Revenge from beyond the grave

photo-of-person-inside-cave-2812193.jpgPhoto by Brady Knoll from Pexels
I always have fun exploring the web articles of Atlas Obscura, which is all about the world’s hidden wonders, no less. They write historical, anthropological, cultural anecdotes that just brighten my day. Some articles really make me want to walk into the place they dug up, and some just make great material to keep in the back of my head for world building in fantasy and SF.
For example they have a great article on how the first people baring umbrellas were shamed for their strange behaviour… a bit like western people still having trouble with face masks and are embarrassed wearing one in public when they could stop the spread of many diseases that way. Wearing a mask when you are sick in Asia is just commune courtesy.  
In case you’re wondering, the article is here:The Public Shaming of England’s First Umbrella User

Jonas Hanway walking into the rain, with—controversially—an umbrella. (Photo: Bettmann/Getty Images) from the website of Atlas Obscura

Can you imagine a world when umbrellas were new?

Or anything as mundane as that, like when forks were new…

Actually, if you’re curious, the first fork-user in Germany had it REALLY tough. It was in the 1400s. She was an Italian princess, married off to a king there. And when people saw her eat with her fork, so dainty and precious, they accused her of heresy and got ready to burn her at the stake. All that for a fork. And who wants to plunge their hands every meal into sticky greasy stews with only a slice of bread to mop it all up? Yuck.

I think we don’t realise how much the world changes. Mentalities, beliefs… it’s good to be reminded of that sometimes, and to think that we probably wouldn’t understand people in our past at all, much less than people in different countries but from our own time era.

Anyway, going back to my prime topic, I just read one of their articles about the strange case where the parents printed the name their daughter’s murderer on her tombstone… as the lovesick stalker killed himself after his terrible deed and was never formally punished for it, they just had to find a solution to “shame” his name and family.

For the curious, it’s here: https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/grave-of-sevilla-jones

photography-of-graveyard-under-cloudy-sky-862115.jpg

Photo by Skitterphoto from Pexels

Isn’t this an all found premise for a novel? Accusation from beyond the grave? It needs almost no tweaking to be a perfect hook. But since I’m more into fantasy than reality this sent my mind racing about possible stories where a seer, foreshadowing her murder, makes a call to a tombstone carver for an epitaph on marble pointing out the culprit and displaying it for all to see… and planting it in a cemetery full of other tombstones accusing people of their murder.

This is a free idea by the way 🙂 Use it if you like it and please please please send me the story. I’d love to read it!

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