Tuesday, May 30, 2006


When the petals of the magnolia's blossom open, the scent of death is released into the air. Nothing smells more like a graveyard than a stand of magnolia trees in bloom. This is because magnolias feed on the rotting flesh of corpses. That tiny blush of scarlet at the center of a white blossom is blood filtered through the veins of the tree.
A number of famous individuals are buried in the graveyard, but no one can remember their names because the inscriptions on the tombs have been eaten away by a certain variety of yellow lichen. Caretakers routinely spray this parasitic lichen with poison, but it is impossible to remove post-humously as it etches the stone with a powerful acid released at death.
Where the lichen's acid spills, a breed of toxic mushrooms grow, and these mushrooms are the most aggravating problem facing the graveyard's caretakers. Each is small and red-capped, like malicious gnomes, and each has surprisingly deep roots for a fungus, burrowing down into the hardest of stones and cracking their facades. As a result, every tombstone looks like a massive spider with impossibly black silk has weaved a web around it. While the lichen only disfigures the mausoleums, the mushrooms destroy it.
Faded green moss overhangs the entire cemetary, drooling off of black limbs of unnatural trees like bizarre party decorations. Evident sunlight is filtered if present at all, and the graveyard is shrouded in a dimness that is just dark enough to depress and not dark enough to be noticeable. Such subtlety of ambience is observed by only the keenest of minds.


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