This was written as a writing assignment for the First Saturday Writers around the word, Weathering.
George used his shirt sleeve to rub the tombstone. He moved closer and put his knees against the front of the stone. He shook his head and rubbed again using a paper towel. He spit on his fingers and rubbed again. “I can’t read this damn thing. This old limestone they used back a hundred years ago can’t stand the weathering like today’s granite.” He looked around the cemetery. “Where is Mrs. Jones and the other students. We are not supposed to be the only ones from our class doing this dumb mapping and survey project.
Joanne ignored his questions about the project.
“Well, what do you expect? People in this graveyard were poor a hundred years ago. Limestone was cheaper and relatively easy to inscribe.” Joanne kept on brushing a small tombstone with a paint brush without even looking at George’s tombstone. “I’m sure this is an infants grave. The lamb lying on top is a good indicator. I can’t read it yet, but I’m sure it will read ‘Asleep in Jesus’ or something similar.” She stopped brushing and leaned closer. “I can make out part of his or her birth date. Born January 5, 1885.”
She picked up her clipboard. “Let’s see, this is section five, row four and the ninth grave site.” She counted the stones again to make sure. “Yep, it’s the ninth tombstone.” She sprayed a bit of water on the inscriptions and began wiping gently.