Trail of the Undead

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
A tale I wrote one evening.

Submitted: July 05, 2015

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Submitted: July 05, 2015

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Dusk was setting in and the rays of the sunlight were becoming translucent.  The air was thick with the scent of decay.  It could almost dry up someone’s lungs if one ever breathed it in.  The automobile spurred down the street at an even pace.  Little pebbles trickled on the sides of the tires once it hit the dirt road.  For a second the steering wheel jerked once it hit the cobblestone, but quickly it was caught by a tired forceful grip.  The young man behind the wheel was sweating uncontrollably, his lips parched, his forehead gathering wetness.  He licked his lips trying to get something to drink but the only thing he could taste was salt which made him grimace after the fact.  Almost instinctively he flung off his sunglasses noticing the sun settle onto the horizon.  Soon, it has to be soon.  I have to hurry. 

The tires spun frantically as he neared the old cemetery, and in one fine instant, they came to a halt.  The grip on the steering wheel loosened as he nervously fidgeted with the door lock.  Once it was open he went to the back trunk, eagerly propping it open with a shaking key.  A backpack was everything he needed, and once the straps were around his shoulders, he violently shut the trunk.  The sweat was drying now feeling the nice cool crisp air hit is neck.  It was as if someone had turned on the air conditioning outside; it cooled his lungs, made him walk straighter.  His legs moved with a steady pace, his heart pumping at a moderate rate.  This is where it was.

Narrowing in on the dented gateway entrance, he surveyed his surroundings.  The black metal gate stood there as if to warn out any intruders.  A sign posted on the side was faded, and the only word that could be made out was CEMETERY.  The name was scribbled off with some kind of dull paint.  His hands came up to pry open the gate with no avail.  It would have to take some arm muscle to pry the damned thing open.  Searching through his backpack he found the crowbar which was easily pried between the lock and one of the poles.  Forcing his hands to the side, the gate tore open as if a gun had gun went off.  Hopefully he did not disturb the dead, and why shouldn’t he, he was there on a mission, on a quest for peace. 

Of course peace can be defined on so many levels, he dare not explore the alternatives of the manner.  The cemetery looked almost black to the color.  Jutted tombs for the taking.  Some were the simple kind, with cheaply made marble etched with the names of the deceased.  A couple of yards away the graves had gotten bigger and broader.  Some had crosses done on the top of them to give the deceased more of a proper burial, others had been destroyed over time due to weather and just time itself.

The young man had been looking for one in particular, one with the name plastered on its headstone: Henry Morris.  He knew it had been the right cemetery, he had done all the research in the world pin pointing where his grave had been.  After the fact he had spent countless nights preparing for what he was going to do when he found it.  He read all the right books, studied at night where the dead flourished with excitement.  Writing down notes which made him more proficient in his findings, and mapping out his destination only two days ago, he was well endowed with the equipment needed to get the job done.  Nothing else had to be said except for this had been a quest and a mission all rolled into one.  The quest to find out what happened to his friend, and the mission to destroy the rest of the body, if he could ever find it. 

Accidentally he tripped over the edge of a flower basin and he caught himself in midair.  The trembling breath ceased as he regained his composure still not sure if he could what he actually came here to do.  He placed his backpack on the ground, digging through the equipment he had brought with him.  Inside one of the zippered pockets was his lucky crucifix that belonged to his grandmother, and out of another one he brought out rosary beads made out of wood.  Little by little he began to recite the lords prayer as the sun dove into the setting ahead.

He did not know what kind of mysterious energy lurked here.  Maybe some teenage kids would practice voodoo magic on someone else’s grave hoping they would catch the sight of a ghost.  Some more morbid people used to practice séances or engage in witchcraft in cemeteries, so he was not too sure on what would protect him or not.  Have the faith, it will be the only thing to protect you.  His feet shuffled against the grass creating slight bits of noise that could be heard by the little wildlife.  He noticed a nearby squirrel scuttle away as he approached one of the winding roads in the cemetery.  The trees were deadly silent, only a whisper of faint wind could be heard.  The sky started to turn from a reddish orange to a purplish blue haze.  This was not good.

