Joseph Morgan hated Clyde Williams.
Every time their paths crossed, Joseph practically had to kick himself for letting himself run into Clyde. Why so much hatred? Why? Clyde had never done anything to Joseph.
Actually, Clyde was always nice to him-saying hello whenever they ran into each other and smiling sincerely.
Yet Clyde was hated deeply by Joseph.
Was it Clyde’s kind face? Was it his warm brown eyes? Or was it his shiny brown hair? Hugh Blythe (Joseph’s friend) often wondered why Joseph hated Clyde so much if once they had been the best of friends.
Eventually Joseph’s hatred for Clyde grew so much that it consumed him completely. It was all he could think about day and night-and soon he realized that he had to do something. He realized exactly what he needed to do as he hid behind a large oak tree one evening as he watched Clyde leave work.
Joseph’s eyes glistened as he licked his lips.
“Yes...” he murmured to himself.
Joseph put his plan into action several nights later. He waited patiently for Clyde to get out of work from the factory and allowed him to see him this time as he stood under the oak tree.
“Clyde, hello! Can I see you for a moment please?”-he asked.
Clyde looked surprised but walked over to Joseph. Clyde looked tired from a hard day’s work and probably wanted to go home but Joseph did not care.
He would never go home again.
“Oh hello Joseph. What is it?”-Clyde asked. To Clyde it seemed strange that Joseph would be outside the factory waiting for him. They barely spoke.
Joseph’s green eyes glimmered in the fading light. He touched Clyde’s arm lightly.
“Can you walk with me Clyde? I have something I really need to show you.”
Clyde hesitated. “Really? Now? Can’t it wait Joseph? I really want to get going.”
Joseph shushed him. “Now now, patience friend! It will only be a little while, then you can rest all you want. Just walk with me please.”
They walked on as evening became night and Joseph noticed that Clyde was getting fidgety. Joseph smiled as they came to Carpenter Cemetery. This graveyard was famous for its rows of old graves-some from the early 1800s-and for its shady oaks, maples and weeping willows, which added further gloom to the cemetery.
Clyde noticed where they were and asked confused “Joseph, why did you bring me to Carpenter’s?”
Joseph walked past the high arched doorway to Carpenter’s Cemetery and into the darkness of the graveyard itself. Clyde followed after a few seconds-oblivious to the plans that Joseph had in store for him.
“I wanted to show you something...something important. But it’s over there,” Joseph answered as he walked forward. Clyde followed and saw Joseph stop at a particular spot underneath the shade of a large willow tree. Joseph leaned on the trunk and gazed down at the ground away from Clyde. He heard Clyde stop and ask:
“What is it you wanted me to see?”
Joseph motioned for Clyde to come closer. When he did, Joseph said to him in a near whisper:
“Look down there Clyde...look.”
Clyde’s brown eyes narrowed as he tried to see what Joseph was pointing to. He had to move closer to where Joseph was and once he was standing next to him Clyde looked down to where Joseph was pointing.
It was an open grave in the ground. Dirt had been piled to one side, but in the darkness of the night Clyde could not see the dirt, only the open grave.
“It’s an open grave! Goodness! Did you find it like this, Joseph?”-Clyde asked in shock.
Joseph said nothing but stared as if in a trance, at the open grave. His breathing began to quicken as he felt Clyde near him say “Something is inside! What is it? Joseph-it’s a trunk or something!”
Joseph saw Clyde kneeling by the open pit and shake his head. He stood up again and saw Joseph blocking his way. Clyde looked down at the grave again and said shaking his head: “This is dangerous! Did you find it open like this, Joseph?”
Joseph looked down for a second before answering:
“No. I made it,” he answered.
Clyde looked at Joseph, confusion in his eyes. Had he heard right? That is when Clyde saw the shovel in Joseph’s hand. Clyde shook his head.
“What do you mean you made it? Why? What’s going on Joseph?!” Clyde asked as he grew nervous. Joseph took a step forward and touched Clyde’s hair gently.
Clyde pulled back and saw Joseph’s hand reach again and drag him by the chin roughly.
“What the hell is wrong with you?” Clyde cried and tried to push past Joseph. Joseph swung the shovel forward and connected with Clyde’s head not once but twice. The blow of the hit was so hard that it knocked Clyde off his feet and into the pit. Joseph was about to hit Clyde again when he stopped himself.
“No..it can’t end like this,” Joseph murmured as he jumped into the hole with Clyde. He opened the trunk he had placed inside and lifted Clyde inside.
But just as he was about to lock the lid Clyde came to and realized what was happening.
