Page One – Cemetery Demons

This is page one of the first novella I am writing with the express intent of self-publishing it. I’m gearing for around sixty pages, and kind of winging it.

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I wait outside the cemetery, watching the fog curl above the ground. The glow of the moon turns everything silver. The branches of the winter-dead trees hang over me like scepters in the night.

“Come on come on, already,” Frisky says, the little red demon that hides in my coat pocket, his horned head poking out like a turtle. “So hungry!”

“Relax,” I say, pushing him back down into my pocket. I feel his wings flutter and his tail whip back and forth against the side of my stomach. Frisky sometimes reminds me of the lizard I had for a pet, when I was a child. “The dead will rise.”

“You gonna have extra, right? Need food!” For such a little demon, Frisky eats a lot. Dead human flesh is his favorite, but he more often settles for small mammals. Blood stains the inside of my pocket.

“I’ll give you an arm. That’s all.” I don’t like giving Frisky too much. After all, I don’t want him to become addicted, to get that feeling or idea that human flesh is the only thing he must consume.

I start to get nervous and I do my best to ignore the cold sweat that trickles down my spine. The candles are all laid out in the appropriate pattern. The night shadows, the near invisible beasts that lurk on the edge of reality, slowly circle the inside of the pattern, searching for some way to escape. They are vaguely human-shaped, and that similarity reminds me of some nightmare. They lack eyes, but I know they are staring at me, aware that I am their captor.

My watch says it’s been only sixty seconds since I have read the incantation, offering libations of my own blood to the dead. It must soon be time. I quiet Frisky.

Scene: middle of the street

 

It’s night and I can hear people dreaming. See their thoughts float up into empty space? Out of all these houses, a thousand images drift upward. I can grab one and make it dark, or make it bright, depending on my mood.

I want to scare someone. Why? I’m fucked up like that.

In this man’s dream is a woman, one of the most beautiful that you have ever seen. I make her ugly, turning her skin to ash and her hair to webs. He wakes and the image is gone and he goes on with his night. He will not sleep again.

I have never slept, for fear of dreaming. So small am I, but look what I can do. Imagine the others in the night and what they may do to me.

Over there, a few houses down, you can see a dream of aliens, and the dreamer herself can jump ten feet high. I make the aliens evil. They rise into their ships and give her such a feeling of terror as she has never known. She stands clutching her heart to her chest, too frightened to wake.

We’ll leave it at that.

Don’t look behind you…

Do you believe in ghosts?

I never really know if I do. I guess I want to, but haven’t really seen anything to make me believe them.

I thought of a short story once where ghosts were aliens, and humans were animals in a zoo. I should go back to that…

Anyway, a cool ghost story: I was changing my son’s diaper. Our first son, he was probably a little older than one year around the time this happened. He and I were in my room, where my wife and I slept. I heard the radio come on. The song was a love song.

The task completed, I carried my son back out to the living room and set him down in his playpen. My wife was cooking in the kitchen. We didn’t have a radio. We only played music on the computer, I remembered. So where was that song coming from?

I walked into the kitchen and found my wife cooking some lentils, or some other delicious dish. “Do you hear that?” I asked.

“Yeah,” she said. “Where is that coming from? I thought it was you, playing a joke on me.”

“Nope,” I said. Both of us perplexed, we walked to where we thought the source of the noise was, in our pantry.

Now to backtrack a little. We kept the trash in the pantry, which had a door, so that our son would not open the can and explore the trash, as fun for him as that was. An old boombox had sat next to the trashcan for some time, a few months or longer, and I’m not really sure why we never actually took it out along with the rest of the trash. The boombox was broken and would not turn on for the longest time.

My wife and I opened the pantry door and walked in. The boombox played music. The song was a love song. If it had been any song other than a love song (and man do I wish I remembered exactly what song it was) then we probably would have high-tailed it outta there. Instead we listened to the song and marveled at what was happening.

We eventually turned the boombox off. I tried to turn it back on to test it out, and of course it did not turn on. We trashed it soon after.

Weird stuff. Anyone out there have ghost stories to tell?