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A Ghost Rose...

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The Sky had released a torrent of rain and hail as it punished the earth beneath it. The precipitation was held in place by whirling winds that acted as a funnel as the soil tried to absorb as much water as it could but failed. The cemetery started to open up and headstones were crumbling as the caskets rose to the surface.

The darkness was begging for relief as it threw shade on the frigid waters that hid comfortably in the night. The moon wanted to just shrivel and die, but it couldn't. It was just trapped in the sky and was made a witness to the powerful sleet that would not even consider relinquishing it's dominant reign over the night.

You could almost hear unified sighs coming from the souls as they fought to keep the dead in the caskets. The twitching and the pulling was common as the bodies of men, women and children staggered through freezing mud. The dead just slogging it out with the wrath of Mother Nature.

Something resembling a gray shadow started floating toward the bodies and tried to absorb the souls that stayed with the dead rather than shooting up toward the Heavens. The souls that did not want to leave the vessel referred to the living as the body. The torso filled with chemicals and that last moment of life that stained it like a finger print remained with the body.

A ghost rose and tried to keep the gray shadow away from the souls. The ghost fought the downpour as it pointed to the shadow. His finger was long, bony and crooked at every natural bend.

The ghost glanced past the shadow and noticed an incredibly horrifying looking creature consuming the bodies like hungry hounds. Wet skin and bones were crunching as it shattered with every bite. The beast was canine, but it stood upwards on its hind legs. It was biting and ripping the dead like he was in for his last meal.

The ghost screamed as loud as he could, but the rain and sleet softened it to a mere whisper.

The hungry beast glanced over toward the ghost, but was having a difficult time with visuals. The freezing rain made it almost impossible for the beast to see the ghost. The beast tried to sniff the air assuming that the ghost was probably the gardener or caretaker. Nevertheless there was no odor coming from the ghost, so the beast continued consuming the dead.

The gray shadow stood in front of the ghost and touched the ghost on the cheek. The ghost was not a soul so nothing happened. The gray shadow was confused so it took a step back. The shadow titled his head sideways as it tried to figure out what the ghost was.

A child's soul started floating up and the gray shadow stopped it in its track and consumed it like smoke.

The ghost clawed at the gray shadow but there was no substance. His hand went through the body and he only felt the rain poking.

Gradually, and intentionally the shadow moved his face closer to the ghost. It was a deliberate action as he looked directly into his eyes. The shadow could almost see through him, and that was confusing.

The ghost removed a cross from his pocket and stuck it into the shadow's face. That action confused the shadow even more as it jilted its head back almost snapping the neck. The shadow suddenly felt lighter than air, almost as if it were no longer touching the ground.

The canine beast reached the shadow and the ghost and was close enough to see. The ghost shuddered at the whisper of lurking dark thoughts coming from the beast. It was angry that the ghost held the shadow in captivity. It came toward the ghost and then stopped abruptly when it saw the cross. Glancing around the cemetery, it noticed the souls that did not float away to freedom walked toward them holding crosses.

That movement made the sleet and rain stop and the beast gasped involuntarily. It then started to choke on the undigested bones as it crumbled to the frozen soil and just vanished.

The gray shadow pleaded as the earth opened and a hand of fire grabbed it by the neck and took it down toward hell as the impact of the earth closing made everything around the ghost shake like the aftermath of an earthquake.

The ghost looked around and he knew he had a great deal of work to do, reburying the caskets and resetting the headstones. He looked up toward the sky and noticed that the darkness had a hint of light coming through and he also noticed the moon smiling. The ghost turned toward the caskets with tender eyes and knew he wasn't alone.

© 2018 Frank Atanacio

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