THE CEMETERY Part One, a short story by actung. Date added: 2009-06-23. Times viewed: 1664.
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Castlemount cemetery sits way up on a mountain side overlooking the town that it is built upon. Quite a large ground, Castlemount cemetery is a place which will become the final resting place for some of the inhabitants of the town below and as well as for some living beyond the town’s limits.
Saturday late in the September of 2008 and the multi-coloured morning sky was an upsetting start to Julies day, as the saying goes 'red sky at night, Sheppard’s delight, red sky in the morning, Sheppard’s warning'. Even though it wasn't going to be her birthday for another three days, this was the day Julie was planning to celebrate her 21st birthday, and her plans of an afternoon barbeque looked liked they might be dampened, but since the red, pink and lavender colours of the sky were quite a bit in the distance then just maybe there would be no rain fall near her home.
First order of business of the day was to get over to the local sports club hall and sort out the decorations for the evening time celebrations. Julie's best friends Emma and Sandra were already there. The three friends were so close that if there was a big day for one of them then there was a big day for all three, and Emma and Sandra were going to make sure that this was a night to be remembered, but this day also held fears for the future.
It was Julie's 21st birthday, the girls may have been friends for as long as any of them can remember but this day marked the fact that they have grown up, things change and life goes on.
'Hey guys, we will be friends forever, right?' asked Sandra.
'Sure we will, why wouldn't we?' replied Julie.
'We're not kids anymore ya know, things change', all this thinking brought up a tear to Sandra’s eye.
‘Well I am not going anywhere' said Julie, 'well except for home right now to get the food sorted for later'
Emma made Julie and Sandra make a promise then and there that they would remain friends forever and of course Emma would also make the same promise.
'See you guys later'.
Julie went outside and sure enough her fear from that morning had come to be, a light hazy rain was falling so she got into a cab and asked the driver to take her home but home would be a place she was not going to make it back to. Julie could see from the license on the dashboard that the drivers name was Frank.
'Everything ok?' asked Frank as he began to drive off.
'Yeah, well sort of, I'm having my 21st birthday party today and the rain has just put a bit of a dampener on things'.
'Well happy birthday then so'.
'Thanks but it’s not till Tuesday, Saturday is just a better day to celebrate'.
Frank stopped at a red light, his taxi was the only car stopped at this junction, it was a quiet day, didn't seem to be many people about at all. The passenger side door open and a man wearing a ski mask got in, before he could notice the ski mask Frank said 'sorry but this cab is taken'.
'I don't want your cab, I want your money, give me your money now' demanded the masked man, sticking his gun in to Franks side.
Before Frank could react the gun went off by accident, killing Frank. Julie screamed. The masked man turned and reacted without thinking and shot Julie in the stomach. He took his mask off and the shocked look on the face of this attacker was as if to say 'what have I just done?' sent him into panic, he grabbed Franks money and left.
Julie spent the next three days in hospital fighting a fight she would lose on the Tuesday, the actual day of her 21st birthday, her family and both Emma and Sandra were all at Julie’s side when she passed away.
At her own burial service, Julie stood next to her mum while Emma and Sandra stood the far side of the coffin. How Julie wished that she could just talk to them, make them not cry anymore tears.
'This is my funeral, why am I getting so upset? It’s not as if anyone is going to be able to console me', Julie shouted out loud.
'I was never any good at the whole consoling thing but at least you'll have someone to talk to', spoke somewhat of a familiar voice.
Frank walked right through Emma and Sandra as if they were not even there.
'I have had a very strong feeling that somehow I would see you here' said Julie.
'Yeah and I've been waiting for you to arrive, what kept ya?'
'Oh I don't know, maybe not wanting to die and some good care at the hospital delayed me' Julie said as she tried to decide as to whether she should laugh or cry.
'Come on, I'll introduce you to some of our neighbours'.
Frank tried to take Julie’s mind off things as they walk away from the burial service while Julie has trouble avoiding looking back.
The first of the souls residing at Castlemount to be introduced to Julie was that of Peter Rosewood, a former teacher at the school where Julie had finished a few years before. Julie knew of the circumstances of Peter's death. He had died of a heart attack not long before a class was to begin and he was discovered by students as they entered the classroom that morning, and this story had become legend at the school as many of the students had a teacher or teachers they wished (jokingly) had the same faith. Peter had been at the cemetery for 22 years now.
