It was a cold windy night in October and there were small starry spaces in the sky which the clouds scudded quickly past. As the wind was strong the iron gate, outside Marianne Suominens house, creaked and banged continually.




Marianne smiled in her loneliness. She thought a real storm was on the way and when it arrived she intended to walk down to her son's grave. A churchyard in the clutches of an autumn storm is a solemn place and, if there was a cloudburst, she ventured to think the ground might open and make a tunnel for her to the underworld. She was superstitious but her superstition differed from other people's. The supernatural she believed in could usually throw off the impossible and become reality. Her son Benjamin was only eight when he died and she adored his gravestone as if it was a gateway to a new world.

Marianne lived close to the small market town's churchyard. She put on an extra sweater and a raincoat, locked the outer door and left. She followed the deserted street round the corner, went diagonally through the park and continued along another deserted street to the church.

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