Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Little Teaser from Broken Headstones...A short read in Vol.1 of Twisted Tales

I thought I would share a little teaser of my all time favorite Cemetery horror story, that I wrote. It is one of many in my Twisted Tales series Vol.1...We will be putting out Vol.1 this year....this is the cover my daughter, Kysha McBee, created and it is perfect!!! I sure hope she is up for making Vol. 2 and 3..LOL

Hellfire Publishing

Broken Headstones:

        The creaking of the rusty old iron gate caused a river of chills to flow over every inch of her body each time the wind slashed through its wrought iron ribs that were supposed to keep the living out. 

Stories she had been told for more years than she would like to remember at the time flashed into her mind.  The stories claimed that those who dared go in and break the headstones in the old Burkett Cemetery would suffer the curse of the dead that roamed the graveyard at night.  Tamra stood shaking her head and smiled at the thought, first laughing out loud just a little, remembering her grandpa grabbing her and making a goofy face when he told the story. 

“Billy!  You guys better hurry,” she called out, honking the horn.

They had gone there mainly because Billy’s new girlfriend wanted to see the place after hearing the story back at the lake, and Tamra was stuck, because she rode with them.  Mark and Bob were two of Billy’s friends that jumped in the car when they heard them talking about coming out here, and all four were now somewhere so deep in the enormous cemetery that she had no idea when they would come back. 

“I’m gonna kill them… hum, wrong thing to say,” Tamra said, looking over at the iron gate that swung open as soon as she said the word ‘kill’.  She opened the car door and jumped in, slamming the lock down as she rolled the window up.  She opened the cell phone, knowing it wasn’t going to have any reception, then screamed as something smashed into the driver’s door window.

Terrified and leaning over with her face covered, she heard Billy’s girlfriend screaming.  Tamra was frozen, barely able to force her fingers apart enough to peek out. When she didn’t see a rotting corpse pressed firmly against the window, she sat up a little straighter.   Her second thought was they were playing a very bad joke on her, causing her fear to feel more like anger and her courage grew just enough to crack the window.

“I swear, I’m gonna kick butt if you guy’s don’t stop messing around.”  She waited for a response, but all she got was another scream from Billy’s girlfriend, this time closer.

“Mindy!” Tamra hollered out the window rolling it down just a little more. 

The scream became more frantic the closer it got, until Mindy came sliding around the side of the gate.  

“Oh my God,” Tamra whispered, and pulled the door handle.  She reached back to unlock it, then climbed out and ran around the car to help Mindy, but Mindy wasn’t there.  “Mindy.  Please, this isn’t funny.” 

“Tamra!” Mindy screamed, and scrambled backward out of the gate on her hands and heels.

“What’s going on?” Tamra yelled in a state of panic, pulling her to her feet.

Shock fell over Tamra when she saw the fear that plagued Mindy’s face, not to mention the blood that coated her shirt. 

        “We have to go… we have to go now,” Mindy stuttered, grabbing Tamra by the forearm.

“Where are Billy and the others?”

“Run, we have to run!” she yelled and tried to take off, being stopped by Tamra’s grip. 

Tamra slapped her and demanded, “Where is my brother?”

“I don’t know,” she cried, pulling Tamra toward the car. “I got lost when they came after us.”

“Who Mindy? Who came after you?”

“I wanna go.  Please…” she begged, yanking, trying to get free from Tamra‘s grip.

“I have to find my brother.  You have to show me where you were.”

“NO!”  She yanked free and ran off.

        “Mindy, wait… get in the car!” Tamra yelled running after her, but she was fast, and Tamra was more interested in finding her brother than pursuing his girlfriend.

She went back to the car and started honking the horn non-stop, screaming Billy’s name as loud as she could.  When her voice started to give out, she let up off the horn and closed the door.  She was going to do it, she was going through that damn iron gate and bring her brother out.  Something happened in there and it scared the hell out of Mindy, but Billy was her baby brother and there was no way she was going to let anything happen to him, scared to death or not.  She was halfway to the gate when she turned and ran back to the car.  She flung open the door and took out her purse, pulling out a black knife that she flipped open, closed and stuck in her back pocket.

* * *

The sound of the gate pulled a blanket of chills across her body, as she moved it far enough to slip inside of its not so humble offerings.  Two steps in and Tamra heard the blood curdling sounds of Mindy’s scream that came to an abrupt stop, cutting off in the middle as if the sound had been yanked clean from the young woman’s body.  Tamra didn’t call out Mindy’s name this time.  Instead, she looked at her surroundings with her back hunched over, afraid to stand in fear of being seen by something other than her brother and his friends.  She quickly moved off of the small dirt road, which led into the dark of night with nothing but row after row of headstones reaching out, as if to touch the very thing that brought them to their final resting place.

Some of the headstones stood as tall as she did and others lay flat on the ground, barely noticeable to those seeking out their lost loved ones.  The mortuary was the one thing that she remembered her brother telling Mindy about the most, and was more than likely the one place he would have taken her to.  It was a one story building that stood in the middle of the graveyard, surrounded by willow trees that had been there since the time that the mortuary was built in the eighteen-hundreds.  It was also the place that was said to be where those that roamed in the protection of the dead, came to life when they were needed.

Tamra was making her way to the mortuary when she saw a movement that was much more solid than that of a mere swinging of a branch.  Its sway told her it was nothing like that of a strong healthy young man and her nerves gave her legs a new life to run.  She sprinted, weaving behind the taller headstones, dropping to the ground, hoping that the grass hid her when she heard the horrific moan of what she could only imagine as a creature from her nightmares.  Tears coated her face and tiny bits of sound escaped her mouth as the sounds came closer.  The anticipation of being gripped by the hands of the unknown gave new strength to her will to survive and she bolted, only to trip over a headstone that bent as she fell to the ground for the second time.

Tamra grabbed her knee where it had slammed into something solid as she landed behind the soft stone that had tripped her up.  She looked back and froze at what now stared back at her.  It was Mark.  His head had been ripped backward, hanging on by flesh alone, and twisted, his gaping mouth screaming a silent scream in her direction.  His head hung upside down, swinging slightly from a torso with no arms.  He had become the headstone that lay next to him on the ground, a replacement for the one he had broken – just like the stories said.

Her head began shaking as her lungs found the air they needed to expel a scream of terror.  Another sliding sound came from her left and she looked up in time to see a deformed being that was once a living man, reaching down for her and she ran.  Tamra saw the mortuary, and sprinted, jumping over every headstone in her path, hoping that she would find her brother hiding inside.  She reached the doors and started banging on them, calling out Billy’s name with pure panic in her voice.  The doors still had the chains securely in place on the outside of the handles, and there were no windows where she ran to the side to look.  She placed her back against the side wall and began to cry, thinking she was already too late.

Both of her shoulders were taken by two strong hands and she was lifted into the air, kicking and screaming the whole way.  She fought with her hands, slapping and clawing as she tried to get away and back off of the top of the one story death chamber.  

      “It’s me, Billy!  Tamra, it’s me!”  Billy worked hard to convince Tamra that it was really he and Bob that were holding her, and not some zombie that was going to rip her apart to utilize her remains for a broken headstone.  She flung herself into his arms and lost all composure. 

“Why didn’t you answer me when I called for you?” she asked in a loud voice.

“Be quiet… I couldn’t, or they’ll know where we are.  They killed Mark and may have even gotten Mindy,” he explained in a low whisper.

“I saw Mark… what did you do, Billy?”

“Nothing, I swear.  It was Mindy and Mark.  It all started when we came in and they started pushing on the stones trying to knock them over.”