I have a plan. Last night after Sherry was asleep I dressed and drove down to the bar near the Margaret Lane Cemetery where I’m going to park when I go to bury Ada’s bones. I pulled the car into the large lot and sat for a while. The bar was doing a good business and there were ten other cars lined up near me. I rolled down the window; there must have been a live band as I could hear music floating along on the night air. I was there for an hour; during that time I saw cop cars drive by three times, though probably it was the same car. One of those times after they passed it looked like they drove up the street past the cemetery. Then I fell asleep. The bar closed down around 1:30 and the patrons wandered out and into their cars and drove away. The sounds of the cars and people talking woke me up. I left along with the others, drove home, and sneaked inside and went back to bed.
So, a cop drove-by, three times. Maybe more when I was asleep. Obviously they keep a pretty close eye on this particular bar, or maybe it’s just the neighborhood, which is a mix of nice houses, (a graveyard), and some project involving the rehabilitation of an old mill.
The plan is to dig the hole for the bones first, before I go under the house to acquire them. This shortens my time in the graveyard, and the first time I’m there if I’m caught I won’t have any bones with me. I assume that the crime would be judged worse if I am in possession of human remains, so I’ll leave them at home.
Tucked into the middle of the graveyard down at one end there’s a narrow, brambly copse of brush and small trees that I scouted the first time I was there. It’s the sort of natural shelter I liked to hide in when I was a kid. You can’t really see into it unless you’re very close, and at night it would be impossible unless you knew exactly where to look. I shouldn’t be digging in there that long, the ground is still damp from Hurricane Florence, and my new shovel is very sharp.
And when will all this commence, you may ask? Soon. Sherry leaves tomorrow on a trip to Washington to go to a ball game and see Leah for a few days. Then she’s headed to Ohio to see her sister Barbara and Barbara’s husband Don who is ill. The date of her return is uncertain; I’m thinking a week or maybe even weeks. I hope to be done with all of this by then.
When I was sitting in the car last night, before I fell asleep, I could still hear, faintly, over the music from the bar band, Ada weeping. I don’t think this was truly auditory, I think that it has now become a part of me, coursing along through my bloodstream, singing in my ears, the way you can sometimes hear the whoosh of silence, sometimes hear your own heartbeat. I can’t go on like this.
Enough with the drama.
OK, I’ve just spent the afternoon reading websites about possessing human bones, digging in graveyards and the penalties thereof. I’ll keep it short, and if you’ve decided you want a nice human skull to place on your desk for luck while you write your best-selling crime novel you can do your own research.
In general, it looks like just digging a hole in a cemetery with no intent to disinter bones buried there would be a pretty minor misdemeanor. You’d have to have a good reason for doing so, but the most they might get you for would probably be trespassing. And maybe not even that. So the first part of my tri-part plan — digging the hole — seems fairly risk free.
Now to the part about actually possessing human bones. It turns out, that unless the bones are of Native American ancestry, it’s not illegal. If you would like to own some bones, maybe the skull of a young child, you can peruse the shop listed here. Skull prices vary, expect to pay anywhere between $1,600.00 https://www.boneroom.com/store/c1/Featured_Products.html to $8,575.00 for a really beautifully carved specimen. https://realhumanskull.com/t/real-human-skull
(If these urls don’t connect correctly on your computer, simply use a search term like, “human bones for sale” and you’ll find your way to the proper sites.
If I try to bury the bones in a graveyard and I get caught, it’s unclear what would happen, legally. As near as I can tell from reading the proper statutes — https://cemeterycensus.com/law/nc-law.htm— it might also be a misdemeanor, but it’s fairly clear that you would have some pretty serious explaining to do. They could probably get you for trespassing or property destruction but since you wouldn’t be technically grave robbing, you could probably keep yourself out of jail with a decent lawyer. Of course your case, because it’s so odd, would undoubtedly make the pages of the local newspaper after which you would become a weirdo, shunned and ridiculed everywhere you go. You would probably then be known as “the grave guy” and your wife would be “the grave guy’s wife.” No one wants to be the grave guy.
The upshot being, don’t think I am undertaking (inadvertent play on words) any of this lightly. I’m hoping I can get under my house without the house falling on me, find the bones, and place them into the Margaret Lane cemetery, into a proper burial without my existence ever being hinted at. Why? Why? See my comments above, the constant undertone of weeping is driving me crazy and somehow, for some inexplicable reason, it just seems to be the right thing to do. Sorry, I don’t mean to shout.
To tell the truth, before reading the above sites about buying bones, it had not occurred to me there might be an actual skull. All along I have envisioned a pile of smallish bones, the biggest being a femur or other leg bone, nothing grotesque, nice and clean like you see in a museum. After spending the afternoon looking through the various found-bones websites, I see now that is a vain hope. The best I can expect is that Rafe has done a good job digging things up under my house, and I will be spared any horrors. So, over several days, I will don my suit, my strap-on head-set light, climb under the house and collect whatever bones Rafe has already dug up, dig around in any obvious site and collect more bones if there are more bones, crawl out and ready myself to go to the Margaret Lane Cemetery, go, bury the bones in the previously-dug hole, sneak home, go to bed, find myself free of the incessant ongoing moaning, weeping from the little girl I’ve grown to know, and not to love, who will just not leave me alone.
That’s the plan.