The Cemetery

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic

Cover image: pixabay.com.

The Cemetery

Can you see anything?” Although I kept my voice at not much more than a whisper it seemed to echo around the gravestones.

Not yet, Grace.” I could just about hear Sean even if I couldn’t see him. “But give it time, we’ve only just got here. And be quiet. We don’t want to spook the spooks.”

What should we do? Split up a bit?” I asked.

I think that’s an excellent idea,” Sean said, not bothering to hide his exasperation. “That way you won’t feel the need to keep talking.”

Ouch, that rebuke stung. But okay, I had to admit that I’ve asked for it. The idea of setting ourselves up as ghost hunters had come from me after all, but whereas my enthusiasm for the idea quickly waned, Sean grabbed on to the idea and ran with it.

We’d not had much in the line of work. There was one old man who called us, convinced that the sounds in the attic were coming from his long deceased wife. I’ve got to admit that I found it exciting, going up to the dusty, cobweb strewn attic with nothing more than a flash light. There were some sheets draped on bits of old furniture that seemed to move on their own... each one a potential ghost. But eventually we found that the cause was nothing supernatural. The noises the man had heard were made by a squirrel that had built it’s nest on the far side of the attic to where it was getting in.

The man offered to pay us but we had to decline. Our ad said we would only charge for work that involved something... unusual. And that had been that until tonight.

There had been strange goings on in the local graveyard. There did not seem to be any further details, but if we found the cause and put the culprit to rest we’d been promised $500.

Without any idea of what we were up against Sean and I had found it hard to prepare. Other than a crucifix and a camera, a tape recorder and a couple of small bags of flour, we were pretty much unprepared.

I pulled my jacket tight around me as the wind picked up. The trees that edged the cemetery had lost their leaves, and their bare branches shivered almost as much as I did. An owl hooted from somewhere in the distance. Breathe, I told myself. Owls I could cope with, just so long as there were no bats. I hate bats!

Getting a grip on my strung-out nerves, I moved the beam of the flash light around. Lots of gravestones, most of them old and weathered, but nothing seemed out of place. At least that was what I had thought until my left foot hit nothing but empty air and I found myself falling.

The drop was not that deep and the surface that I landed on was well padded. Not only had I put my foot inside an open grave, but I had put the rest of me inside the coffin itself. I hastily got up from my knees and scrabbled my way out of the hole, bringing down lots of loose earth as I went.

The first thing I thought of was vampires. I had seen plenty of movies where Dracula had risen up from a similar place to go on his feeding expeditions, before returning back to his coffin before sunrise. There was something that did not quite fit with the image though. What was it?

It took me a few moments to work out what was not gelling with that image. The smell; that was it. So maybe the movies had got it all wrong but I didn’t recall anyone gagging from the stench of rot. It made my stomach heave.

Sean, are you here?” I whispered, then repeated a bit louder.

Sssh! I’ve found something,” he hissed back.

So have I. An open coffin, and boy does it stink.”

There are loads of them over here.” Sean said. “Looks like we’ve stumbled upon a vampire hive.”

I caught sight of the beam of his flashlight and made my way slowly and carefully towards it. There was no doubt in my mind; we were in no way equipped to deal with this situation. “What should we do? Looks like there are far more of them than of us.”

I was thinking,” Sean began, “that perhaps we should just shut the coffins. That way, when the blood suckers return the sun will be able to do the work for us.”

I nodded. It seemed like a sound enough plan, for everyone knew that the sunlight was lethal to the skin of vampires. Just a couple of rays and they’d be no more than a pile of ash which we could then pour into the coffin and replace the earth. I looked up at the sky, searching for any sign of a large swooping figure, glad that my neck was well wrapped up in a thick woollen scarf.

It was so quiet I could hear Sean’s teeth chattering. “Did you hear the owl?” I asked.

Yeah,” he replied. “But was that what it really was? Maybe they’ve been watching us.”

I turned a full circle letting the flashlight slowly revolve with me. It hadn’t occurred to me that they might have left a lookout, and that even now the vampires could be flying back, ready to feast on every drop of our blood. One thing that I was certain of was that they would do everything that they could to stop us from stopping them.

I couldn’t stop my eyes from scanning the open sky, and my teeth had joined Sean’s in a duet that made me think of rattling bones.

Sean, don’t you think it would be safer for us to take shelter under the trees?”

Grace, look at them. They are not going to hide much with no leaves on are they?”

True,” I didn’t need to look to know what he was talking about. “I’d still feel a bit less... exposed.”

Sean must have agreed with me, for together we carefully picked our way towards the edges of the graveyard, and while doing so we discovered even more open coffins. Several times I almost stumbled, just like he did, but eventually we made it. I pushed myself against the bough of what I guessed to be an oak or elm, but with no leaves and in the darkness, it could have been anything.

The stench was something awful. Even worse than it had been when I’d dropped into the coffin. It had to be the leaves mouldering away into the ground. Whatever it was, I was having to breathe through my mouth rather than my nose.

I looked out at the sky. “Can’t we just go home, Sean? We could say we never found anything.”

And what if someone saw the disturbed earth. How are we going to explain that away? We’ve got to wait it out and put a stop to these bloodsucking monsters.”

And so I kept on watching the skies. Maybe if I’d been a bit more open-minded we’d have both got away for it wasn’t vampires, not at all. They dropped from the branches, flooring Sean as they lost limbs, ripping at him with their hands, their teeth. I ran; gasping at the horror, reeling from the stench.

Who ever knew that zombies could climb trees!

 

 


Submitted: December 20, 2020

© Copyright 2021 hullabaloo22. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:

Comments

Mike S.

Spooky-goodness, Hull

Sun, December 20th, 2020 8:02pm

Author
Reply

Thanks so much for reading, Mike. I really appreciate it.

Tue, December 22nd, 2020 10:32am

Mark A George

You got me there, Hulla! I was all prepared for vampires or bats and it was zombies all along. Good one.

Sun, December 20th, 2020 8:29pm

Author
Reply

Thanks for reading it, Mark. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Tue, December 22nd, 2020 10:31am

moa rider

The last cemetary I visited was in Christchurch and all the headstone were toppled by the earthquake, Mama Hullabaloo. Any zombies would have said, 'Well, rattle me bones, what a shake!' Usianguke

Sun, December 20th, 2020 8:31pm

Author
Reply

Haha! Thanks, Moa!

Tue, December 22nd, 2020 10:31am

Vance Currie

I love it when you play tricks like that, Hully. You don't do it too often so you catch me every time. You have shown that horror and humour can work well together.

Sun, December 20th, 2020 8:38pm

Author
Reply

Thank you SO much, Joe. I'm glad you picked up on my attempts at making it at least slightly amusing.

Tue, December 22nd, 2020 10:30am

D. Thurmond aka JEF

Cool, high five!

Sun, December 20th, 2020 10:30pm

Author
Reply

Thanks so much, JE!

Tue, December 22nd, 2020 10:29am

88 fingers

Near where I live is a small old cemetery. The last burials were in the 1980's. They keep the cemetery locked and you have to go to the police department to let you in. But there is a short wall that you can climb over and wonder around. But after your story......

Mon, December 21st, 2020 12:32am

Author
Reply

There are quite a few old cemeteries around here, 88. Occasionally people dare to wander through them, and I guess most of the time they wander out again.
Thanks so much for reading.

Tue, December 22nd, 2020 10:28am

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