|Funeral in the Night
Author: Abracadabra41 PM
I saw them digging the other night; they thought no one knew. I knew because I could smell the open ground, the earth's maw opened wide to swallow a new resident at the cemetery at my backyard. Only, the soil smelled different; it wasn't the scent of hallowed ground... Please R&R!Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Horror/Mystery - Words: 922 - Reviews: 1 - Published: 12-28-12 - Status: Complete - id: 3086769
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Funeral in the Night
I saw them digging the other night; they thought no one knew. I knew because I could smell the open ground, the earth's maw opened wide to swallow a new resident at the cemetery at my backyard. Only, the soil smelled different; it wasn't the scent of hallowed ground. Yes, blessed ground has another smell entirely. It is not feral, as the average earth, more inviting, almost soothing. What I experienced the other night was not the aroma of the cemetery dirt, and I knew it. This was the untamed, the unholy.
The metallic tang of the wild earth drew me out of doors. I made no sound and turned on no light, only stepped silently with the shadows out into the warm spring night. Rain was coming; I could sense it, smell it too. A few thick clouds hung in the topaz night, threatening storms. I fancied that I saw a bolt of lightning in the distance. The night was still and inviting to me. Moonlight bathed the stony path that led past the garden and to the cemetery, and I followed it. The moss tickled my bare feet as I stepped from rock to rock, ever nearing the wrought iron fence.
I heard the old-fashioned scrape of a shovel and knew that this was no ordinary funeral. The men dug by the light of the full moon in the dead of night outside the cemeteries boundaries. All of it was very peculiar; curiosity got the best of me.
The stone gateway loomed ahead of me, swathed in wild roses, but I skirted it, knowing that I would not find the diggers there. I continued along the outside of the fence until I came upon a vantage point. Here, I saw them for the first time.
Five men cloaked in black were chest-deep in the ground, digging mutely. They worked methodically, scooping the shovel into the damp ground and depositing it in the sides of the hole. I watched them for an unknown length of time as they slaved away, reshaping the landscape one shovelful at a time. Small mounds of dirt piled up around the, as they sank lower into the grave.
Nearby, I spied a sixth figure.. This one lay on the spring grass a few yards away. He seemed to be wearing the same type of outfit as the other five: shirt, jeans, trench coat, boots - all of it black. He had a peaceful look on his handsome face and for all I know, he could've been lying there, daydreaming, enjoying the night sky… But I knew otherwise. His blue eyes stared forever out, his lips frozen in a crooked grin, his long black hair, spread out over his head as if someone else had lain him down.
His companions had since finished the grave. They wordlessly helped each pther to climb out of the pit they had created and now came to collect their fallen friend. They surrounded him and shifted the mat he lay upon over to the open earth. I watched them lower him down.
It was here that I left them. I turned and took the path back to my house, leaving them in private as they said goodbye. I had invaded long enough. I took a seat on my back porch and listened. I could now hear the quiet rumble of thunder in the distance and the muffled thud of the shovels packing the last of the dirt back on the grave. The storm passed to the south, bringing me only a gentle rain with the dawn.
I walked through the warm, misty rain on my way back to the sight of the fresh grave. I knew the men were long gone now but I absently paused to collect a gift for the deceased, my new neighbor. I tread along the wet grass back where I had stood before.
The men had attempted to disguise the grave, but I knew how to find it. The smell of the unblessed ground hung, caught in the moist air and traces of mud ran down from a mound of dirt hidden beneath some branches and fallen limbs of the cedar trees. I approached and noticed a large, reddish rock that had been rolled into place for a headstone. It looked odd and unnatural, and upon closer inspection, I discovered the reason for the particular color: blood.
Foreign symbols had been drawn on the stone in the crimson liquid, which had attempted to dry before the rain had set in, drizzling it away, contorting the already unknown markings. As far as I could tell with the best of my knowledge, they were some sort of hellish symbols. That would explain why the young man hadn't been buried in the cemetery. Devil worshippers.
Still, I couldn't help but feel remorse for the man and his soul. I lay down my gift at the foot of his makeshift gravestone, a tiny wild rose in full bloom, a darker red than the blood spilled in remembrance of his lost life.
I returned to my home and never spoke of the grave. I visited it often, watching as time erased the evil, satanic writing. A wild rosebush sprouted on the grave and took over the pile of brush, intertwining it and bathing it in red, a fine example of the wildness of it all where a man lay unbeknownst but to me and his buriers, in the unforgiving, unholy earth.