'Why are we here?' asked Julie, 'like is there no heaven or hell?'
'Well' said Peter, ‘most souls do go straight to wherever they are meant to go, but then there are others like us that don't, I guess it's maybe that we either are not ready to go to wherever it is we go or maybe we might have a reason to still be here'.
Not long into their conversation, the ground began to shake as if there was an earthquake happening, but this was only noticeable by the residents of the cemetery, and not by its visitors.
'Oh no, It's coming, run’ said Peter.
'What's coming?' asked Julie.
Frank quickly tried to explain.
'Look if you see something moving underground and coming towards you, just get as far away from it as you can, once every six months, and over a period of six days, six souls are taken, one each day apparently this is day number two'.
Both Pete and Frank put some distance between themselves and the thing burrowing its way underground but Julie was frozen still. Frank made his way over to Julie but this meant him having to sacrifice himself to save Julie. Whatever this thing was it grabbed Frank and pulled him underground. If Julie wasn't already in shock she was now, totally stunned by what she just witnessed.
Even though Frank no longer has a physical body, he felt like he was drowning, and even though whatever had grabbed him was pulling him under ground, he felt like he was underwater. The deeper Frank got, the more he could see, all around him were distorted entities which in some way resembled people for maybe that's what they once may have been, all squirming in pain as if they were souls that had been and still were being tortured, He could almost make out what seemed to be facial expressions and could hear their moaning cries of pain.
Frank was now no longer being pulled under, whatever had grabbed him had released him, and up above when he had entered this 'hellhole' there was a bright light so Frank began to make his way up this light while some of these tortured souls tried to grab on to him. Frank got out but it had taken its toll on whatever it is that powers the life force of his soul and it took Frank a few minutes to recover, and as he was doing so, whatever it was that had grabbed him to begin with returned and a hold of Peter. Peter was pulled under and was not seen again.
When Frank had emerged out of the ground he had come out right by where Julie was and the only reasoning to why he had returned was that there was some sort of connection between himself and Julie, the same connection they both felt when Julie arrived in the cemetery and this connection meant that if one of them was to be taken then they both have to be taken and since only one soul gets taken at a time then just maybe it couldn't take both Frank and Julie.
Julie’s burial service had finished and her friends and family had all left. John, the junior grounds keeper arrived late for his shift and Michael, the senior grounds keeper began to give John a hard time, apparently for arriving to the cemetery so late. Julie took no notice of this; she was too busy contemplating spending eternity in this place she found herself in.
'Are we able to leave here?' she asked Frank.
'I don't think so, according to what I have been told, it is something that shouldn't be tried'.
'So we are stuck here, lovely' Julie said sarcastically.
Julie’s grandparents were also buried at this cemetery. She made her way to their grave.
'I guess they made it to heaven'.
John passed close by Julie. Of course he did not notice her but she did notice him.
'Oh my god, it's him'.
'What is him?' asked Frank.
'That guy there, he's the guy; he is the one that killed us. I saw his face before he got out of the taxi.'
'Are you sure?'
'Of course I'm sure, I didn't die straight away, and I was still alive when he took his ski mask off'.
Two days later and two more souls have been taken, and there is nothing either Julie or Frank can do about John. Julie had now befriended an 82 year old lady named Rosie. Rosie had been buried in the cemetery a few days prior to when Julie was buried and as they chatted neither could figure out why either of them where at where they were and hadn't passed into the next life, the only reason Julie could think of as to why she is where she is was the fact that the cemetery was the work place of the man who killed her.
As Julie and Rose chatted Emma and Sandra arrived and as they made their way to Julie’s grave, Rose told a tearful Julie 'we are all here for a reason, and we just need to find out what yours is. Go be with your friends.'
This was something else that was new for Julie. She had never considered that a ghost or spirit or whatever she was could cry.
Emma and Sandra talked to Julie as if they could see her not knowing that Julie could actually see and hear them. As they told her how much the loved and missed her Julie reached around and hugged them both, Emma and Sandra both looked at each other and cried almost as if they both could sense Julie’s presence and actually feel her hug.
'It'll be dark soon ladies so I'll be closing up in 5 minutes' John told the girls.
Julie became so angry knowing that her killer was talking to her best friends. As Sandra and Emma were about to leave, John approached them both in his brand new car and offered them a lift but somehow Sandra and Emma could feel Julies anger towards John and they refused the lift.
