Midnight Stroll

Gravedigger Pete was not a superstitious man. He’d been working in the graveyard for over forty years now, and not once had he succumbed to the childish ninnying of his fellow workers. The other caretakers always left before nightfall, and sometimes even on cloudy days. But not Pete. He could cross the graveyard at midnight without a single look over his shoulder, and not one flinch at the sound of a snapping stick. Pete was a professional.

It was a short while before midnight, on the night of the full moon. The sky was free of clouds, but for a gentle mist that wafted over the green hills. The sound of traffic did not reach this far into the graveyard, so far from town was it. The only noise to be heard was the occasional scurrying of some ground animal, or the lonesome cry of a nightbird.

Pete patrolled the graveyard, shovel slung over his shoulder, humming softly to himself. He munched on carrot sticks from a little pouch on his belt, packed for him each evening by his wife, Mary, and strolled through the damp grass. Dew drops brushed against his boots, staining the leather dark. Pete rather liked the graveyard at night; it was quiet, and peaceful. Ain’t no one more peaceful than the dead, he always thought. And though he was not a superstitious man, a small part of Pete couldn’t help but feel that if he looked after the dead, the dead would look after him.

And so it was with great surprise that Pete found one walking towards him.

The misshapen creature shuffled across the dewy grass, one leg trailing slightly behind the other as though they were different lengths. Its arms hung limp at its sides, and it stared at him with a slack-jawed smile. One eye fixed on Pete, while the other rolled around like a clipped cue ball. Adjusting its course slightly, the decrepit figure began shuffling directly for Pete, its decaying arm raising towards him.

Gravedigger Pete was not a superstitious man, but that didn’t stop him throwing his shovel into the air, squealing like a pig on Christmas, and running for whatever his life was worth.

The patchwork person stopped mid shuffle and tilted its head to one side. Its rolling eye fell to the bottom of its socket and threatened to tumble out. It tried to raise an eyebrow, found that it didn’t have any, and so settled for a gentle pout.

“There you are,” Doctor Frank called, hurrying over to his creation and taking it by the rotting wrist. “I’ve told you not to wander off.” He looked in the direction Pete had disappeared to with a pitying frown. “Running and screaming in a graveyard. Honestly, some people have no respect. Now, come along.” He gave the creation’s wrist a little tug, careful not to tear the limb off. “I’ve found a nice fresh one. We can finally get you an eye that fits. Won’t that be nice?”

FFM Day 8

Prompt: The unexplained

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s