Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Cemetery Scene

Back in college when I took a few film classes I wrote dozens of scripts and sketched out hundreds more story ideas.  Today’s prompt, Hanging Out in the Cemetery, reminded me of one of my favorites.  I don’t think I’ll ever have the chance to shoot it and get in on a screen, so today will be its day in the sun.  I’ll write it out (finally), quick-edit and debut it for the audience that’s been following our 30 days.
The two gaunt bald figures regarded each other dourly across the broad gravestone upon which they leaned.  The half moon shed little light, but seeing at night hadn’t been a problem for them in decades.
“I can’t do this anymore.” Stokes said.
Bram was immediately annoyed “It’s not exactly my meal of choice either.” 
“I’m not doing it.” Stokes insisted.
“Alright. I’ll do the digging this-”
Stokes shoved himself away from the stone so violently it cracked.  He strode straight for the cemetery gates with purpose.  Bram just watched slack-jawed as he effortlessly kicked the wrought irons off their hinges, leaving a crushed blue bird on the path.  

He was serious.  He was heading for the village.  It only took a few fast leaps for Bram to catch up with him.  They may not have had a decent drink of fresh blood in months, but they still had their vampiric speed and strength, thank… hell?
“Nothing’s changed down there, mate.”  Bram tried.  “They’re all wised up.  You know that.”
Stokes ignored him and pushed easily through the hedgerow that bordered the wheat fields surrounding the village.  It was a more direct route than the nearby road which meandered a bit.  The high wheat parted like a dust cloud before them.
“They put garlic in their eggs for breakfast, in their porridge for lunch and their roasts for dinner.  They wash their clothes in it.  They string it like beads and festoon their homes with it.  They even grind it up and mix in in their hair soap so even their locks stink of it.  We call this fookin’ place Garlicshitberg for a reason, Stokes!”
Stokes began to falter.  The unnatural light behind his yellow eyes faded a bit.
“Even if you choke down a little, you won’t be able to keep it down.  We tried a few times, remember?  Sick for days. There’s nothing for us here.  Maybe if we try the colonies-”
“The colonies are a month by ship.  A month.” Stokes growled “We’d have to sneak on the night before and hope we’re not caught during the day.  And even if we pull off that trick the first we try to feed we’ll be in a fight to the death, and if we don’t dine with them they’ll be suspicious and we’ll starve.  We’re stuck!  We’re fu-” He saw Bram was ignoring him, looking past him, eyes merry and wide.  He turned to see.
And there she was.  A slight girl of perhaps fourteen in a powder blue petticoat, hood drawn up against the night.  She stepped lightly over the fallen branches that still dotted the road after last month’s storm.  Nobody dared Cemetery Road anymore, so no need to keep it clear.
The two predators were incredulous.  She was heading towards the cemetery.  Alone in the dark.  Was this a gift from the dark gods?  She didn’t even carry a lantern or torch.  Doubtless trying to slip by in the night.  They chuckled softly to each other and soundlessly eased themselves onto the road a stone’s throw behind her.
“You know,” Stokes whispered “as hungry as I am, I don’t want to rush this.”
“I know, I miss the hunt too.  I know every villager by sight, we’ve stalked them enough.  She’s a stranger.”
“Don’t know no better, poor lass.”
“Curious, where she’s going.”
“Road only goes one place.” Stokes couldn’t help a giggle.
The girl only paused once by the broken gate, bending to the ground for a moment before slowly entering.  The path took her from their view but they felt no need to hurry.  Where could she go?  They enjoyed the walk like they hadn’t in some time.
“You went first the last time, and you over-drank.” Stokes said.
“Untrue, and I saw her first.  That’s the rule and you know it.” Bram countered.
They saw her again as soon as they made the turn through the gateposts.  She was in the ‘noble’ section of plots and heading for the Bishop’s Acre.  It was only a fraction of a true acre, but it was called such for its exclusivity, ornate private gateway and high wrought iron fence encircling it.  They expected her to struggle pushing at the rusted gates but she slipped effortlessly through the bars instead.

"The ship would work if we hired ourselves one of them indentured.  He could bring us our meals in our cabin, we pretend to eat them... " Bram tried.

"I don't know, maybe... We'd have to get some money first."

"That's not hard.  There's some trinkets left in every grave.  What's a little more digging?"
In half a minute they were at the Bishop's gate themselves, but as thin as they had become they still couldn’t follow her through the bars.  They had to force the rusted gates open and it took a little doing, even for them.  The screech was fearsome, announcing their presence.  They leaped in with fangy grins.  The surprise and fear on their prey’s faces was always half the fun.  But the girl was nowhere to be seen.  
The Bishop’s lone mausoleum stood cold and sealed at the end of the path.  Just before it in the rain-filled bird bath was a blue bird having a drink.  On the ground behind lay the discarded petticoat and hood.  They swept their eyes left and right for her as they strode forward, scaring the bird to flight.
“We’ll find her quick ‘nough.” Bram laughed “Come out little bird, it’s feeding time!”
The gates screeched again behind them and clanged shut.  They spun and saw her, high atop the gate, resplendent in white robes that shimmered in the moonlight.  She wore no adornment save a simple belt holding a scabbard which trickled an unsettling whitish glow from within.  Suddenly alert, they still didn’t fully understand until she spread her great white wings and drew that sword.  It sang with a chilling hum and shone with blinding rays that humbled them to the ground, and they knew.
“It’s not our fault!" they cried "We were made against our will!”
She held up one alabaster hand to bid them stop.
“I am not the Judge,” she said with a voice as light as mist “I am merely His bailiff.”
They bolted for the back fence faster than they’ve ever moved in life or death.  In two leaps they were there.  In one flick of heaven’s wings so was she.


  1. If the original had been as well written as this, I might have read it a second time.

  2. Wow! This is fantastic! I was lost in it :)

  3. A very interesting read. Enjoyed it very much.

  4. Well done! I thoroughly enjoyed reading that. So much so, I'm not even going to make fun of you a little bit. :-)

  5. This was an outstanding piece of writing! Wow! Really stunning! Loved every word and hated to see it end.

  6. Thank you all. Sometimes I think up a story and wonder if anyone would get it but me, so it's nice to see other people would like it too. If my dream of becoming a working filmmaker ever comes true this is one of the things I would want to shoot as a short. (A short shoot?)

  7. This was excellent!