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The moment I walked into school, everyone was staring at me—and I knew they knew what I’d done. I stared down the hallway, locking eyes with blank, dead ones. Hobbling over to me, I shivered violently and chattered out to her, “They know. They saw me dying. And by the hand of someone who is an innocent, little girl!” I clenched my jaw to strangle the screech that threatened to erupt and gritted out murderously, “This is your fault. Help. Me.”
She clutched my shoulder and pulled me down with her burning nails to spit consolingly in my ear, “Don’t worry. I’ve already made the arrangements for you. You can take my spot since you liked it so much yesterday. I’ll be you until…well, until forever,” she cackled.
And with that, the last voice I heard before black assaulted me was my own that whispered for the last time, dead girls still like to play.
Wednesday probably is considered an odd day to visit the
graveyard, but I know I have to go when I can’t tell if there’s thunder outside
or if someone is rolling out their garbage bins perpetually. Interestingly enough, the popular kids hang out at the graveyard every weekend when their parents roll out their bins every Sunday. I personally think they’re asking for forgiveness from the skeleton they broke last year in science who’s buried now, but there’s also no other place in town kids can hang out without snitches telling on them. The dead possibly can’t get any pleasure from playing games and messing around with teenagers anyway.
Squelching obnoxiously, my sneakers drag through the mud to the clearing where I have decided my grave will be, not that I’ll be there anytime soon. Wiggling my toes around in my mud filled shoe, I feel the gross sensation of a worm snuggling up in the disgusting, muddy heat. Squatting precariously, I peel the worm off with two fingers and fling it to the next grave. That’s when I notice the choking noise.
A straggly, black haired girl has tears flooding down her face, yet doesn’t even scrub off the worm atop her forehead. Whimpering even louder, she begins caressing her gravestone, resting her head on the top.
Stuttering from the peculiarity of the situation I whisper, “Sorry, but you ha-have a worm on your face.”
Shaking her head miserably she strokes the worm in her palm. “At least they came.”
“No one else attended my funeral but they did,” she caws out, crushing said worm in her fist. “I’ll attend their funeral in return.”
Shaking my head, I shove the two pieces of the worm back together in vain, earning a disgusted look from her. Tossing it aside again I shoot a distressed glare back. “Your funeral? You mean whoever’s-tomb-this-is’s funeral.”
A feral gleam in the whites of her eyes shine through the rain as a grin makes an appearance. “Nope. It was my funeral, but my family had the audacity to not show up.” Raking her gaze from my drenched hair to my muddy socks she pauses thoughtfully. “Let’s play a game of pretend. You go lie down in my grave and pretend to be me! Come.”
Flinching away from her grip, I scramble backwards wide eyed. Slipping in the mud, my head collides with the next tomb stone in synch with a rumble of thunder. Hair whipping wildly in the storms, indiscernible from the ranging wind, black hair strangles my vision as nails drag against my forearm to haul me into the pit. Stupidly, I willingly lay down, bracing myself for the putrid assault of death.
“Ugh,” she groans rolling her eyes. “Stop acting petulant, this is fun!”
“For you,” I mutter. Suddenly, as lightning shoots the night, blurry figures with white eyes and identical black hair to the child in front of me materialize… then fade with another crack. Appearing once more, they cower away from the girl, clutching their non-existing hearts beating wildly.
“Be in character. The dead don’t talk.”
“Evidentially, that is not the case.” I can’t stop my suspicions erupting from my numb lips. “Did your family not show up for your ‘funeral’ because they… couldn’t?” Crossing my arms consolingly, I brace myself for her reaction.
Shrugging offhandedly, she winks, throwing me a glimpse of decayed teeth. “I like to play. They were no fun like you are starting to be.”
Clenching my chattering teeth, I begin to sit up as soiled boots slam the air out of my chest.
“You aren’t fully buried yet, dear friend.” Dirt and rain drip off her bloodied, swollen lips as she drops to her knees, smearing mud all over my body in an attempt to cover.
As my vision yields to darkness, the shadowy figures appear again only this time, beckoning me to join them.
Now it’s gloomy and suffocating. This is what it’s like to be buried alive by the dead.
Gasping for air, I shove with little remaining strength through the barrier, emerging not to living sunlight, but to the rotting eyes of an insane little girl.
Thrown back, she’s sprawled a distance away. Pulling herself up, she tucks her legs in crisscross-applesauce, blinking innocently. Not innocent. Blank. Dead.
Curling my broken, bloody, and dirtied fingernails into the pockets of my ripped coat, I scream hoarsely at the maniacal child. “This was so much fun, right?” Grinding my heel against the remains of her family’s tombstones, I storm out of the graveyard, prepared to attack even the dawn.
It had never occurred to me that the popular kids could have seen me burying myself on a Wednesday night. It had never occurred to me that I am buried next to where I had planned to be so soon. It had never occurred to me that a grave could be more consoling and innocent than a little girl. And it had never occurred to me that the dead enjoyed their games so much. Now it’s my turn.