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The graves in the front of the cemetery were the oldest

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The graves in the front of the cemetery were the oldest, crumbly stones crusted with lichen and often leaning at strange angles, like the teeth of someone with advanced gum disease. The oak roots had heaved some of them into their po-sitions. Charlie could make out the dates on some: 1868, 1874, 1892. There were no sounds in the air at all. No traffic, no foot-steps, no birdsong. graves were. Most of these stones were flat, clean granite. Bright splotches of flowers marked some of their bases. He paused un-der one of the oaks and observed the nearest stone, not much bigger than a shoebox, razor-sharp-new inscription: Jasmine Lashaundra Diamante, birth and death dates only six months apart.