The Cemetery That Became a Gallery

Claudia's mother died when she was very young. She had fallen from a ladder and broke her neck. Her grief stricken father accepted the fine marble gravestone from the town church, but refused to let the carver mark the stone in any way. Instead he painted the scene of her death on its polished surface. The tree, the ladder, and her mother with her head in an impossible position.

The gravesite was only a small curiosity at first but soon thousands came to see the painting that miraculously adhered to the stone. It withstood the elements without aging and denied even a flake of paint to the fingernails and pocketknives of malicious children.

When the village baker's husband passed away she asked Claudia's father for a similar marker. Soon all of the village's dead were honored by Claudia's father's miraculous art. These gravestones, all painted with the scene of the person's death, also refused to age or fade. This was how her father found a new trade and the land surrounding their farm became the largest cemetery in that part of the country. Claudia spent much of her youth wandering the cemetery that had become a gallery, dodging the crowds and searching for the ladders her father had hidden in each painting.