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by John P. Wilson
Drops of water feel like pin pricks on his pulpy face. Sealed eyelids part, eyes
open wide, and he sees rain drops falling in the misty night as lightning whips
the sky. He hears talking and sits up.
The grave robber drops his cell phone. He stands up and pulls out a .357
revolver. He pulls back the hammer and pulls the trigger.
A sound of thunder, he feels enormous pressure eating his torso and a gust of
wind travels through him and exits like a soul. A cloud of dust drifts from the
bullet hole in his chest and rain bats it down.
He lifts a hand.
The grave robber fires again.
He looks around and realizes he's in a coffin in a cemetery.
The grave robber turns to run and slips in the mud. Standing up, looking back,
his face is
contorted with fear and caked in red clay.
The robber screams and disappears into the mist.
Shaken, he looks back too and sees nothing but tombstones, rain and mist.
He stands up and looks down at his open wallet resting in the mud, water
pooling over a
picture of his wife. He picks up the cell phone and calls.
Silence that lasts a second and stretches for an eternity.
"Honey," he says again.
"I'm at a cemetery somewhere. Come get me, baby. Hurry."
He drops the cell phone and walks to the main gate. Thunder crackles and
lightning slices through the night.
He smells the earth and the grass and the rain and something else.
Something rotten. He tries to think about that.
He sees a vehicle down the road and watches the headlights grow larger and
The car stops at the gate and the door opens. His wife steps out and crosses
She doesn't notice him when she walks past. She stops and he can see her
lifting her head, sniffing the air. He hears her gag and sees her bend over,
hands on knees, trying not to vomit.
He walks to her, hands outstretched, and touches her gently on the back of
her shoulders. She jumps, and he whispers, "I love you."
"David?" she says. She slowly turns.
Her eyes widen and her body stiffens. She jumps back and crosses her arms
over her chest. She screams.
"What's wrong?" he asks, looking behind him.
He sees nothing.
He turns around and she swings her purse. He hears the skin on his cheek
ripping like a pair of jeans.
Lightning flashes and he sees himself in a mud puddle. He suddenly
He runs and finds her in the rear trying to scale the fence. He grabs her left
ankle and yanks.
She stares into his eyes and shakes her head. She sobs and closes her eyes.
"I can't be by myself," he says.