“No...what are you doing? Let me go!”-Clyde pleaded, his head bloody. Joseph gazed down at his pleading friend and absorbed all the senses could take in-from the sounds of Clyde’s rapid breathing to the sight of blood oozing from Clyde’s forehead. Joseph saw Clyde’s trembling fingers as the gripped the sides of the trunk.
“Please Joseph! Let me go!!!” Clyde cried. Joseph felt something inside of him stir. Was he having second thoughts? Regrets?
Joseph saw tears flow down Clyde’s bloodied face and felt himself stifle a sound.
“Clyde..?”-he felt himself whisper and begin to reach out for him.
But suddenly he realized what he was doing and stopped himself short. His heart grew cold again as he shut his eyes to the sight of a terrified Clyde Williams. Before he had a chance to change his mind again, Joseph swung the shovel in his hands again and struck Clyde full force on the side of the face. The blow knocked Clyde backwards and out. Joseph fell on the lid and closed the truck tightly-using all three locks. Then he got out of the grave with the help of his friend Hugh Blythe, whom he had paid in advance for his help. Joseph of course had lied to Hugh, telling him that he would play a practical joke on Clyde-locking him inside a trunk in the cemetery, then coming back later to free him. It was a cruel joke, Joseph had admitted, but necessary. How else could he punish Clyde for what he had done to him? Hugh was not aware that Clyde had never done anything to Joseph, thus he agreed to help in the scheme.
But now when he saw Joseph handing him a shovel and telling him to dump the dirt into the hole, Hugh realized that the whole plan had been crazy.
“What? Dump the dirt on top of the trunk? Are you crazy? Clyde is down there!”-Hugh cried. Joseph gave him a hateful look and revealed a small gun, which he pointed at Hugh.
“Do as I say, or I’ll put you down there too!”-Joseph hissed. Hugh stared at his friend, who had obviously gone mad. Was this part of the joke? He shook his head stunned as he began to shovel dirt back into the grave. Joseph shoveled alongside him and soon the grave was covered. Hugh saw Joseph stare one last time at the grave and light a cigarette.
Then he grabbed the shovels and said “Come on,”
The ride home was quiet and uneventful. Hugh kept looking at Joseph, waiting for him to say “That should do. Let’s go dig him out,” and pictured them riding back to Carpenter Cemetery and digging out Clyde. But Joseph never said anything. They arrived to the small house they both shared and Hugh watched Joseph walk off into the darkness of the house.
“He really plans to leave Clyde there to die!”-Hugh realized in a panic. As he prepared himself to go to bed, Hugh’s mind raced with thoughts. Joseph had obviously gone mad. Hugh couldn’t just let Clyde suffocate! He had to get him out, but how?
He watched Joseph close the door to his room and realized the answer. He would wait until Joseph was asleep then drive out to Carpenter Cemetery and free Clyde. He would think about the consequences of his actions later.
Hugh leaned down to put on his boots again and as he was tying them he didn’t see Joseph come inside. When he looked up, Hugh jumped seeing Joseph next to him in his bedroom. His eyes were cold and they stared at him accusingly. He held something behind his back.
“Joseph...what is it?”-Hugh asked standing up. Joseph smiled and said:
“I know what you’re thinking...and you’re wrong,”-he said in a tone that chilled Hugh to the bone. He looked at him and asked what he meant.
“You think I’m going to let you out of this house so that you can go dig out Clyde?”-Joseph hissed as he swung a small statuette at Hugh’s head. The blow knocked Hugh unconscious and he was dragged to his bed and tied to the bedpost. He started to come to and managed to see his friend tightening the rope to the point of where his wrists felt numb and the circulation started to get lost. Joseph gagged him as well, and left the room only after he had tied Hugh’s ankles together. When he did leave he said something that truly stung Hugh.
“Let’s see you try and save Clyde now...”-Joseph had said.
Joseph left Hugh tied up in his room for three days. He was left without food and water, but this is not what drove Hugh to despair and near-madness. It was the thought of Clyde being buried alive and him not being able to free him. Hugh wept as the sun went down on that third day-angry at himself for having taken part in such a horrible crime.
“Damn you Joseph! Damn you!”-he wept as darkness engulfed his bedroom and prison.
Hours later, Hugh was awoken by a sudden sound inside the bedroom. It sounded like a floorboard creaking. Hugh blinked. He heard shallow breathing beside him on the floor. Hugh’s heart skipped a beat. Someone was there beside him!
