This is a page where you will find photos of Alyce Vayle
I pulled over to the side of the road and took out my camera. The light was catching the wood of the headstone at exactly the right angle, and I began to snap. This was an interesting one, it had no marker for name, sex or date of death; it was just an unmarked cross, covered in wilting flowers to mark the spot where some poor soul had been killed by a car.
Right here. Someone, not too long ago had died at exactly this spot. I turned to face the road and the cars sped menacingly, almost daring me to step in front of one; then there’d be two wooden crosses by the road, not just one, I thought. I had always been interested in morbid things; when I was a child I used to walk through an old cemetery on the way home from school each day. It was one of the oldest ones in the city, and being a child myself, the graves I liked to look at the most were the ones of dead children, the tiny little babies of the 1800’s who had died at 3 months, 10 months or 2 years old. As I used to walk past their graves, I’d pause for a minute in front of them and read the inscription (if it had not weathered away) and imagine how the mother must have felt, when her baby died at just 2 months old. I’d spare a thought for the sadness, the grief of carrying a child to term, giving birth, nursing and naming your baby, and then the pain she’d feel after her child was taken away just as it was starting to develop a personality and she was getting used to it being a member of the family.
This spot was different; it wasn’t a grave with bones underneath. This cross by the roadside was a warning to the general public from a sad mother or father, “Slow down,” it seemed to say, “My child was killed here, and the same could happen to you.”
I loved spots like this, and as morbid as it seemed, I had a whole collection of photos of memorials like these. I noticed initially when they first went up, when the person had obviously just been killed. At first the cross would be covered with fresh flowers. Sometimes candles and relics of the person were placed there too; a fluffy toy or a strand of plastic beads that once belonged to them. If the person was truly beloved, you’d often see a hand written poem or note attached to the cross or placed in a jar at its foot. I often thought that you could tell how missed a person was going to be by the amount of attention the roadside memorial received in that first week.
Then the flowers would start to fade, and you’d sometimes see fresh ones appear alongside the dead ones. Then there would be no fresh ones at all, only dead flowers and a rickety cross to mark the spot where someone loved was taken from this world. This grave was at the second stage, some fresh flowers and some dead. I wonder who had died here? Just as I had that thought, a car thundered past me, its loud roar snapping me back to reality. There was no time for any more photos; I had to get back to town quickly, and I had lots to do this afternoon. I allowed my mind to drift back to the here, the now, the present.
F**k. It was quarter to four, my nails were a mess and my hair needed attention and I had nothing at all to wear. I had a date tonight.
These are the only photos of Alyce Vayle on this website.