I live in a town called the Coffin. Don’t laugh and turn away, I’m quite serious! Our town’s name is le Cercueil which translates literally to “coffin”. My house’s name (here we have names not numbers, we treat our houses with respect, only not really) is the Suffering. And my parents thought that it would be a good idea to raise two children here. HA! I don’t even want to think about what they’d been drinking the night they made the transaction.
I’ve known my home ever since I was a baby, and although now we only go to the house on weekends because my brother and I go to school in Paris, my heart belongs there. Isn’t that a weird thing to say? My heart belongs in the Suffering of the Coffin. People might think I’m dark or something, but actually, no. I love it here and I wouldn’t change the odd consequences of my being here for anything.
The picture above is of the main part of our house, which is 400 years old and hasn’t changed much since I’ve known it. In fact the little girl at the table on the front lawn is me! I knooow right?
Anywho, I guess I owe you an explanation as to why the town is called the Coffin. In a time far far away, the Gauls (original French people) were fighting the Romans around here during the Gallo-Roman wars. The battle fought on the very grounds where I sit typing this was a bloody (hence the suffering part) and costly one, with a high number of victims. The Gauls won, and their victory allowed them the right to bury their dead. So they buried them right here on the land that they had fought for and the town earned the name Sarcophagus. Over time as no one used the word sarcophagus anymore the term became ‘coffin’. The Romans, forced to retreat, did not get the luxury of burying their dead, instead having to pile them up and burn them. The village neighboring ours is called Montmerrei, which in Latin signifies ‘mountain of the dead’. I kid you not.
You can still see the trenches left over from World War I in the forest, and our old neighbor saw the Germans set up camp in our fields because we had a water well there during World War II. After the Germans came the Americans, and finally the British. When I go down there, I try to imagine what the scene would have looked like and how different from my reality things were.
Well, I’m pretty sure our whole county is haunted, but in a town without any shops or commercial activity where a sparsely distributed 130 people live, no one pays much attention to the tales of our old homes’ glory days. Although, on nights when the ancient house creaks in the wind and lashing rain, it sure is pretty freakin’ scary to think of all those stories.
The Coffin has a lot of historical baggage (not to mention psychological, I mean I pity the shrink that has to deal with the town called the Coffin), but to everyone around here, it’s just another little sleepy hollow. Explaining it to visitors, however, can be a little more challenging. And no, there are no old bones lying around. To my knowledge. Then again, my dog might have eaten them all.
Live long and prosper \V/
The Mostly Confused Teenager