From out of the darkness a pale hand shot out and aimed at the bed. Hugh’s eyes bulged nearly out of their sockets when he saw the hand was covered in dirt and mixed with blood. He saw the hand belonged to a hunched over body of a man in muddy clothing. Hugh couldn’t see his face but he could see his hands, both of which had bloodied fingertips-as if the nails themselves had been torn out of their beds. The hands reached for Hugh’s neck.
Hugh tried to scream but the gag in his mouth prevented him from doing so. He felt the cold hands brush past his face and upwards. To his surprise, the man tore off Hugh’s restraints and then stepped away from him. Hugh jumped up from the bed but fell due to his tied-up ankles, but from his new viewpoint on the floor he saw the man’s face illuminated in the moonlight.
No doubt of who it was-it was Clyde.
“Oh my..”-Hugh murmured just as Clyde vanished into the darkness from where he had come. Hugh finished undoing his ties and mumbling to himself: “This is crazy!”
Joseph meanwhile had been locked in his own room for three days as well. He thought he was going crazy for ever since the night he had buried Clyde alive he had suffered terrible nightmares. And if that wasn’t bad enough, he had started to hear strange scratching sounds coming from outside his bedroom window. It sounded like clawing sounds. They were loud and clear and they were driving him nuts. On this particular night, the clawing sounds were louder than ever- and were coming now from inside the room! Joseph lay in his bed with his hands covering his ears when his bedroom door shot open with a bang.
Someone was standing there in the darkness.
Joseph revealed a gun from under his pillow.
“Who are you?”-he shouted getting up. The figure did not answer but instead moved two steps into the room. Joseph pointed the gun at the figure, his heart racing.
“I will shoot you! Who are you? Answer me!”-he shouted.
The silent figure lit a match mere feet from Joseph and lit a lantern that sat on top of the dresser. Joseph stared wide eyed as the figure moved the lantern to reveal his face.
Clyde Williams stared at Joseph from behind the lantern. Joseph shook his head.
“No, it can’t be! I buried you!”-Joseph shouted as he shot at Clyde three times. The bullets seemed to pass right through Clyde and had no effect. Joseph watched Clyde vanish right before his eyes and saw the lantern he was holding fall on the floor and break as flames spread onto the wooden floor. Joseph quickly put the flames out and headed to the kitchen to grab another lantern. Outside he was observed by Hugh, who saw him grab a shovel and shove his gun into his pocket and ride out to the cemetery. Hugh followed nervously.
By the time that Hugh reached Carpenter’s Cemetery, Joseph had already removed most of the dirt on top of the grave and was reaching the trunk. Joseph stared at the three locks on the trunk-they were sealed shut. His eyes narrowed-how had Clyde gotten out then?
Suddenly an explosion inside the trunk caused the lid to fly open and the force flung Joseph backwards onto the dirt.
Joseph watched in silent horror as the corpse of Clyde Williams sat up inside the trunk. All the warmth had gone from Clyde’s eyes and his hair was a matted mess. His face was bloody from where Joseph had hit him with the shovel. Then Joseph looked at Clyde’s fingers-they were bloody and the nails themselves were gone. Clyde’s dead eyes stared at Joseph as he gripped the trunk that had become his casket.
“Oh my God...the clawing sounds...”-Joseph realized then that it had been Clyde who had been making the clawing noises outside his window.
Suddenly Joseph jumped up and tried desperately to climb out of the pit. His heart raced with fear as he reached up but found he couldn’t get a proper grip on the loose soil. He saw Hugh peeking over the side and reached his arms up in total despair crying:
“Help me Hugh! Get me out of here!”
Hugh stared at him and attempted to reach for him, but he was paralyzed by fear.
Joseph was pulled down into the trunk by Clyde. His icy cold hands gripped Joseph tightly and didn’t let go. Joseph writhed and kicked but it was all in vain. Clyde pulled Joseph with him as he lay back down into the trunk, which was now deeper and seemed to emit a strange red glow from within. Hugh saw Joseph’s eyes bulge with terror as other other-worldly hands pulled at him and scratched at his face and body. Hugh heard Joseph scream in agony:
“Don’t let him take me Hugh! Don’t let him!!!”
Hugh watched in horror as Joseph was pulled inside the blackness that had now materialized inside the trunk. The trunk then shook violently and slammed shut with an intense unseen force that Hugh could feel in his bones.
Hugh watched the trunk intensely, waiting for any movements and signs of anything. But he heard and saw nothing. Later when he had the courage to do so, Hugh opened the trunk. It opened easily in spite of having all three locks closed. What he saw confused him.
The trunk was empty.
But as Hugh left Carpenter Cemetery he knew the truth about what had happened and he also knew that Clyde Williams and Joseph Morgan would never be seen alive again.
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