The chip and clang of chisels and mallets, harsh and steady. Jokes, curses, grunts of effort. “Joseph” carved with no ending date. Whitewash splashing over tooled stone. Sighs as the sun descends, bringing a Sabbath’s rest.
Days, weeks, months, seasons, and years passing in heat and cold, sunshine and moonlight. Wind song. Creak and rustle of spiders’ haunt and lizards’ lair. Leaves blown in on an unswept floor.
Men’s voices. “Put him here, Nicodemus.” Women weeping. “Thank you, kind Joseph.” “Not enough time, Sabbath’s coming.” Footsteps descending.
Tramping of feet, marching uphill. “This is the one; seal it up.” Clatter of weapons, clink of tools. Sighs, snores, and quiet conversation.
The stillness of the grave.
(used with permission)