I tend to do a lot of driving. It’s a good way for me to get out of the house with the family. Generally, we don’t have any set destination. We cruise along the backroads of places like Pepperell and Dunstable, Groton and Tyngsboro. All of them hundreds of years old.
Hidden away in these backroads are graveyards. Some large and others nothing more than a family burial plot from when the surrounding area was still under threat of attack by Native Americans.
We were driving through these towns recently when we came upon an old schoolhouse. The building was petite, painted red, and surrounded by a fieldstone fence which looked like it had existed before our nation did. In addition to the schoolhouse there was a cemetery and, according to the plaque affixed to the building, a church had once stood there as well.
The headstones were ancient, carved from slate and bearing the sigils and symbols of our ancestors. For the entire ride home, I was obsessed with the idea of the dead still lingering about their graves.
What would happen if these dead had once belonged somewhere else? How did they get from their homes to the cemetery? Were they forced there, and if so, why?
These questions kept me awake for a really long time. By morning, a story and a main character had taken shape.
You’re going to meet him soon, and you’ll have to decide for yourself whether he’s a hero or not.
See you in the shadows,