The year was 1913 John Hawkins was the gravedigger of the town of New Haven. John was a known drunk to the people of New Haven his house sat inside of the graveyard. The townsfolk could hear him beat his wife, Helen, in a drunken rage her screams would go on at all hours of the night. People would see her bruises whenever she would leave, which was a very rare occasion. Until one-day people noticed that Helen was bearing a child. It was heard that she had the child and she died in result of losing to much blood. It was a little boy named Robert Hawkins.
A few years later people would hear the cries of the boy in place of his wife no one even seen the boy hardly at all only to help his father dig the holes for the dead. When the boy was a teen the people would see him more often he was a very small boy with hardly any meat on his bones. As usual when John would start drinking he would take his anger out on Robert until one night in a fit of rage he killed Robert with a blow to the head. When questions started popping up around town of the cause of death of Robert, John would simply answer “He just got sick.” When John would bury the dead he’d attach a bell to each grave so if the ‘dead ‘was alive somehow they could ring it as this was a common occurrence in these times where people in comas were mistaken for dead and so they’d wake up buried alive.
A few months after Roberts death, John was sitting in his living room drinking and listening to the radio, when he heard a faint bell. It was coming from the direction where Roberts grave was. John sat up quickly turning down the radio his ears at full attention very faintly the bell was still ringing. He stood up and put on his boots and grabbed his revolver incase if there were any unwanted grave robbers that John was used too. He walked outside still the bell rang very gently, John notice it was coming from Roberts grave.
John started to run back to the house to grab his shovel nearly falling in the process. He began to dig very quickly in hopes that Robert was down there alive. After an hour he hit Roberts coffin the hollow thud against the wooden box startled John at first. He opened the coffins door. The smell of decomposition filled his nose immediately, still, Robert was dead the lantern illuminated Roberts face which was very white.
“I could’ve swore I heard it.” John said. He closed the door slowly hoping Robert would say something. He reburied Robert making sure the string was in place for the bell. John went inside and went to bed as he laid there remembering the dead look in Roberts eyes. It was almost as if he was looking into the eyes of his wife’s. John remembered when he was a younger man when he met Helen, she was the daughter of his boss John was a construction worker in these times he practically built New Haven. John remembered when he first met Helen she had long blonde hair with long eyelashes and bright blue eyes and a chisel chin. John knew he was going to marry her.
He then remembered the first time he had hit Helen he was of course drunk but that didn’t make it any better. John felt sorrow over fill him. He began to cry.
The next night John was in his living room revisiting the memories he was having last night. When he heard a bell it sounded louder than the one the night before. He got up and grabbed the lantern and his revolver and ran outside it was coming from Roberts grave again this made John eager to hurry and get his shovel. He hurried to Roberts grave and began to dig again, the bell still ringing faster this time. And somewhat low pitch rather than the regular high pitch ringing. It seemed odd to John but he kept digging. About an hour later John hit the coffin again and lifted up the heavy door and Looked down and asked “Robert, can you hear me?” But to no avail. John felt enraged had someone attached another string to the bell and was playing some cruel joke on him. But why did it sound more deep, hollow almost. John put these thoughts aside, it just startled him he was overthinking it. He began to think about the sound it reminded him of the church bells at his wedding he remembered how happy he was. How beautiful Helen looked that day but Helens father did not approve of the marriage John was born to a very poor family his father had died when he was younger which his mother went through many husbands which to a result John had many brothers and sisters John was the middle child but he was expected to work and so his first job was a paper boy when John had enough money saved up he ran away at the age of 13. He thought about this while digging. But the hollow thud broke his focus. He opened the coffin Robert was there dead as the night before.
“What is going on?” John whispered to himself he looked up but then he began to feel eyes upon him, but not just any eyes, Roberts, He could feel the gaze looking at him he glanced down and Roberts eyes were closed. And so John climbed back to the surface and reburied the corpse. He then went back inside, John again laying in his bed remembered his childhood or what seemed to be a childhood he once endured but he remembered how hard he worked to run away from his problems and remembered how Robert was he would always be willing to help even though he knew his father would reject and abuse him, John believed that Robert truly did love his father and John could see in his eyes that Robert took pity upon him. John finally fell asleep.
The next night John wasn’t even in the mood to drink he couldn’t get the murder he committed out of his head and he was filled with sorrow for all the people who have left his life, he wasn’t entirely sure where his mother or siblings were or even cared. The Cuckoo clock dinged and john glanced up it was 12 o’clock but beyond the cuckoo clock john could hear it the bell it was loud very loud as if a church bell was beside his window as this was going on the cuckoo clock was still ringing seeming to get higher in pitch John cupped his hands over his ears but to no avail the bells chime seemed low and was vibrating the house very badly plates and various bottles of whiskey were falling off tables and counters John was terrified with each pound of the bell slugged his chest knocking the wind out. He stood up and starting running outside only to find that every bell attached to each grave was ringing, the only thought was Robert and what he did sorrow pounding his heart with each slug now his mind was numb with mournful thoughts of death he ran back inside and grabbed the bible under his pillow and finally screamed out
“I did it! I murdered Robert it was me! Forgive me all mighty God Please forgive me holy spirit please rebuke this spirit that is tormenting me forgive me!”
The next morning the town of New Haven awoke to find out John Hawkins was dead, he had died in his sleep, but the most peculiar part was there was a bell placed beside him on his nightstand.