"We pulled up outside the cemetery and got out of the car. We walked through the gate. In the summer heat, a swarm of mosquitoes was circling above a stagnant pool on the path we walked on that cut through the middle of the graveyard. The graveyard was divided roughly into two sections. The older section’s headstones were haphazardly arranged, arbitrarily placed in seemingly little order, almost as if people had come here to die and were buried where they had fallen."
The scene's setting is loosely based on a graveyard near where I grew up. There's an old church on the cemetery grounds - among the very smallest churches in Ireland, no bigger than an apartment living room, and although it only dates back to around the seventeenth century, apparently there has been a site of worship on that same ground since at least 800 AD.
Although it's difficult to see the headstones in this graveyard from the photos, beyond the graves right next to the church, the other burial places are in fact haphazardly arranged around the chapel and throughout the old graveyard.
Headstones and tombs date back to the 1600s. They have faded over the last couple of decades; I could read them when I was younger, but the inscriptions are mostly gone now.
Maybe there's a purpose or pattern to the layout of the graves, but if there is, I don't know about it.
The Perduror is the second work of fiction that's been inspired by the little church.
The first is a short story called Ramsey and the Child, which won a short fiction prize in 2011. So the inspiration has served me well.
You can buy The Perduror for Kindle.