“It takes patience,” the lunatic had said. “A sledgehammer won’t work. Only beauty overcomes death.”
By the light of a bone-white moon, I felt my way to my mother’s grave, carrying a purloined hammer and chisel. I started carving swirls into the marble, then starbursts and graceful figures until I transformed that baleful guardian into revivifying craftsmanship. I prayed I would see her again—not some ghastly reanimation, but really her.
“There was a grave robbery,” my dad said at breakfast. “Someone destroyed a headstone. The body is missing.”
My soul leapt.
“It’s the one right next to your mother’s.”