The Burial Ground

Chapter 1: Boneyard

It makes no sense, goes against all understanding, and is beyond any explanation. What began as a simple exploration of the graveyard became something that changed their entire lives.

The sun was setting over the giant ocean. As the bright orb began to disappear, the graveyard that sat on the great hill became eclipsed by a dark shadow of night. Not very many would expect a graveyard to be seaside to a great ocean. As the clouds hovered in the sky over the ocean, the graveyard, as desolate and haunting as it was, was occupied. It was a quiet evening after school for four young high school kids. They sat amongst the tombstones, staring at the beautiful sunset that appeared before them. The shining orange lights burst from the celestial giant, with the haunting shadow coming from the opposing side. The teenage kids all looked about 18, still in school as expected. The first wore a casual T-shirt and jeans, had short brown hair, and leaned against a giant obelisk, which shot from the center of the cemetery. He was of a medium height and his eyes were closed as he silently sat beside the monument. The second was a female with long golden hair. She sat on the opposite side of the obelisk, wearing a sleeveless red shirt and jeans. Her eyes were open, staring out to the brilliant seaside. Her eyes were a deep blue and reflected the light of the dusk. The third was also a female, but this one wore a black shirt and skirt and had long brown hair. Her bright hazel eyes were hidden behind her long bangs. She sat leaning against a shorter tombstone with a cross emerging from its top. The final was a male who wore black shirt and pants. His short brown hair hid his shining silver eyes, and his small patch of facial hair sat below an emotionless expression. He sat beside the third child, the girl beside the cross. The first girl spoke up, despite the silent sunset.

"Guys…" she said, softly, "why do we come here?"

"Whaddya mean, Sessh?" the first boy said.

"Why do we come to this cemetery" she replied, standing up and leaning on the obelisk.

"Cuz, this is where we hang out." The other girl said.

"But, why here?" she continued to ask. The black-clad boy turned his head.

"Because this is where we enjoy ourselves." He said, almost monotone.

"Ashen…" she replied. "You're so dark."

"So?" he replied. He stood up and stared at the sun's last ray before its disappearance over the horizon. "Night begins."

"No school tomorrow." Sessh said.

"Right." The other boy said, "Weekends rock."

"You know it, Rai." Ashen said. The girl who sat beside Ashen stood up.

"We've come to this graveyard for almost a year now," she said, "but have we really ever taken a good look at it?"

"Of course, Kiera." Ashen said. "I know every tombstone in this place."

"Oh really?" she replied, sarcastically. She pointed to the tombstone Sessh and Rai were near. "Whose is that?"

"Ryo McYare." He said. "Famous baseball player who came to the town earlier this year. Suffered a heart attack." Kiera crossed her arms in front of herself and glared at him. He noticed her piercing stare. "Hey, you gave me a challenge. It's only common courtesy to take it." Ashen closed his eyes, but was quickly awoken by Sessh.

"Hey, Ashen," she said, pointing to a gravestone, "I've never seen that tombstone before." Ashen opened an eye and viewed the monument. It was gray and stone like the others, but it gleamed with a glossy finish, making it shine in the dusk. Ashen got up and walked to the monument. He took his right hand and touched the stone.

"I…don't know." He said, "I've never seen this tombstone before."

"Great work, King of the Cemetery." Kiera said.

"I know every single burial here, but I've never seen this one before."

"Are you sure?" Rai asked. "Do you at least know who's it is?" Ashen circled the stone and discovered an inscription. It was in a bizarre text, one scribbled with cryptic symbols and an erratic formation of characters.

"It's all…" Ashen froze. The cryptic text was beginning to shift, into something now much more readable. He could read the text, despite its ludicrous inscriptions. "It says…

Those who discover my tomb, and read the chant below: may you open this sanctuary to those who do not exist in this realm. Bring them peace, bring them refuge, bring them sustenance."

Below the odd scripture was a chant. "Anata Inko Retrie Entrao Nyukiko Zeppor Ehyer Yukoine Eram."

"What a weird set of words." Ashen said. The others all had puzzled looks on their faces.

"What words?" Sessh said. "All I see is a bunch of weird symbols."

"Yeah, Ashen," Rai said, squinting at the text, "don't tell us you can read this stuff."

"I just did." Ashen said. He reached out to touch the engraved "words", but was quickly interrupted with a loud tremor. It rattled the entire graveyard with a great rumble. Everyone found themselves falling to the ground. Ashen saw the tombstone he read from begin to shatter; its fractured pieces fell to the ground. The tremor was powerful; so powerful that it created a giant chasm where the tombstone was. The shattered rocks fell to the bottom of the hole. As they hit the hard bottom, the shaking stopped. Ashen shook his head and stood up, with his friends following.

"Okay, what the hell was that?" Kiera said.

"No clue." Ashen said, staring into the darkness of the chasm. "But whatever it was, it left a mark." Kiera, Rai, and Sessh stared into the shadows next to Ashen. Ashen's eyes narrowed; Kiera looked over to Ashen's serious face, immediately knowing what he was thinking.

"Oh no," she said, "nuh-uh. No way are we going down there."

"Why not?" he asked.

"Um, Ashen," Sessh said, "we're in a cemetery. There are dead people here."

"So?" he said. "Don't tell me you haven't ever wanted to see a corpse's final resting place."

"Not really." Kiera said, cringing. Ashen just shrugged his shoulders, and with no hesitation, jumped into the darkness below. Kiera gasped as Ashen plunged down the shaft.