The Graveyard Reader

Kate Reed, Kylie Helzer


Ostentatious: adjective, characterized by or given to pretentious or conspicuous show in an attempt to impress others

Sepulcher: noun, a tomb, grave, or burial place.

Placating: verb (used with object), placated, placating, to appease or pacify, especially by concessions or conciliatory gestures

Semantic: adjective, of, relating to, or arising from the different meanings of words or other symbols:

Vulgarity: adjective, indecent; obscene; lewd:

Plot Summary

A man visits a graveyard to his wife's gravestone, but meets a mysterious stranger. The stranger talks to him and the man admits that he didn't know much about her, which was why her gravestone remained blank. He asks to read the grave, and the man says that the grave was very terse. The stranger then says he knows how to read graves, which seems like a non laudable feat, but then the man finds out that he can literally read the grave. He can look at the way the grass is laying, or the amount of dew and the arrangement of the mud and figure out the person lying underneath the earth's life. The man is intrigued and wants to learn how to read so that he can figure out his wife's life. At the end of his wife's life, she packed up and left him with no note or explanation about her behavior and where she was going. They found her hundreds of miles away from home in another mans sports car only wearing a bathrobe. The man learns from the stranger how to read graves and becomes very good at it. But, when he finally becomes fluent enough to read his wife's grave, he decides some things are better left unknown. He finds closurein her inscription that says "rest in peace" and finally can let it go.

Connection to fantasy

  • can read graves and know everything about the person in the grave
  • graveyard


I would recommend this story to others. I thought that the way they described reading the graves was imaginative and painted a crisp picture in your head. I also thought the ending wasn't predictable, and i liked that the man found closure despite the situation he was in, and did it on his own and without the help from the stranger or grave reading. I think that the nameless characters were simple and didn't have much back story to go on, but still make you feel something towards them, especially at the end with the man.