The Graveyard Awaits
by Blaze McRob
Springtime. Fresh air carries the aroma of recently shoveled dirt, moistened by the rain, throughout the graveyard. Shovels, left behind in a hurry when the downpour started, lie on the ground next to the grave of the newest inhabitant.
Normality? Yes, but a sinister presence surveys the scene, not the least bit happy. Chunks of wet soil cling to his hair-covered naked body. His nails are long and unkempt, and yet, what difference does it make? They are more effective for him to use when digging than any shovel fashioned by the hands of man. He lives beneath the surface, under the graves, in small cave like areas formed from his own efforts, surrounded by the clothing removed from the local residents.
They won’t say anything. Ha, ha! Dead people can’t snitch on him.
The taste of rotting flesh rolls around on his tongue, reminding him of his hunger, his insatiable desire to feed. Heavy rain comes down, slapping a tune on the gravestones more effectively than any drum-stick. He delights in the awareness of the cleansing on his hair and skin.
Momentary pleasure: he is still angry… angry that God remaindered him and his kind to suffer the indignities of their existence. Undead, yes. Immortal, yes. However, these things come at the high price of humiliation. Forced to feed on the dead like a common vulture is not to his liking.
Yet, this is the way it’s always been. How can it change now? He is not stronger than God; he is merely a creature formed by His hand: to do His bidding.
The new carcass beckons to him, speaking to him, insisting that he feed. His hunger forces him to go and dig up the coffin. He tears the lid open and gazes at the body of a young woman struck down in her prime. She can not possibly be any more than in her early twenties. Her clothing and hair style tell him this. He may not live amongst the rabble known as humans , but he has devoured enough of them to understand the latest fads and fashions. On a more primal level, his highly enhanced sense of smell enables him to decipher the age of a person by unfolding different layers of skin and reading them much like a botanist counts the rings of a tree.
This one smells peculiar to him: no odor of decay or embalming fluids. Recent death. A mortician trying to save a little money. Who knows? As long as she was remaindered to the soil in a timely manner, all will be well.
But… no; this is more, much more. Fool that he is, his hunger plays games with his mind. His desire to feed overcomes his usual stealth. Vigilance thrown to the wind!
She is alive! In some sort of comatose state, but the girl is very much alive.
What now? He can’t devour her. It is not allowed. Does he close the casket and re-bury her?
Yes! That is what he must do. If she wakes and sees him, she will spread word of his presence. This place has been his home for many years, he has no intention of giving it up. Everyone believes her to be dead. Who would know? This time she will die for sure.
He will come back to devour her when she is genuinely dead. Hopefully, her struggles when she comes out of her coma won’t spoil the taste of her sweet, succulent flesh. No, that would be a pity. The fresh deaths are always the tastiest. And the young ones? They are the best!
Before he can places the casket lid back in place, her eyes open. Upon seeing him, a look of horror stares him in the face. A gurgling sound works up from deep within her. In mere seconds she will holler out and alert whoever may be close by to her predicament.
“No! You can’t!” shouts the Ghoul. “No one must know I’m here!”
His mouth leaps to her neck and blackened yellow teeth rip into her throat, removing her vocal cords. Air from the outside rushes in through the gaping hole and tries to exhale from within her body, but she will not be making a sound now.
Her blood on his tongue excites him and he laps up as much as he can, squeezing her neck to force more out. The coppery taste is like nectar to him. The demon wants all he can get and savors the thought of her flesh rolling around his tongue, sliding down his throat, churning in his stomach to quell his hunger.