Chapter 1: The Meeting
The full moon had risen completely into the sky, stars, sparkling brightly, surrounded the full moon like a blanket, giving it comfort that it was not alone in the sky. A shadow, smaller than most of the shadows that lingered upon the dark green, luscious grass. From the shadow, it looked as if a mass of black, twirled and swayed out behind it, coming up into the light of the mood, the shadow moved behind the tanned legs of a young girl. A dress, the color of teal, billowed loosely around her from the breeze of the night. Most of the long brunette hair was pulled up; some was left loose, to flow behind her, but far enough from her neck to keep her cool. The ember colored hues of the girl, were dimmed, the light of the moon only seeming to flash off of the pupil. The night, the girl knew, was not meant for, as the people of the village say, her kind. The living. The night was meant for the dead, but she always snuck out of the window to her room, hoping to meet someone. That day, at school, a boy she knew named Rakeesh told her to go look at the cemetery off the base of the village. The darkest part, everyone knew, of the village.
At the age of 7, the young girl, whose name was Alice, was curious about the dead, ever since she had seen the unthinkable, the pale ghost of her mother, still looking as serene and as beautiful as she had when she died. Now, at the age of 18, she was searching, just to find someone to talk to. To hear stories of their life if they would tell them. So, as she inched her way upon the cemetery, she could feel the warm breeze of the night, and then become so chilly that goose bumps began to sprout up upon her skin. At that moment, the young girl wished she had been smart enough to bring a sweater or something with sleeves, and possibly pants. The gate to the cemetery was quite large; Alice figured it was about 20 feet or so. Maybe she was wrong, but it was just a guess, she hadn’t built it, so what did she really care. The metal was slightly rusted from the rain, and snow. Touching the gate, she gave a great heave, and pushed the two sides open, revealing tombstones. The grass stopped being luscious looking, and began to look dead. In the dark, and what little light from the moon she had, it looked brown and sounded just as crisp as the fallen leaves beneath her feet as she stepped. The breeze had stopped completely upon entering the cemetery. Which made it feel a lot colder, and made Alice feel a lot more alone than she thought she would be. As she looked about her, at all that she passed, there was no lights, no glimmer of a soul anywhere. “Maybe the dead aren’t awake yet?” Alice thought to herself, it was only mid evening.
“No Child Should Be Within The Gates Of Amerilia Cemetery, Who Dares To Trespass Our Threshold?!” a voice sounded from nowhere, causing Alice to jump, her body easing into a solid, swift movement, creating a 360 circle, her ember hues jumping from tombstone to tombstone, hoping to catch something, anything, but she caught nothing. Just the rapid beating of her heart, giving off the fear in which she felt. Holding tightly onto her right hand, she tried to stop herself from shaking, but stopping her voice was another thing, “W-Whose th-there?!” to Alice’s regret, there was no answer to her question. Carefully, cautiously, she began to back up, until the voice caused to her freeze dead in her tracks, “I Don’t See How You Have The Right To Speak When I Asked, And So Nicely, The First Question, So Child, Answer Me!” Alice began to shake more visibly now, cold chills ran up and down her spine like little invisible mice, running to get the cheese sitting teasingly on top of her head. A sudden, chilled scream, erupted from within the young girls throat, scratching at the dryness of it. A skeletal hand, rested contentedly upon her shoulder, glowing hauntingly in the light of the moon. Muscle hung from the bone, veins wrapped around the femur, blood, stained dark red, or brown, was splattered almost upon the white arm. Alice was too frightened to move, too frightened to dare look behind her at the deteriorating body, at the horrifying appearance of what her body may one day become. “Usually When One Is Asked A Question, One Must Answer It, Little Girl.” The voice wasn’t coming from behind her, at least, Alice didn’t think so, she wasn’t sure if the souls, or ghosts, of people could get their voices to a pitch where it would bounce off of everything in its surrounding environment to make it seem like the ghost of the person was everywhere, but then, nowhere. Alice did her best to control her voice, but to no avail did it work as she gave the being the reply it wanted, “M-my name is Al-Alice Defraust. I-I’m here to learn ab-about any gh-ghost willing to befriend me.” A laugh, colder than the air that was within the cemetery, echoed about the place. The hand that had once been on her shoulder, had vanished completely. In front of her eyes, Alice watched as horrifying hands, tinted in the moonlight, as well as translucent, seemed to rise out of the dirt of the graves, arch, then push the rest of the bodies upward. Most seemed normal, as if they’d died without harm to the body, the exception being the deterioration of the muscle, and skin, exposing skeleton.
