The Empty Casket

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
Just a thought about graverobbing with some alternative consequences for the robber.

Submitted: June 22, 2009

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Submitted: June 22, 2009

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Christian Wills wiped the beads of sweat from his dirty brow and stared up at the full yellow moon, plump and erotic, burning in the night sky. He hates being out here all alone, well not quite, but alone enough to feel his skin shudder and his mind wander. Paranoia had been hanging over his head like an anvil for the past hour.
Christian’s eyes flare red as he attempts to blink the beads of salty sweat and smoky dust away from his clouded vision. He imagines being touched on the shoulder and a shovel colliding with his cheekbones, hearing the break, feeling the slow trickle of blood run down his face like the tributaries of a river. He imagines lying helplessly on the soft, muddy mound of dirt that he had dug, grasping at it, trying to drag himself way, another thud, and darkness consuming.
His lively green eyes dart from headstone to headstone, from one grave to another. The feeling of grey covers him like a slime entering his every pore, wrapping itself around him like a cocoon. His trembling hands, frozen by the wintery night air, grasp the shaking steel red shovel and with both hands tightly clenched around the shaft he shoot its down into the dirt. The spade penetrates the yielding ground with broken roots bursting from the walls of the hole he has begun to dig with ease and he restarts the process of scooping the earth to his right hand side where an already visible pile has started to grow in size.
A light drizzle appears from the starless sky and dapples Christian’s anxious face. Skewing his eyes upward he blinks up at the cloud cover and the eerie tint the moon give the clouds passing in front of it, the raindrops continue to fall downward onto his upturned face. Wiping away the drops of water with the sleeve of his jacket he dives the shovel further into the open grave. Thunder rumbles in the distance and the dead leaves dance in morbid fashion over the graves as the wind whistles around melancholically.
A shiver infiltrates Christian’s spine and he darts up standing straight. The thought passes through his head, a memory, his older sister Catherine telling him her superstitious bullshit to scare him when he was younger. When a shiver like that creeps up your spine it means that someone just walked over your grave is what she used to say and when he refused to believe it she would giggle and walk away leaving him to wonder about the possibility of it being truthful. Shaking his head and smirking morosely he curses under his breath and digs.
The graveyard has noticeably become the set for a horror movie but undeterred he knows that when he is finished he’ll be gone, and that generous amount of money promised, awaits him.
The practice of grave robbery has never made him proud of himself but the pay he receives allows him to bring in some extra cash to spend during the week, the month, the year. It pays for his holidays in sun drenched beach resorts, his alcohol, his hookers, and the drugs. Being addicted to the immoral materialism and vices that life offers depends on income other than that of a dead end job.
The worst part of the job isn’t seeing who he’s digging up and taking from; dismembering and piling into the back of his truck, the smell it leaves, the bone fragments that stay as mementos. All that he can live with and wash away but seeing the epitaph left by family and friends on the headstone, the thought of relatives weeping at funerals always stabs him in the heart, makes him gulp, the feeling of tears, the colour grey, and blurry sight.
Nevertheless he always looks.
It’s as though in a morose way he cannot consider his business completed if he does not see who he’s stealing from, who lies dead in front of him, fragments of bone sifting through his fingers. His willingness to resort to grave robbery for money has always confounded him like how he reads the epitaph. A serial killer afraid to kill chooses to steal from dead people he thinks hunched over the handle of the spade breathing heavily.
Sweat perspires down his forehead and over his eyes, nose, and mouth. He tastes the dust and salt and spits into the grave. It was too dark now, too late, for him to be noticed by anyone who may be nosing around the graveyard. He sits down onto the embankment of dirt he has amassed throughout the night and takes out a cigarette.
He needs to calm down and rest before he reaches the casket and removes the disintegrating corpse. Christian arches his back, cracks his fingers back and forth, drags deeply from the cigarette. The smoke whispers away into the haunting night as he watches it dance away, rising. He presses himself up with the palms of his hands gripping down and levering himself up from the sandy embankment he feels another life squirming in his powerful hands. Earthworm. He crushes it into a pulp and wipes his hands on his dirty pants; once more he grips the shovel.
