THE GHOST WALKER
by Shanon Grey
“Hush!” he shushed the girl beside him.
They knelt behind the massive oak in Ruthorford’s private cemetery. It was late. It was cold. His hands felt like ice. He glanced down at his best friend and smiled at the rapt attention she’d fixed on the graveyard. Without thinking, he moved his hand and let it rest atop hers, grinning when she jumped.
“Don’t do that. You scared the bejeebers out of me,” she hissed but didn’t move her hand.
Locking hands, they leaned around either side of the tree. “Are you sure about this?” She forced her voice low.
“Yes. Now be quiet,” he hissed back. He wasn’t sure at all. He’d heard his mom talking on the phone about some ghost walker in the old cemetery and he’d run over to Bethany’s as soon as he could get away. It was late and they had school tomorrow. Hopefully, something would happen soon. It was friggin’ cold out. His breath hung in front of him with each exhale. Even more hopefully, they wouldn’t get caught. It wasn’t that this cemetery was off limits or anything. It was just the cemetery of the descendants, those in Ruthorford who were directly descended from the founding families. There was another cemetery, a more public one, that sat next to the Chapel. Everyone got a memorial service there. And a headstone. Just that descendants were actually buried out here, in the woods. Never seemed strange to him. It was the way it had always been. He would probably be buried in the public cemetery since he wasn’t really a true descendant. Born and raised here, he was as much a part of Ruthorford as anybody. His mom said so. But his dad had been a Navy pilot from Norfolk, Virginia. And his mom was just a distant cousin of a descendant or something. He’d never figured it out exactly. Not like Bethany. She was a descendant for sure, from her tawny skin to her dark red hair. Indian and Scot, all the way.
“I hope they hurry up,” Bethany whispered, “I gotta pee.”
“Geesh, girl. I thought you went before we left.”
“I did. But, it’s cold. I need to pee when it’s cold.”
“Girls,” he said it like a curse.
“I heard that,” she whispered softly and squeezed his hand hard, so his bones bunched together.
“Give,” he whispered back and she let up on the pressure.
He looked over at her and felt the first twinges of sadness. This might be their last outing. Things changed when girls went through puberty around here. She looked like she was damn close. Those bumps on her chest were breasts. Not that he objected to breasts. He’d been looking at them for some time now, sneaking peeks at the magazines his brother kept under his mattress. He’d look and get all warm and funny feeling. Oh, he knew all the right words about what was happening. He just didn’t want to think about it. When he thought about it, he thought about Bethany and losing her to some bulked-up descendant.
“Davy.” She tugged on his hand. “Look.”
In an instant, he scanned the graveyard. “Shit.” He wasn’t sure if the words had come out or not.
His hand felt clammy and he didn’t want to have her holding onto a wet hand, but when he tried to pull away, she clasped a hold on it that wasn’t going to break without some pain. He relaxed and let her hold on, because right now, his wet hand was the least of their problems.
On the other side of the graveyard, barely visible, a figure moved. Or a shadow of a figure. He wasn’t sure. Although cold, there seemed to be a mist swirling about. He squinted, trying to sharpen his focus. It had to be a ghost. He was kinda seeing through it. It looked cloud-like or smoky, with a grayish lavender color.
It moved past a headstone. It had to be a man. It was too tall to be a kid. Its arms hung limp by its sides. Zombie! Get a hold on yourself, Ackworth. Zombies are fiction. This is not fiction. He swallowed hard and tried to remember all his science. Nothing came to mind.
As he racked his brain for some logical explanation, the figure walked another ten feet and stopped between two trees. A light shimmered from below. He couldn’t tell if it came from the ground or what, a tombstone was in the way.
Bethany fell forward, yanking on his hand. He leapt up to pull her up and stopped dead, holding her stretched midway. The man had turned and was looking right at them. His eye’s glowed purple.
Everything seemed to happen at once. The light underneath the ghost shot up, David pulled Bethany to her feet to run, the man disappeared right before their eyes, and a dead silence feel over the graveyard–until Bethany squealed and took off running in the opposite direction, pulling him after her. He caught up and ran beside her, adrenaline rushing through his body. Hell, if this was their last adventure, it sure was one hell of a good one.
The above story is part of my current work in progress. Being perfect for this time of year, I decided to share it with you. I hope you enjoyed it. My novels are available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, digitally and/or print. Please enjoy and let me know what you think. HAPPY HAUNTING!