**I wrote this in about ten minutes one day and felt that it had some potential, but in the end I re-wrote almost everything, so I thought I would share what I had and let you decide if it had potential or not.
He pushed the sunglass back onto his face and stiffened the collar of his frock jacket up around his neck to keep the cold November chill at bay. He considered kneeling down and brushing the dead grass and leaves from off the grave marker, but then thought somebody could be watching and decided against it.
But who would be watching after nearly twenty years, he though to himself, resisting the urge to look around and see if anybody was indeed watching.
“Somebody.” Ben’s voice replied to the cold November breeze. “Maybe even him?” He nodded down toward the grave marker and then a sly smile cracked across his face showing the decaying teeth underneath. He then knelt down and brushed the dead leaves and grass away from the name on the marker, paying special attention to a clump of grass that stuck stubbornly to the letter Y in the name Bradley. Then he stepped back and looked over his shoulder, first to his left and then to his right and finally straight ahead to read the name on the marker.
“Benjamin Bradley,” thundered a voice, stirring the old man from his trance, causing a moment of fear as he heard his name being called out. “Was he a friend of yours?” A man asked as he stepped out from behind a broad oak tree and stood next to Ben.
Ben, unsure how to answer, simply nodded his head, trying to build up the courage to form the words in his throat. “Yes, from long ago – twenty years, as a matter of fact – from another time,” and place, Ben wanted to say but resisted.
Instinctively Ben looked over at the man standing next to him, wondering if he knew that the name on the grave marker and the man standing next to him were one-in-same and was the stranger simply playing with him or if he was indeed ignorant of the fact that he was talking to a dead man.
The man wore a simple tan long coat that hid every physical detail about him from the neck down. His eyes were covered in a dark tinted glass, much like the ones Ben was wearing, even though it was close to dusk and a late afternoon fog had encased the town earlier that afternoon.
“Twenty years, that’s about how long I have been in town. And in all those years I have never seen one person come to ‘Ol Ben’s grave that personally knew him.” The stranger looked down at the marker, his eyes dancing back and forth under his sunglasses as if he were reading the name Benjamin Bradley over and over again.
“Come here often?” Ben asked, suddenly feeling an overwhelming urge to leave, to run away before something bad happened and there would be no escape.
“Of course ‘Ol Ben doesn’t get hardly any foot traffic from the people in town.” The stranger said, ignoring Ben’s question. “Allister Night,” he said unexpectedly, blurting his name out as he spun around to face Ben, extending out his hand.
“Billy,” Ben said, fumbling to come up with a last name, deciding to leave it at Billy.
“Billy, it’s a pleasure to meet any friend of Ben’s. A friend of Ben’s is a friend of mine.” The stranger said, shaking Ben’s hand with two strong shakes before letting go and plunging his ash white hands back into the pocket of his long jacket.
Ben tried to hold back his surprise at the strangers’ unusual greeting, wondering if he knew the man from twenty years before. Even though the man’s eyes were hidden behind his sunglasses, Ben struggled with the rest of the man’s features, failing, in the end, to put a name with the face.