Disturbing the Dead – Chapter 4

“What was that? It sounded like a scream,” Eddy whispered as he approached James near a large tree.

“It sounded more like a wolf to me, dude. Stop being so jumpy,” James mocked as he nonchalantly leaned against a tombstone, causing it to shift slightly. However, he remained leaned against it.

“You are the one who raced out of the church to find your little brother.”

“Yeah, that’s right because that did sound like a scream, earlier, stupid,”James huffed, “And I need to find him.” He cupped his hands together and yelled, “Mark, come back to the church, now you little pipsqueak.” He laughed as he pulled a pack of cigarettes from his pocket and turned to Eddy. “Look what I stole from my Dad.”

Eddy grinned, “Menthol?”

“Yep.” James withdrew one cigarette from the pack and lit it, sucking in the smoke.

Eddy hurriedly stepped onto graves as he moved toward James.

As James watched Eddy trample the graves, he swore he saw a little girl’s face flash inside one of the headstones. He looked at Eddy. “What the heck was that?”

Eddy answered, “What was what?”

“A little girl’s face appeared on that tombstone.”

Eddy laughed, “Don’t be ridiculous. Your flashlight just cast shadows on it, that’s all.”

James frowned. “Maybe, but it sure seemed real.”

“Well, it’s not, and why are you acting so freaked out now? Are you going to give me a smoke or not?”

“Yes.” James pulled a cigarette from the pack and thumped it toward Eddy, laughing. “I knew this place would be creepy at night.”

Eddy took the cigarette from James and puffed on it, coughing a little, which caused James to laugh at him.

While they stood there smoking, another scream broke the stillness of the night, causing both to startle.

“Okay, you had to have heard that,” Eddy whispered, moving his flashlight erratically over the grounds.

“Yeah, I heard it.” James pointed to the direction in front of him and threw his cigarette onto the ground. “C’mon!”

As the two boys ran, the screams grew louder in front of them, but then, screams erupted behind them, except this time, a little boy’s voice called out. “James, I need you! I’m hurt.”

James and Eddy stopped running and turned and peered into the darkness behind them. “Did you hear that?”

“Yes, it sounded like Mark calling for help.”

The two boys turned and began running through the graveyard in the direction they had previously come. They had run a short distance when they began hearing noises similar to horses galloping toward them. They each stopped in mid-step and froze when out of the darkness, appeared cavalrymen of soldiers with drawn swords heading straight for them.

“Aye!” They both screamed and turned to run away, but then they saw a second group of cavalrymen moving toward them in that direction.

James grabbed Eddy by the collar and pulled him back as the two groups of cavalrymen rode past them, throwing dirt and rocks in the air from the hard galloping. As the two groups of riders met, the noise of their clashed swords filled the graveyard.

All at once, out of thin air, a galloping horseman appeared and ran Eddy down with his horse. As Eddy fell, he and James tried to grasp hands. However, as the fierce battle continued, the horses, trampled him underneath their hooves. James fell backward just as a Union Soldier attempted to strike him with a sword. When he looked up, the shadowy figures of the horses and men began disappearing into thin air. James pulled himself from off the ground and leaned against a tree and shrieked, “Eddy! Oh, God, Eddy!”

SWOOSH

James gasped when he saw a Union soldier standing in front of him holding a sword. The soldier thrust the sword at James’ head, but it missed him, and drove into the tree above his head. Immediately, James jerked from the tree and punched at the soldier, but his arm went straight through him. James turned and ran through the graveyard, but as he ran, his feet kept sinking into the graves, until he fell into one.

“Aye! Aye!” James screamed as he felt something crawling on his legs underneath the dirt. As he began pulling himself out of the grave, a Confederate Soldier Ghost grabbed his leg and pulled him back down into the grave.

Suddenly the grave appeared quite large to James as he lay there in the dirt. His heart raced as he peered into the eyes of a horrific looking ghost that resembled the Union Soldier that attacked him at the tree.

James kicked at the ghost, but his legs kicked through the shimmering, frightening entity. James quickly pulled himself from the ground and then climbed out of the grave. He continued running through the graveyard until he felt he could run no longer. He stopped briefly to catch his breath, and it was then he saw Mark and Adam walking past.

“We have to get out of here!” James cried as they approached him; however, he realized they were not listening to him.

“Mark! Adam!” James reached his hand out to touch Adam as he walked past, but his hand went right through him. “NO!”

James then continued running and he circled back to where he thought might be the direction of the church. When he passed the grave where he thought he had seen the little girl, he knew he was close, but then he tripped over something. When he lifted his eyes, he groaned upon seeing Eddy’s mangled body lying on the ground, from being trampled by the cavalrymen. “No! NO!” James jumped up and ran until he reached the back door of the church. He slammed the door closed behind him and fell against a wall, moaning from fear. As he steadied his breathing, he heard Tim’s voice.

“Eddy, I’m stuck, and I can’t get up, get your butt over here and help me.”

“Tim? How did you get stuck?” James asked as he quickly moved in the direction of Tim’s voice, where he had been earlier.

James breathed easier when he saw Tim sitting in the pew. “Tim, we have to get you unstuck, and out of here, this graveyard is… Aye!” James gagged, and his knees grew weak when he saw Tim sitting on the old wooden church bench with a sword sticking out of the top of his head. “Aye! Aye!”

I am going to kill you, man.

When James heard the low, threatening voice, he ran to the front door, out on the porch, and down the steps. As he ran down the steps, he tripped on the broken plank that Tim had warned him about before. He came crashing to the ground, hitting his head against it.

James opened his eyes to see a little girl standing above him. He groaned as he lifted his body upright. “We gotta get out of here, little girl! Someone murdered my friends inside of the church and in the graveyard.”

The little girl stood there, looking demure and suddenly she began crying, but instead of tears, blood flowed down her cheeks. “Why have you disturbed the dead?” She suddenly asked in a soft, yet crackling voice.

James stumbled backward when he saw her crying blood and heard her question. He turned and began to run when suddenly a rope slid around his neck. James reached his hands up to pull the rope away when cold hands grasped his wrists and held them against his back. While he struggled to free his hands, the rope tightened around his neck. James felt his body being lifted from the ground until he dangled in the air. As his life came to a close, James saw the little girl standing below the tree with tears of blood still streaming down her face. Then he saw a soldier with a missing eye appear next to her. The soldier placed his arm around the little girl as the Confederate and Union Soldiers that had chased him appeared on the other side of her. Then, as if by magic, the graves began popping open, and the dead came from them. The ghostly figures of men, women, and children, dressed in clothing from the 1800’s, floated above the ground as they gathered in a circle, watching the life of James end. They wailed, and it was as if the wind carried their voices.

“Help!” James cried once, but as the rope tightened around his neck, he could not cry out for long. As the last light of life ebbed from James, he saw the ghosts of Adam, Mark, Eddy, and Tim, walking down the old dirt road.

continued tomorrow…