‘He did it, he killed me, leave my friends alone' Julie shouted. '
You did it, didn't you?'
'You killed our friend Julie', the girls said one after the other.
They seemingly had a connection of their own to their departed friend and could almost hear what Julie had just said as if there was a voice in their heads. This completely surprised John and he reacted by opening his glove compartment.
'I so wish you girls had not just said that' he said as he pointed his gun at the girls. 'Get in my car, now'.
Frank and Julie could only look on as the girls got in the car. Frank moved quickly and began to shout at the senior graveyard grounds keeper. The senior grounds keeper was in his office not knowing what was happening out side. If the girls could sense Julies anger just maybe Frank thought he could get the attention of the groundskeeper but Julie just went into a major panic state as the car her friends and John were in drove off.
'Girls, it's time to go on a very long journey'.
Just as Emma and Sandra could sense Julie’s anger, Michael, the senior cemetery grounds keeper, could sense that there was a problem with John as if a voice had told him so. The office lights also flickered. As Michael saw John’s car pass by his office window he grabbed his jacket, got into his own car and went after John.
'Look' John told the girls, 'I didn't intend to kill your friend or even that taxi driver, it just happened and I am not going to prison for it'.
'It's not like we can tell anyone what happened, isn't that right Emma?',
'Yes. What could we know about it? If we told anyone, no one would believe us. So you can just let us out'.
'Sorry ladies, no can do'.
Back at the cemetery Rose told Julie 'your friends are in trouble, Michael has gone after them but unfortunately that's not going do anyone any good'.
'What do you mean? Where are they? Can we do anything?'
'Don't think so' said Frank, 'from what I've been told, the only way a soul can leave the cemetery is either through the light when it comes or to be taken underground'.
'I think I know why I am here', said Rose, 'while I was alive I was and I guess still am somewhat of a physic, since I now am dead and that I am here I guess my abilities had adapted too, I think this is how Sandra and Emma could sense your anger and knew it was John that killed you Julie and Michael could sense you too Frank'.
'This may be so but what good can it do us?' asked Frank.
'Oh don't worry' answered Rose, 'I know where John is taking the girls, but he can't go there so they will all be back here soon enough'.
John had decided to bring the girls back to his house but as he neared he could see a police car outside his driveway and two officers were standing at his front door. Michael pulled up beside John.
'John you idiot, what do you think you’re doing? Do you want to get us both into trouble?'
Whatever put John in the situation that took Julie and Frank’s lives, it was clear to see that Michael was somehow involved.
'Take the girls back to the cemetery; I'll meet you back there'.
The girls were kept overnight against their will in the house next to the cemetery, and since neither had returned home, a search began to find them. This house had been around as long as the cemetery has been, with the purpose of housing the senior grounds keeper which of course right now is Michael, so this was a logical place for police to begin their inquires to where the girls might be. Their investigations into Julie and Franks deaths had made John their main suspect. This is why they had been to John’s house.
Michael talked to the police when they came by and answered their questions. It seemed very obvious that he was lying trough his teeth that one of the two officers whom had come to Michaels home felt uneasy. Michael had told them that John was not around, but as soon as the police got into their car Michael and John began to argue. The suspicious officer drove his car away from the house but stayed close by and called for backup, and when that arrived, a confrontation ensued, ending in the deaths of both Michael and John. Both Emma and Sandra were unharmed.
It was now the fifth of the six days where souls are taken, and as both Frank and Julie stood face to face with their killer the ground began to shake and justice was to continue, as since all the souls at the cemetery knew what was about to happen, they took cover, Michael and John stood together making them easy targets. John was the fifth soul to be taken.
Over the next twenty-four hours it was discovered that Michael was responsible for the deaths of a number of souls in the cemetery so as the ground began to shake for the sixth time in six days a bright light also appeared. Many souls at the cemetery had not passed over due to having a sense of unfinished business related to Michael, and now had their opportunity to move on. Michael was unable to move towards the light, in life he was not a good man, this made sure that he was to be the sixth and final soul to be taken.
Julie made her way towards the light but her connection to Frank prevented her from crossing over. Frank was not ready to go just yet. He could feel something holding him to the cemetery.
'Frank, I can't go without you'.
'They are here'.
'Who are here?'.
Some of the beings that Frank had seen while he had been pulled underground had escaped through the opening in which he had come back out from, and as the light faded, darkness set in, now that the sixth soul had been taken, these beings were now free............
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