by Rose Grey
going home, but only for one night. (for contest having to use horror movie titles)
|She sat in the mist covered cemetery yet not seeing the carnival of souls that surrounded her. This was all so new to her; it wasn’t very long ago that she had realized the frailty of life. The shining moon and stars winked down at her, but their beauty that she had once loved felt lost to her. Why saw she back among the living, yet she felt no more solid than then the fog.
“Look there Christine, I think we have a newbie.”
The girl looked up out of her thoughts as the blob of light came drifting toward her. She stared as it took the form of a beautiful woman, if a bit transparent looking. The girl wondered if that was how she looked to them.
“Welcome Child.” She said, “I am Christine.”
The girl blinked up at the woman from her seat on the gravestone.
“Is she in shock?” The voice came before another blob of light transformed before her, this time into a young man.
“She’s just confused like you were once, Wolf.”
The young man nodded, “What’s your name?”
The girl shifted her eyes to the one called Wolf, he appeared friendly enough, but way was he called Wolf?
“My dear this is Halloween!” Christine said happily. “The night of the living dead!”
Christine nodded, “Once a year the spirits of those dead may rise and walk the earth – in a fashion.”
“Has the world gone mad?” The girl asked, “We’re dead we can’t be here!”
“It’s only the dawn of the dead, darling!” A drawling voice spoke.
Another, older, man formed before her, the black dragons twisted up his arms glittered oddly in the moonlight.
“That’s Dan, resident Hellraiser.” Christine introduced the man, “He just loves to make the living scream.”
The girls face revealed the terror she felt when she glanced at Dan.
“Oh, he’s just one of the frighteners, dear. He never harms anyone, we can’t really.”
The girl noticed that the ring around her grave was growing, it seemed that more of these maniac ghosts were finding their way to the newbie’s grave.
“The thing is, Christine, I don’t want to be here.”
The woman laughed, “My dear you wouldn’t be if you truly didn’t want to be.”
‘Wouldn’t be if you truly didn’t want to be.’ The girl heard Christine’s words echo in her mind.
“Everyone, go about your night, the Fatal Hour comes fast.”
The girl heard Christine command and the gathering around her grave began to vanish. If she was mean to be here, why did she feel like she was one body too many?
“Now, what’s your name child?”
Christine sat down in front of the gravestone, peering at it.
“Ah, Hannah is it?”
The girl nodded, that had been her name.
“I know that being her might seem like the little shop of horrors, but Hannah, we’re not here for bloodlust.”
Christine’s voice was dead calm she meant what she was saying.
“No matter what it seems like you feel, you want to be here. At least a part of you does. What you do now that you’re here is up to you. The first night can feel like you’re being tormented, I remember mine well, but that feeling fades the more nights you come. I use my time to look in on my decedents. Dan likes to play jokes on the living, while others simply look around – see what the world has become since their passing. What you do is up to you, Hannah. We cannot put anyone in peril; no one can see us or hear us.”
“So we can only observe?”
“Mostly, the frighteners can move some things, be heard slightly as long as what they’re planning isn’t harmful to the living.”
Christine rose, “You will be well, Hannah. The Fatal Hour is midnight that is when we are doomed to die again so to speak. Do what you will with your time, I must go now.”
“Thank you, Christine, for the explanation.”
“You’re welcome Hannah, have a wonderful first night.”
Hannah nodded and watched the woman walk away, still wondering why she was here.
Hopping off the gravestone Hannah figured she may as well have a look around.
‘The monster walks’ she thought as she made her way toward the cemetery gates.
After a bit of wandering Hannah found herself looking up a long dirt driveway at a dark house on a hill. The eeriness of the bare branches in the moonlight made her think, ‘the house on haunted hill.’
“More like nightmare on Elm Street.” She muttered as she started up the driveway. After all she was at 23 Elm Street – her home.
Hannah stood in front of the door just looking at it. Her life had been here, did she really want to see what had been? Rather, what has changed?
Taking a deep breath she walked in and heard screams. She froze thinking that someone had somehow seen her. Look around slowly, Hannah saw no one else. She listened and realized it was the volume of the television she had heard. Someone was awake.
Walking toward the family room Hannah felt her chest tighten. What had life here become since her death? Would she even be able to tell in one night?
From the doorway to the family room she could see her parents snuggled on the sofa watching the movie The Birds. Hannah shivered remembering the eeriness of that movie.
Other movies were spread out on the coffee table between a bowl of popcorn, sodas and candies. Hannah smiled, remembering the tradition of a Halloween movie marathon. Moving closer to the coffee table Hannah checked out some of the other movies – they were a mix of classic horror films and more modern ones. Session 9, Dracula and The Fly lay beside the table having already been watched.
Sighing Hannah sat down beside the sofa but let out a squeak and popped back up when she saw the spider. It appeared that her arachnophobia was alive and well. Looking at her parents from where she stood beside the sofa, she noticed the gorilla plushy between them.
Hannah smiled, that faded stuffed toy had been hers since she was a baby. It seemed that her parents had included her in this night too. If could have seen herself, Hannah figured she have red eye from the tears that fell down her cheeks.
The world suddenly went still, like a photo in a One Hour Photo machine and Hannah jumped when she found herself standing before her grave.
The Fatal Hour had come.