Cemetery Shadows

10 Aug


A descriptive short story based on the common fears of a graveyard.


The old gate swung slowly open, screeching like a hawk on its rusty hinges. I stepped cautiously over the threshold, my feet moving from hard concrete to soft, springy grass. Moving gradually on, thick, dark weeds entangled my shaky ankles, dragging me laboriously into the depths of the cold earth.

Towering skeletons of trees surrounded me, casting menacing shadows across my ashen face as I crept between the cold stone of the hundreds of headstones filling the vast field, silent as a mouse. Towering statues and hulking mausoleums scattered around as if they had rained from the sky. Pale moonlight shimmered gracefully through the smoky clouds, blanketing everything in silvery luminosity, leading me further on: my own guardian angel.

A low, haunted moan broke the eerie silence. My body froze; turning to ice as my skin crawled with a thousand tiny insects. I distantly heard a faint rustle, and a loud snap! I scuttled on, heavy breath turning to icy clouds before me, forming misty creatures: dragons, ghouls and goblins with freakish, laughing faces. I stumbled, tripping over my frozen feet. Moist soil came up to meet me, creeping into every crevice of my face. I felt a hot, sharp pain and a gush of warm blood spilled out of my nose, running mischievously into my mouth. I pulled myself arduously up, brushing off the dirt with stiff fingers and spitting out the foul taste of blood.

Looking up, I saw an enormous opaque stone statue, big as a house, towering above me. Its arms raised to the dark sky, its long robe tumbling to the cool ground like water. Its cold, blank eyes flashed crimson in the dim light: a stare of intense heat piercing through me to my mind. I backed away at the speed of sound, staring in acute terror.

Lightning split the sky in two, spilling crackling light down to meet the statue, shattering it into a million smoky pieces. The head, the only part of the broken statue to have survived, lands with a thump in front of me, a cruel smirk playing upon its stony face. I screamed and dashed into the closest mausoleum, a mere three feet away, seeking blissful sanctuary. I did not find it.

I tumbled heavily down a short set of rocky steps, coming to an abrupt halt in a darkness as black as ink. My chest tightened as if a rubber ring had been placed strategically around my lungs, forcing my breath into short, sharp gasps. Demonic hands reached for me through the gloom, caressing my shivering body with ghostly fingers. The vile stench of death filled my nose and mouth. It tasted of decay and darkness, left to putrefy like an open wound.

I loosed a blood-curdling screech, flying like a bird out of the intimidating building and fleeing in the direction of the rusty old gates. Filthy, rotten hands broke the damp surface of each and every grave I passed, groping for my heels. As I ran, the wind whispered sinister things in my ear: dark secrets to haunt me eternally.

I jammed my fingers painfully deep into my ears, but the sounds reverberated throughout my skull as if off water in a long-forgotten cavern. I threw myself heavily through the gates and landed agonizingly on the cold concrete of the footpath. I swiftly leapt to my feet and viciously dragged the gate closed; releasing a noise so horrid it set my teeth on edge.

I had escaped, like a moth from a net. Honey-sweet relief flooded through my entire being, making me even weaker at the knees. I turned to finally return home, colliding with a tall, pasty man with eyes the violet colour of amethyst. The man grinned, showing long, white, deadly fangs. Ruby-red liquid dripped slowly from his jaw, staining his old-fashioned garments.

Before I could cry out, he lunged at me.

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Posted by on August 10, 2013 in My Writing


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