Most of what Alice was seeing, was just far to gruesome. There was a heave in her stomach, which made her, forcibly, double over, a burning, acidic like substance relieved itself of her lips, then plopped disgustingly onto the grass. After the little bit that came first, the vomit began to plop nastily as it hit the rest. When Alice was sure it was done, she spit what she could out, and eased herself against a tombstone, her knees felt weak, well, her whole body felt weak. A glow, not gloomy, but harsh looking, the soul, or ghost, whichever people prefer, had a red gleam around it, as if it was tinted that way. The being, though not as decomposed as the rest, still looked horrifying. Mainly because, she was still whole. No missing skin, no skeleton was exposed. The woman before her was about 5ft. 6in. With lightly colored blonde hair, and caramel colored skin. Though it looked paler because of the translucence of her skin. The eyes of the woman were gray, a hypnotic, gorgeous, gray. She wore an old gothic type of dress. The top was a corset type of style, tight, causing her breast to look bigger than they might have been, with black ribbon lacing itself from the front to the back, then winding its way around her neck, the bottom hugged her legs, then billowed out towards her knees, the bottom had a silk under portion, the upper portion was like spider web. “So You Are The Little Girl That Bothers Us, Are You? How Pitiful. You Belittle Us With Vomit.” Alice shook lightly, now meeting the voice that had been terrorizing her since she’d stepped into the cemetery. Her voice wouldn’t work, she guessed that her voice box said screw that, and placed itself under lock and key until she really, absolutely, needed to talk. Which, would probably be soon.
“Little Girl, Why So Scared? Are We That Horrifying?” the woman was talking to Alice like she was nothing but an insignificant child, that angered her, more than she thought could be possible. Feeling her voice return, she spat out, “There’s nothing here that’s horrifying. Just arrogant ghosts trying to scare a girl that just wants to give them a friend.” Most of what she said was truth, exception being the part where she said there was nothing horrifying there, which was a lie. And she knew that the other could see that it was. The harsh laugh returned, sending cold chills, and goose bumps running up and down her spine, and arms like a disease of some sort. There was no way Alice could play off her fear, they all could see it, even if she did find a way to hide it, she would still have failed at doing so. What the other said next, surprised her, but then didn’t. “Well Then Alice, I’ll Play With You, My Name Is Emelie Prisselli. Now Why Are You In Amerilia Cemetery?” Alice couldn’t believe that the one named Emelie Just thought this to be a game. A simple, child’s play game. That infuriated her, but she was too scared to snap at the other. Even ghosts could hurt the living, everyone knew that. “I want to make friends with some of the deceased, and learn about their lives before…well…this,” Alice moved her arm in an outward motion, meaning the cemetery, the death, “before dying.” Alice hadn’t noticed a change in Emelie’s face as she spoke, and there probably wasn’t one. Besides irritation, that Alice could see in the other’s eyes. It kind of irritated her that Emelie would feel irritated at her for being generous, for giving them a friend outside of the hell hole in which they live now, to give them eyes on the outside. Emelie’s voice now made Alice jump up, “You Think We Need Friends Like You Little Girl? Human Friends? Living Friends? All You Want Is To Know What Death Is Like So That You Can Try And Find Ways To Stop Yourself From Dying. We Don’t Need You. And We Never Will!” Emelie’s words made something snap inside Alice, fury seemed to rise blindly inside her chest, making breathing hard, and a little painful, “If I really cared about dying, would I be here?! Would I be at your mercy, surrounded by all of you, vulnerable to any attack you could possibly throw at me?” After speaking, a silence crept in, like an involuntary death to the conversation. And as the silence inched on, Alice was able to watch all the beings around her. Some looked sad, others were, oddly, in a good and others, they were like Emelie. They formed their bodies completely, showing no decomposition, no skeleton, no nothing but what they truly looked like. It was, in fact, horrifying. They had the same bad attitude as Emelie too. Hearing Emelie begin to speak, Alice shifted her ember hues towards the other, “Come Back Tomorrow Night. We Will Continue This Conversation Then.” Alice nodded, with no complaint, she stood, and left with haste. She trusted some of them, but not all. She had a feeling if Emelie wasn’t there, Alice wouldn’t have made it out alive. She ran all the way home.
