The Dead Disturbed

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
There is a reason why people let the dead rest in peace, and Sammy, a poor man looking to make a quick buck, will learn the reason why.
To disturb Death is to invite it.

Submitted: November 05, 2013

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Submitted: November 05, 2013

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Sammy sat with his back to an ancient gravestone, delicately peeling petals off of the wildflowers that grew around it. He had already finished off the roses that, no doubt, some grieving family member had left there for their dead loved one. And of course, he was just that: dead. A cold, rotting corpse six feet underneath him. He isn't going to miss them, nor does he realize that they were even there to begin with, Sammy thought.

He was broken from his trance when a load of moist dirt smacked him in the face. Coughing, he jerked his head up and saw Chris standing next to another grave nearby, shovel in hand and a glare in his eyes. The large, full moon illuminated the tombstones with an eerie, white light, but for Chris the effect was greatly amplified on his pale face so that it appeared to have a hazy, ghoulish glow about it. Despite that, however, Sam could tell he was peeved. 

"What's up?" asked Sammy, who had returned to picking petals off of flowers.

"Oh I know what's up, and it certainly isn't you," he said accusingly, pointing a finger at Sammy.

Sammy chuckled, "Are you asking me to get up and help you out? Well, maybe I will if you ask politely." With a grin, he added, "You know, throwing dirt on somebody isn't exactly what I call polite."

"Screw what you think is polite!" Chris gripped the shovel handle tighter. "I've been digging more than my fair share and now it's your turn!" He tossed the shovel to the ground next to Sammy. "You're not going to talk your way out of it this time!"

Again, Sammy chuckled. "You should really work on your manners one of these days, Chris." Not waiting for his reply, Sammy stood up and grabbed the shovel. He began strolling towards the half dug-up grave.

"Hurry up!" Chris hissed.

"Why? What's the rush?" Sammy asked as he reached the lip of the pit Chris had been digging in.

Chris looked around at the graves surrounding him and shivered. "I just don't want to be here longer than I have to," he whispered.

Sammy rolled his eyes and looked down. He could see that Chris hadn't lied, he really had done most of the work. There were only a couple of feet left to get through. He glanced up to see the marble tombstone that sat at the head of the grave he was desecrating. He nodded in approval, knowing that whoever was down there had to have been wealthy in life, and with that encouraging thought in mind, he pushed the shovel deep into the soil and ripped it from its tranquil state. 

Almost as soon as he did that, an icy breeze swept through the graveyard. It brought a chill that sank deep into his skin and stabbed viciously at his bones. Sammy paused to rub his arm and noticed that it was already prickly with goosebumps. Tiny seeds  of fear began taking root in his mind as he placed his trembling hand back on the shovel. It's just wind, Sammy thought, nothing to be afraid of. After all, this definently wasn't the first time he had done this.

He hefted the shovel and continued digging closer and closer to the coffin, the payoff to the insane risk they were taking. And with each shovelful of dirt he drew up from the earth, the temperature dropped lower and lower. Clouds began to move over the moon, filtering out the comforting light, inviting the darkness to draw ever nearer. He stopped digging abruptly when he heard a muffled clunk from under the shovel blade. 

"Chris, over here! We've hit the money!" Sammy shouted. There was no reply, only silence, a silence deeper than any Sammy had ever experienced. He felt his pulse quicken, could feel it pulsing in his ears. "Chris?" he whispered, dread creeping upon him slowly like the waters of a rising tide. He turned around and saw that only darkness occupied the spot that Chris had once stood in.

"I always had him pegged as a little wimp," Sammy said uncertainly, "more loot for me then." He turned and finished digging the grave out. By this time, it had grown too dark to even see what the coffin looked like, so he pulled a stolen phone out of his pocket and used the flashlight app on it to see. It was coal black and his breath caught in his throat when he saw the glistening gold linings that weaved in an intricate pattern on the lid. If only Chris was here to see this, Sammy thought with a shake of his head.

He picked up the crowbar that he had laid next to the grave and wedged it into the crack between the lid and the rest of the coffin. With a deep breath, he threw his weight against it and pushed down with all the strength he could muster. The wood groaned in protest and after a few minutes, finally gave away with a loud snap. He was grinning and butterflys fluttered in his stomach as he rushed to flip the lid open, all previous anxiety forgotten.

However, Sammy soon noticed that something was wrong. There were no horrific odors of rot to greet him. He looked up to double check the date on the tombstone. July 19, 1963- August 31, 2013. It was the middle of October now. Only dead for two months, yet no stench, Sammy thought puzzled. He looked at the coffin, a dark, open box with nothing but shadows visible within, and a wave of apprehension struck him like a punch to the gut. His mind was screaming at his legs, warning them that they needed to run far away and never return. Lifting his phone up with trembling arms, Sammy steeled himself for whatever may lie in the coffin.

The light revealed a body, blood welling from slashes on the arms and legs. Sammy knew that blood didn't run from corpses like that unless they were fresh. He averted his eyes to the face and when he saw it, his blood turned into ice. It was Chris, his eyes staring at an unspeakable horror, blood pouring out of every orifice. He stared dumbfounded at the corpse, unaware of the sweat rolling down his body or his heart beating a hole into his chest. He knew then that he was staring at the face of death, and when he saw its eyes twitch, one thought hit him: run.

He turned around and put his legs in motion, fleeing the grave, the graveyard, and Death itself. He was not able to get far though. Almost as soon as he began to run, the moon's light suddenly vanished, drenching the world in complete darkness. His leg hit something hard and he heard a sickening crunch as pain shot up his leg and his face slammed into the ground. He rolled over and saw bone protruding from his leg. Tears streamed down his face as he moaned in agony.

That was when he saw something moving in the darkness. Fumbling with his pocket, he pulled out his phone and shone the light on it. He saw his friend's lifeless body lurching torwards him, his legs limping along in awkward positions and his eyes still staring at nothing.

"Oh God!" Sammy screamed. He tried to roll over and crawl away, but something cold and wet was holding onto his arm, keeping him on his back. He swung to the side and, to his horror, saw that a moist, bloodless hand had sprung up from the ground and was mercilessly clenched around his arm. He twisted and pulled violently in a desperate attempt to break free from its icy grip, but to no avail. The hand just gripped tighter and tighter until it felt like his bone would snap in two. He tried hammering on it with his free hand and in response another hand burst from the ground and wrapped around his throat. His head was snapped back to the ground and his eyes were forced to look up at the lifeless body that had once belonged to Chris now looming over him. 

" He loved those flowers," it said through a mouth that barely seemed to move at all. The voice sounded like a snake flicking its tongue in his ear, the complete opposite of the hoarse, deep voice that Chris used to have. "They were left in memory of him, yet you destroyed them without a care in the world. I was resting in peace, until you disturbed me." The words sent shivers down Sammy's spine.

"Please! I didn't mean anything by it! I just need money to feed my kids and my job doesn't pay enough and-" his own sobbing cut him off. He could feel tears sliding down the side of his face into his ears, making the next words hard to hear. " I'm not ready to die. Please just let me live."

"I've heard those words for countless years and still, it makes no difference." It turned and began walking away, despite Sammy's shouts and insults. The ground began to part underneath Sammy and he could feel more hands rising from the ground and placing their cold grips on his writhing body. Gently, they started pulling him down into the earth. His pleading and cries rang throughout the courtyard, yet they went unheard as he slowly sank into the ground and by the time the sun had risen, the dead were once again at peace.


© Copyright 2019 J E Hunter. All rights reserved.

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