He had to hurry in his search, as he gazed back forth at all the names on the graves ahead of him.  Perhaps he passed it up, then he would have to start all over again.  Time was valuable, and it was not his friend tonight.  He glanced at his watch, just a little over eight thirty with the second hand approaching the twelve mark.  Then all of a sudden, as a beacon lit in a darkened cave, he saw the name.  The grave was fresh with the equipment to bury a coffin was leaning against the headstone.  A small shovel, along with a picket, and a mound of unkempt dirt lied directly at his right side.  The mound was still fresh as he grabbed the shovel.  Immediately without hesitation he started his descent into the underground picking up load after load of fine gravel.  The perspiration started again, and he began to sweat.  Two ovals of water started to form underneath the armpits of his solid black shirt, and the cool air was doing nothing to help. 

It must have taken him an hour, but he quickly dug up the grave.  He had to rest every ten to fifteen minutes to gather his breath after the frantic pace he set for himself.  He was constantly in a state of remembering to dictate the time it took for the sun to set.  Now the clouds started rolling in as if a blanket was being pulled over the cemetery.  An eerily glow began to sparkle on the headstone.  The name Henry Morris seemed to stretch as a ray of sunlight splashed across the old marble. 

He hit the top of the casket with the shovel making sure nothing would pop out and scare him to death.  He came prepared, completely prepared.  With the crowbar set in motion, he began undoing the lock.  One swift pump was not enough so he used his upper body strength to break whatever was holding this coffin closed.  It was almost as if death had a purpose just then, to remain hidden, to be vigilant.  The young man’s eyes started the strain when dusk became a hollow grave.  Impatiently he dug out the flashlight somewhere hidden within his backpack and laid it on top of the coffin just to give him enough of light to work with.  Little by little the crowbar bent, becoming useless as he waited to see what would come next. 

After several attempts of prying the casket open, he swung the top of the coffin to the side.  There was Henry Morris, dead as a doorknob.  Only there had been something different about him.  His face was not decomposing as normal, it seemed flush and pale.  And those eyelids seemed to carry the same dull expression as they always had been in life.  Dusty brown hair displayed sweat, and there had been a musty odor as if the dying had been up and walking just merely a few hours ago.  The young man stood eyeing the corpse indefinitely, his heart raced with excitement and fascination.  Next came the horror noticing the corpse twitch with an involuntary spasm.  Because now a trickle of blood escaped its mouth. 

Raising the flashlight to his chest, he shone the light on his dead used-to-be friend.  His cheeks had been rosy, filled with life.  It seemed that the lips were not dried out but moist.  Moist from what? the young man thought.  From his last meal?  From his last kill?  From what he had drank from the night before?  Of course he stand there all day thinking of these questions that constantly bombarded his mind.  He must finished the job he started.  He once again rested the flashlight on top of the casket, giving the facial expression on good old Henry Morris a haunting grin.  Of course he could be grinning, he was still alive, but barely.  His stomach was plump and extending, restraining the neat suit he wore the night he was buried. 

From out of the book bag he grabbed two things that he knew would end the nightmare.  One of them was a sharpened wooden stake the young man carved last night out of an old oak tree.  The other was a rubber mallet he stole from his father’s garage which was used just as a regular hammer.  Only this was not about nailing the coffin shut again just to make sure he never escaped his unearthly home.  He tipped past the breaking point now, he could not turn back, he must get the job done.  Thoughts racing, pounding as he thought this through.  Every moment seemed to make the sun descend further and further.  Very soon Henry Morris would wake up, his eyes roaming around to find his friend sheathed with a weapon to dispel him quickly.  It must be done.

His breaths were heavy, and the sweating returned.  His eyes roamed Henry Morris’ chest, right where the heart must have been, right in the dead center.  Hovering over the corpse as if an old hag was going to suffocate this body, he brought the stake down to his chest.  The pointed end removed one of the buttons on his white dress shirt, making sure the puncture would go all the way through to anchor him to the ground.  With all of his weight he jumped and watched the stake pierce Henry Morris’ heart.  The corpse let out a bolting cry as if a wolf called to the rest of the pack.

One hit from the mallet, and it drove the stake deeper. 

A second hit from the mallet, and the stake entered inside the chest cavity.