Emelie watched the small girl run, with a light sigh, she felt exhausted, all the power she had to use to keep this figure up was more than enough of a hassle then having to babysit a living girl all night. With her index finger, Emelie rubbed her temple, easing back on some of the power usage, mainly from the aura based surroundings, her skin began to stretch, shrink, rip and tear. White bone could be seen, some skin and muscle hung off of her form, blood, like the others, had dried upon her. Half of the side of her mouth had no skin, it exposed just the jaw and teeth, and what she had left of a tongue. Her attire also changed itself around, to a ripped wedding dress. Dirt was smudged at the bottoms, and crawled partially up to her knees, as if she had fallen onto them before she was killed. A hold was noticeable threw her neck, and right shoulder, the death strikes. A small, ghostly boy came up to her, his eyes, hollow within the skull, they would be gone in another year or so. “Miss Emelie, will we get to have a new friend to play with soon? Once she hears a story?” A smile touched Emelie’s lips, or what was left, with a light nod of her head, she answered, “Yes Billy, we will have a new friend to play with.”
“Whose story are you going to tell?” came the rough voice of a man, Emelie recognized it as Old Man McGruger. From the man’s outburst, several other voices intertwined with his still hanging voice, with a light sigh, Emelie lifted her head, a grin, a devious, horrifying, haunting grin slid onto her skeletal/fleshy mouth as she said with ease,
Chapter 2; The Start
The fear clutched at Alice’s chest as she began her trudge back home. Tears burned at her hues, and had gradually began their journey downwards upon her cheeks, leaving a dried trail. The journey home had taken less time then on the way there. Which had shocked her more so. Maybe it was the adrenaline of the fear, or just the fear itself that had sent her on the urge to go into a brisk walk, but it was there, and she was walking, almost running, all the way home.
The house that belonged to her family began to dawn over the horizon. It was a gorgeous white, an old styled house. With three bedrooms, hers, her father and stepmother’s, and one used for a study. She had no siblings, and the sibling she would have had her stepmother miscarried. The depression of those few months had nearly torn her family apart, but her mother held them close, she was good at stuff like that. But if her mother, and father, knew about her travel to the graveyard, they would, with no doubt in Alice’s mind, be very livid about the whole ideal. They thought that the only education about the dead that she needed was in her Social Studies class, and it was only about the people that others thought mattered most.
They thought nothing of the people that were caught in between all the wars. They cared not for the people that died because of the ridiculousness of the President’s that decided that war was the best option. And it made Alice so mad, that most of the time she just skipped her Social Studies class, though she was making perfect marks in all her classes, she just couldn’t sit in there, and ask questions about the people that were stuck in the middle and get absolutely no answers about them or their stories. Her teacher liked her want for information, but sometimes she knew that she got on his nerves a lot.
Reaching the vines that were entwined around a little ladder, Alice smiled to herself, gripping the ladder like post, she climbed up to the arched roof, which she crawled upon to her window, then went through the window into her room.
Alice’s room was purple and black, her favorite colors, her parents were at first against the idea, but then gradually Alice got them to accept it was what she was doing and they wouldn’t stop her. She used money out of her own pocket to buy her new bed, and the purple and black striped comforter and sheets. The paint for her walls, the chandelier that she had rebuilt on her own for her ceiling. Her room looked nice, and her parents were unable to argue with that fact. Which made her proud.
