Written by: Rath

-Life is a precious thing it can be lived to the fullest or waisted away and thrown in all directions because of certain emotions that betray us-

Rachel stood above her mother’s grave. It lay undisturbed and fresh, next to her father’s. She had only lived for fourteen of this world’s years and already she had come to know such loss. It’s not like she was alone, no she still had two brothers, yet neither of the two cared about her. They were both sixteen and had their own lives to lead, naturally excluding her. They were both under legal age to take care of her, but the courts had taken pity on her and had let her stay with them. Although she knew they had not been very thrilled at the idea. She lived in a small town and had friends. But she didn’t care in a social life. Most of the time she spent reading. The cemetary was her favourite place. It was peaceful and clean. She of course, never disturbed any of the graves. She believed that people, even dead ones, should be given proper respect for who they are.

Now as she gazed at the two graves, tears welled up in her eyes. The funeral for her mother had been over an hour ago. Everyone had gone home, including her brother’s Samuel and Victor. Her mother had died in a car accident and her father, who had been a pilot aboard a famous plane, had died when it had crashed into the Atlantic. It seemed that her life was full of misery. However, it didn’t exacly show on the outside. She had always been told she was a pretty girl. She had shoulder-length brown hair and eyes that were such a dark brown that they were almost pure black. She was pale and always sort of secluded.

She sighed and stepped away from the graves. It was time to go. She turned and with a last bid of goodbye bagan to slowly walk away. She had gone as far as up to a huge willow tree when she heard the sound of a car coming. She turned and watched as a black hearse pulled up and right infront of the
graves. It was dark and Rachel strained to see what was happening. She hid behind the tree and watched. She stared in amazement as little creatures in brown cloaks got out of the back of the hearse. They were like dwarves and shuffled with quick speed towards the graves. They carried shovels and
began to dig at both graves.

Rachel was about to come out and face the vandals, but the next thing she saw made her rush back to the sanctuary of the tree. A door opened at the front of the hearse and the driver got out. The sight of him made Rachel’s blood run cold and her muscles tense. He was an old man, perhaps in his late sixties. She couldn’t tell. He wore an elegant black suit and tie. He walked in the manner of a sinister being. Taking slow, yet frightening steps towards the dwarves. He was strangely tall and thin. His complexion, even in the dark Rachel could see, was un-naturally pale. Not like hers, but like someone who had no blood to give his skin any more of a healthier look. Rachel watched. She was terrified and yet oddly fascinated by the man and the “things” that seemed to obey his every comand. It only took them about fifteeen minutes to unearth both graves and pull the coffins out. The bodies were still inside, which must have made the work all the more harder.

As Rachel watched, the tall man lifted her father’s coffin, body and all and hauled it into the back of the hearse like a cardboard box. This made Rachel gasp. That was a big mistake. The tall man immeadiately whirled around and stared directly at her. Rachel’s eyes when wide. He could see her! Her vision had cleared up by this time and she could see the corner of his mouth lift in a menacing smile. When his voice rang out Rachel prepared to run. “Come here girl.”

-Fear is often an enemy. It stalks us like a hunter does it’s prey. But what if the prey were to turn around and face the hunter? Would it run away, or would it run by it’s side? Fear is an ally!-

The voice echoed in her head as she ran. The melancholic, haunting tone made Rachel wish she could fly out of there. It was a voice so sure of itself….as if nothing could dare go up against it! Rachel understood why he probably felt that way. One look at him made her blood run cold. She clenched her jaw in anticipation as she ran. Her sides were splitting and her temples throbbed, but she would not stop. It was then that she noticed the shadows. They darted around tombstones and through bushes and trees. Soon the shadows began to melt into the small brown-cloaked creatures. They ran with her and yet, not directly at her. Rachel was terrified. What were they? Who was the Tall Man? Was it even a man? Those and other questions raced through her mind as she neared the gates of the cemetery.