A third hit, a howl came from the dead Henry Morris.  Blood began to escape the wound.  The young man was already tired, feeling the weight of the small mallet.  The other hand was still wrapped around the stake feeling the pressure of his friend breathing heavy and choking up blood. 

A fourth hit, and he felt the stake lower down even more.  This time the wound opened up even wider with even more crimson leaking out from the suit jacket.  He knew he was almost there, just another couple more swings and it would be over with.  Another hit, and then another.  The butt end of the foot long stake was barely seen anymore as the corpse lied there panting, feigning in the sight of his dear old friend expelling the rest of life out of him.  As if he had a life to begin with after he died merely two days ago.  The young man went to his wake, only to understand the nightmare that was about to begin.  Somehow he knew this would become of Henry Morris.  Somehow he knew his friend had to die a second death.  The horror would not stop and this was the only way he knew how to end it.  Even from reading books on the occult, delving into ancient rituals found on the internet, and having just a little bit of knowledge on the undead unfriendly vampire, he began his preparations the night he left the funeral procession.  Nosferatu. 

The once Henry Morris struggled, his arms laid limp by his sides.  The energy he once had had been no more.  Now he really was a corpse, dying from the last amount of weight from the mallet.  But there had been more to it, the young man understood this.  Just because the vampire had been paralyzed from the final blow did not mean it would not stop him from regaining his strength, yanking out the stake, and having his vengeance upon him.  He had to see the ritual to the end. 

As short as it was, he pulled out machete that was tied to the outer part of his back pack.  He undid it from its holster, still fresh from when he bought it yesterday at the local hardware store.  It still was in prime condition, sharp and lethal.  He grabbed the handle with a shaky grip, moving the blade over the neck of his dear old friend.  In one swift stroke, the blade came crashing down on pale skin.  One blow completely opened the throat, letting the innards spill out along the sides of the coffin.  The second blow ripped the rest of the neck wide open, his head flailing as a Pez dispenser.  The third slash was the one that completely dismembered the head from the body.  Each blow made Henry Morris gasp for air, his mouth trembling with God-like fear.  His eyes rolled up into the back of his head after the final swipe.  The young man knew it was over.  Just one last thing, and this nightmare is over.

A string of garlic cloves came out from the bottom of the back pack.  Little by little the young man’s restless palms shoved the cloves deep inside the open wound that was neck.  A minute later the blood that began to congeal started to steam as if a fire was set to the wound.  Garlic had some supernatural powers upon the undead, but he did not know that the smell would be horrific.  As the young man crawled out of the grave, he dragged along his friend’s head with him.  He felt the bloody stringy mess of hair in his fingers and upon his fingertips.  He brought out a fresh garbage bag into which the head was placed.  There to rest until he decided what he knew what he was going to do with it.  Useless now to place back the fresh soil upon a tainted grave, the young man wiped his brow with a handkerchief.  The work had been done.  He placed his friend at peace.  And now he could go into the afterlife being clean of demonic forces.  Cause indeed the undead were devils incarnate, beasts of the legion of darkness.  Unholy ghouls that would get up from their graves to suck the life out of the living.  This had been the young man’s mark, his calling, to destroy the undead and bring back some solace to the grave nightmare. 

It was a ways back until he reached his vehicle, making sure that he remembered every road he took to get to Henry Morris’ grave. The idea of his friend walking a soulless life depressed him.  It made him feel uncomfortable as if he could fathom in his mind the worst despair that could happen.  His friend had been his closest one he had since he was child.  They went through thick and thin, playing outside baseball, getting into trouble, and riding their backs down the steepest of hills when summer came upon their hometown.  They had been inseparable, revealing to each other their deepest fears, playing with Quija boards every once and a while as they got older.  Henry even dabbled into the occult when they reached high school.  No wonder why the darkness proved unrelenting, no wonder why it had been so hard to watch a friend go.  He was placed in a state of endless torture, a battered enigma in which his soul held no peace.  But now…but now he was finally free.  The last stage of any good vampire execution was returning to the earth from whence they came.  As the young man neared the closest park, the darkness haunting his parked vehicle, he quickly took the garbage bag and lit it on fire with a simple store-bought lighter.  There from a nearby swing, he watched the plastic bag erupt in flames and from underneath the plastic mask, he could of swore he saw his friend smiling back at him, with a fanged devilish grin.


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