The casket has been buried further down than expected. No worry. He has more time than he expects but the storm continues to develop into something larger, more dangerous. He has always been a loner, the child who purposely sits in the rain so as to show everyone that he is different and that they cannot help him in any way.
He likes the dead. Friends who don’t speak. Friends who listen without hearing. Income is a few stabs into the ground away. Christian normally speaks to those surrounding him, underneath him, but tonight’s play has been interrupted by bad weather. He wants to be done. Something doesn’t feel right. Not like the other nights.
He imagines the inevitable storm being a prerequisite for something more sinister, a malevolent force shrouded by the cover of the whistling wind and beating rain. He imagines collapsing into the open grave below him, the irony of it all, his end.
Christian hasn’t heard the padding footsteps, the boots treading on soft, wet leaves, the figure clearing its throat and watching through the hood pulled over its eyes. The cloaked intruder stands in silence behind him without movement. The rain has drenched every inch of the graveyard allowing the intruder to remain unnoticed until it has the capability of reaching out and grabbing Christian, dragging him away into the strangled darkness of a grave.
Christian is unaware; he digs and drags sand out and onto the growing mound of dirt. Christian relaxes as he hears the bang of shovel hitting the casket. Relieved, he breathes deeply and picks up his crowbar. With his remaining strength he wedges the crowbar into the casket and attempts to spring it open. The hinges creak but the coffin opens easily to reveal no visible body.
“Fuck!” Christian shouts. It’s no big deal to him, just frustrating. Something like this has happened before. His biceps are crippled by the exhausting effort it has taken him to rob an empty grave. Intrigued and tired, he still remembers the epitaph. He climbs out of the grave and sits on his haunches in order to read the epitaph at eye level. Christian squints his eyes because of the blinding storm and rain pelting down onto him, soaking him; he draws himself closer to the tombstone and prepares to read.
He reads the epitaph, it’s necessary for Christian, it reads:
MURPHY HOLMES
FATHER, HUSBAND, FRIEND
1936 – 2009
MAY HE LIVE ON IN THE WORLD TO COME
Until We Meet Again
“Well Murphy, it’s nice to meet ya.” Christian says hesitantly and breathes in the hostility of the air.
“It’s nice to meet you too.” The voice of the intruder is kind and soft.
Christian spins around, feverishly panting for breath, his eyes glaze with terror as his horrified eyes fix on the cloaked man standing over him. He backs into the tombstone, holding onto either side of it, and gawks at the man standing before him claiming to be the man in the grave.
“What did you say?” He asks trembling and wiping the rain water bombarding his face.
“It’s nice to meet you.’ Murphy replies and a devilish smile appears beneath the hood revealing his brown, decaying, fang-like teeth.
“Who the fuck...what...are...you?” Christian stutters near enough to weeping at the sight of the cloaked man standing in front of him.
“I am Murphy Holmes, or what was Murphy Holmes, I have lured you here in order to feed. I am a ghoul.”
It is all too much for Christian to handle, to process; he falls to the ground and runs on his hands and knees away from Murphy. Christian’s feeble attempt at escape is thwarted by Murphy cutting him off with precision and delivering a knee to Christian’s face lowering him to the ground. Blood runs from Christian’s broken nose. He rolls on the floor screaming like dying insect as Murphy moves slowly towards him.
“Before I feed on you I want you to understand that it’s nothing personal. I just need to feed on parasites like you. The very fact that you were willing to rob my grave for money is an adequate reason for me to take your life so that I can survive.” Murphy says looming over the helpless Christian. “I just don’t want to die yet.”
“Fuck you!” Christian chokes out over the blood running from his nose into his mouth and down his throat. He spits blood at Murphy powerlessly and grins toothlessly.
“Oh and you spat on my grave.”
The demented ghoul, thirsty for human blood, dives down with supernatural speed and strength onto Christian’s weakened body and tears out his jugular vein with his sharp teeth. Christian is unable to grip the wound or stop the bleeding as the maddened ghoul rips at more skin, more flesh until Christian lies unconscious and dying on the mound of earth. His eyes assume a deranged expression as Murphy stares up at the full moon and the storm subsides. His mouth is dappled in blood dripping from his fangs. When he has finished feeding he dumps Christian into the open casket and, wiping his mouth clean, disappears into the dead black night.


© Copyright 2018 MacAttack. All rights reserved.

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