In the Highland Cemetery, there is a tomb, non-descript and tucked away. Those that spare more than a passing glance may notice that the graves surrounding that edifice have been vandalised. The crossed smashed off, broken limbs on angelic figures etc. Some small attempt to repair the damage has been made to no avail, as the grave stones have been attacked again.
The tomb is home to the Dupree family, and that is meant in a literal sense. Local dog walkers during daylight hours give the place a wide berth, and as the council was petitioned several years back to ensure the cemetery was locked, only a few foolhardy souls dare to ‘hop the fence’ and enter after dark.
Those that pay careful attention to the tomb itself may notice the panel with the window has a slight variation in colour and texture, as if worn smooth. This is no doubt a deliberate feature, the reasons for which are now lost, at least thats the official line. After all the master masons that constructed this would hardly of chosen the stone, and neglected to put mortar in the joins without very good reason, surely? And of course the bottom course of slabs was designed to have that join beneath the window.
So much for the official line. To find the truth we have to turn to the dissolute and dispossessed. Those that society cannot use, those thrown to one side. Martin, ex dockworker and ‘professionally homeless’ takes shelter in the doorway of the chapel. On nights when the police need to get the ‘numbers’ up or when gangs of drunken students prowl his usual haunts, he gathers his few belongings and heads to the cemetery.
Martin shelters in the doorway of a chapel on the far side of the cemetery on those nights. He, by his own admission, rarely sleeps but it keeps the rain and cold off him. Martin, no Zadok, is teetotal and is not a drug user, however he has the label of Mad Martin, when he would tell of his nights in the cemetery at the soup kitchen.
Martin would tell of lights flickering through the small round window in the tomb, adamant that it was not the reflection of streetlights or passing traffic. He would tell of the sounds of scraping stone, and of things that leapt and bound from shadow to shadow.
Part Two: The Dupree History.