Crawling into her bed, she kicked her shoes off, left her socks, and dress on, and curled into a little ball beneath the warm blankets. Her lids felt heavy, heavier than normal, but fear caused them to stay open, wide open. Until, at about one in the morning, she drifted lazily into a horrifying dream about the woman she had met in the graveyard.
The next day, the sun was rising, the curtains, Alice hadn’t moved back, protected her little from the rays that shone upon her face. It was a weekend, so she would have all the time in the world to go back over to the graveyard, but there was something inside her that was screaming at her to not think about it, to not go. That something bad was going to happen and she would not be able to stop it from happening. With a sigh, she threw the blankets over her head, and returned to a peaceful slumber.
The dream she had now, although peaceful, had shifted dangerously towards menacing. Within her dream, she was standing before the female she had met at the graveyard, her flesh was now stretched, shrinking, ripped and tore. White bone could be seen, some skin and muscle hung off of her form, blood, like the others, had dried upon her. Half of the side of her mouth had little to no skin, it exposed just the jaw and teeth, and what she had left of a tongue. Her attire also changed itself around, to a ripped wedding dress. Dirt was smudged at the bottoms, and crawled partially up to her knees, as if she had fallen onto them before she was killed. Two holes were noticeable through her neck, and right shoulder. The death strikes. And she was running, chasing, Alice through the graveyard, along with the other ghosts that she had seen. They all had blood lust within their eyes, which made her fear clutch at her chest. When they caught her, Alice could feel their sharp bones, ripping and tearing at her teal dress, and her flesh, it felt as though she had been shoved through a shredder. Screams echoed through the graveyard, originating from Alice’s mouth. Blood, warm, slid, and gushed, down her flesh. And towards the end, she could feel her heart beginning to stop. That was when she was jerked away. At first her gaze was unsteady, and blurry. But when it cleared up, Alice was staring into the worried eyes of her father, who was holding her tightly within his arms. Worry filled his ember hues.
“Baby girl are you alright? You woke me and your step mother with your screams, what were you dreaming? Do you recall? Are you doing okay? Should we bring you to the doctor? Oh my god your bleeding, Alice!” her dad was speaking too fast for her to catch his every word, until he said bleeding. Glancing down at herself, the sudden pain shot through her arm, glancing at it, she noticed scratch marks, quietly, she said, “I must have scratched myself accidentally Daddy, don’t worry. It woke me up from the dream. Though, I don’t recall what it was, Daddy.”
Alice’s father had called the home-to-home doctor to come in and check on Alice’s wound. Alice had nails, so it would easily believable when she told the doctor what happened. So she wasn’t all that worried about that, but she was worried about the dream that had haunted her since the night before, and then that morning when she had awoken, then returned to sleep. It was in her head every second, causing the fear to clutch at her heart once more.
The doctor came in finally, he sat beside her bed, on the left, where the left arm was, the hurt arm, and he gently took it within his hands, which were enormous around her tiny little arm, with a small smile at him, she said, “Its nothing, really. I’m alright.” The doctor chuckled, and shook his head,
“I still must look because you could get an infection from this you know.”
Alice nodded her head reluctantly, she had zoned out while the doctor worked on her arm, when he was finished, he was done about fifteen minutes before she realized he was gone. Her father had made her stay in her room that day until her arm was better, and that the pain was less and more bearable. Laying down upon her bed, she stared up at her ceiling, her hues were gentle. The thoughts of the dream were haunting. Boredom over came her, and she drifted back into a dreamless sleep.
When Alice woke, she started with a yawn, reaching her hands upwards, she stretched, her back arched. With the back of her right hand, she rubbed at both of her eyes. Throwing her legs over her bed, she glanced out the door, and saw the moon reaching upwards into the star lit sky. With a smile, she moved to her dresser and took out her sweater, a black sweater, and placed it over her head, then put black pants on.
Easing herself out of her window, she shimmied down the ladder and made her way towards the graveyard yet again. This time, she had questions that she wanted answers to. And she wouldn’t take no for an answer this time. She wouldn’t let her fear clutch at her chest anymore.