A comforting glow came from the streetlights that lined the silent roads of the outside. She was a short dash away from the gate when it happened. Through the gates, ripped the hearse. With none other than tall, dark, and most probably demented at the wheel, Rachel thought. It had to be it. He was insane. A crazy killer? But Rachel was not all that convinced. He looked to sure of himself to be crazy. Right at that moment she didn’t really care either. Not with the hearse roaring full speed towards her. “How the hell…..?” She screamed aloud. She pivoted on her feet and began to run in the other direction. It was clear that he was not stopping. She began to zig-zag through the tombstones. The hearse could not go through there. But it still followed her in whichever direction she went. She knew that she had to take a chance. She ran straight towards the mausoleum and hoped that the doors were unlocked. She was running so fast that she didn’t notice the car begin to slow as she neared the doors.

Then, to her immense relief as she opened the door and stepped inside, shutting the door behind her, she didn’t notice the hearse stop and the Tall Man get out. He stepped out of the dark hearse and just stood there gazing at the front door where she had stood only a moment ago. Then, as he gazed, a smile spread across his lips. Only, this was no friendly grin. This was the smile of a hunter that had just caught his prey. In the large mausoleum, Rachel looked around. It was brightly lit and clean. The walls were a strong shade of pure white, and there were hallways that led to many different rooms. Well, at least I’ll have plenty of hiding places in case he decides to come in, Rachel thought. The place was warm, but Rachel still felt a chill. She was aware of the fact that it was not the cold. It was fear. She had no idea what the Tall Man would do if he caught her, but she was not very desperate to find out.

She moved silently down a long hallway. Once in a while as she walked, she would hear a shuffling noise behind her. Each time she would whirl around, prepared to run, only to find the hall empty. As she walked farther, she stopped at a door marked: Embalmer room! She gazed into a small window at the top of the door. The room was empty, but there were corpses of people laying on what looked like operation tables. There were at least seven corpses in there, Rachel realized. Beside them, in see-through canisters, floated a yellow gooey-looking substance. There were two canisters. One was empty, and the other contained that yellow….stuff. So it was with each corpse. Two canisters by each body. Rachel shivered. She didn’t want to think about what would be done to them. As her eyes gazed at each body in turn she realized that her mother and father were among them.

She gritted her teeth as a weak, yet existent anger began to well up in her gut. She clenched and unclenched her fists. Without any second thoughts, she grabbed the doorknob. She pulled hard. But the door was locked. She cursed under her breath and forced herself to move on. As she walked, she passed a large window that seemed to overlook the entire cemetery. She looked out and was surprised to see that the cemetery was empty. The hearse was no longer there. No shadows ran in between the trees. The Tall Man was gone. She sighed and headed for another door at the end of the hall.

She suddenly was aware of a whirring sound coming from where she had came and it was getting nearer. She stood there and took a step forward, curious about the sound. Suddenly, a small, silver sphere flew from around a corner. It floated from across the hall. She gazed at it. It seemed harmless…..She watched as the sphere resumed it’s flight towards her. For a moment she just stood there. But as she saw the sharp little tools pop out of the sphere and realized it was aiming for her forehead, she began to run. She headed for the door and grasped the handle, praying it was not locked. She pulled. The good news was that it was not locked. The bad news was….it was stuck. She pulled harder and screamed. “Open damn you, open!” She gave it one last hard pull and it flew open. Then, with the sphere about six inches away from the back of her head, she slammed the door closed. There was the sound of metal connecting with wood at hard impact. Then a “clunk” as the sphere fell to the floor.

Rachel took a deep breath and thanked god for answering her prayer. When she looked around her she let out a breath of annoyance. Coffins lined the room. There were coffins of all different sizes and colors. She ran her hand over one. The wood was smooth and polished. Each one had handles of either gold or silver at it’s sides. There were black ones. White ones. Brown ones. There were colors of whatever was thought appropriate for a permanent death bed. Suddenly she felt a hard impact on the back of her head. The last thing she saw before she passed out, was the Tall Man leaning over her, a dangerous and angry look on his face. Then there was only darkness.