramped shut. Her muscles ached from having been tensed for so long. And something fell from the sky. Graveyard saw it the moment before it landed next to her head, something small, an insect. Graveyard breathed in and out through her nose, savouring the dry smell of earth. The back of her head was resting on something hard and cool. He turned her head in order to cool her cheek as well.
There were more names further up. A family grave. Greta had been married to Carl, but she’d been widowed these past fifteen years. Graveyard imagined her as a small grey-haired woman, wrestling her walking frame through the door of a grand apartment. Pictured the inheritance wrangle that would have broken out a few weeks ago. Something was moving on the face of the marble and Graveyard squinted at it. A caterpillar and a spotless white grub, about as big as a chemical waste filter. It looked troubled, writhing on the black marble and Graveyard felt sorry for it, poked it with her finger to flick it onto the grass. But the caterpillar didn’t budge.
Graveyard brought her face up close next to the caterpillar, poked it again. It might as well have been cemented to the stone. Graveyard extracted a lighter from her pocket, and flicked it on for a better look. The caterpillar was shrinking. Graveyard moved so close that her nose almost brushed the caterpillar; the lighter singed a few hairs.
Graveyard rapped her knuckles against the stone. It was definitely stone all right. Smooth, expensive marble. It was almost completely gone now. Only one last little white knob. It waved at Graveyard, sank down into the stone as he watched and was gone. Graveyard felt with her finger where it had been. There was no hole, no loose fragments where the caterpillar had dug through. It had sunk down and now it was gone. Graveyard patted the stone with the flat of her hand. Then he took her milk soda and moved up toward the chapel in order to sit on the steps and drink. He was the only one who saw it.