‘No it is, it’s the most haunted cemetery in Australia’
Mick stood looking at the gates; old wrought iron set between granite pillars. They both looked ominous and ridiculous.
Ominous in that it was pitch black behind them, and ridiculous in that the concept of security was negligible due to the four-foot high hedge with holes all through it that ran away from the granite in two directions creating a leafy yet inadequate guard between the world of the dead, and the world of the living.
‘I left your bike-up the back?’
‘Why’d you do that?’
‘You were with me, we both did it.’
‘You should go get it.’
‘No bloody way, this place is haunted’
‘You’re a dork Sean; their dead, why would they haunt the graves, they’d haunt where they died, that makes more sense’
‘Not all of them.’
‘Well, you’ve been in their; all the unmarked graves’
‘What about ‘em?’
‘Well there sort of like anchors to the world, cause the ones buried in those ones are unknown fatalities, Loons, crims; bushrangers and more, they are the ones you should be scared of’
‘You’re full of it.’
‘If I am full of it. Why won’t you go in there and get your bike? I left it leaning under the trunk of the big Elm.’
‘I’ll go. You’re a dick.’
Walking towards the gate Mick for the first time realised it was a full moon. He could not work out if that was a good or bad omen. Pushing hard against the gate, feeling it groan and grind across the sandstone sill. He got it just open enough for him to slip through.
On entering he was amazed to see how white the pathway was, it shone under the glow of the full moon, he took a few steps into the cemetery and glanced back to where his friend was, only to see that Sean had receded to the other side of the road, and was standing under the street light, protected from evil by the fluorescent forcefield.
Michael froze as he turned his gaze away from Sean he realised he was alone, in a cemetery, the logical him said he was cool, he figured he’d be quick, run in get the bike and ride like hell out.
Choosing the most direct path, the one that shot diagonally from the main gate to the rotunda in the middle of the cemetery, from their he would continue on directly to the back corner. No hassles 10 minutes walk at most.
The silence was amazing, as it was a cold winters night the dew had started to fall, dampening everything around him. The only noise being the crunch, crunch of his steps. Or was it just his.
He stopped, listening. Crunch, crunch, crunch; silence. The hair on the back of his neck stood on end. ‘Snap’. Mick spun around thinking he’d seen Sean sneaking up behind him. There was nothing, all he could see was the glowing white path of where he had come from receding back towards the now out of sight gates.
‘It’s my imagination’ walking more briskly, he could see the shadow of the rotunda approaching. He just had to cut to the left of it and he’d be on the track to his bike. Then he saw it, a slight movement, like a man in a trench coat shifting his weight, standing watching him.
He stopped again; then he felt it, a push, not a gentle push, nor a violent push, just a push and unfriendly feeling of challenge. He turned again hoping that it was Sean, it wasn’t. There standing not 10 feet behind him was a black shadow, as black, as could be, made even darker and more ominous because of the glow of the path leading the way out. The way that was now blocked.
Michael was frozen. Something behind him at the rotunda moved, he didn’t see it, didn’t so much as hear it, he just knew it had stepped out of the shadow’s and was now walking towards him. Now he was worried, something behind him, the black shadow blocking his retreat.
Dashing to the right across the open ground of a hundred graves all unmarked. Sean’s voice ringing in his head ‘the Loons, The Crims; The Murderers’ The black shadow left the path angling to head him off; he could feel hands grabbing at his legs trying to slow him. His foot went into a rabbit hole and he fell full force into the cold wet grass, weeds, and gravel of the graveyard.
Winded he tried to stand only to find he couldn’t, hands were grabbing at his shirt, his pants, his hair, his face. The smell of dirt and stale air started to overwhelm him. Thrashing about for all he was worth he managed to stand again only to realise the blackness was almost upon him.
He could see the top path, the one that ran along the hedge, the hedge that bordered the dead from the living and he sprinted; he cleared the unmarked graves and was now running through the marked graves and took one last leap over an old headstone landing on the path.
Crunch, crunch, crunch, whatever it was now running at him at speed down the path that intersected the one he was now running along to get to the front gate. He simply picked up speed hoping he would get past whatever was coming for him and he would make the main gate.
‘Yes, where the bloody hell have you been? You’ve been ages, I got worried.’
‘Ghosts, frickin ghosts let’s get the hell out of here’