Sad voices drift through the early morning air as the matriarch is laid to rest, joining her husband who passed some twenty years prior. The last of the old guard now gone, the younger ones must carry the family torch.
Though the aged are usually thought of as carrying a certain acridness of the tongue and a bitterness directed at those around them, such was not the case with Mrs. Bellows. Always a kind word for all; generous to a fault; willing to open her heart and home to friend and family alike. Everyone loved her.
Beneath the ground in his little dwelling of terror, the Ghoul can clearly hear the words of the two discordant twenty-somethings as they sit on a nearby tombstone. They are bitter as all hell.
“Old bitch provided for everyone else in the family but us,” one gripes.
“Not fair. Not right at all, Tom,” the other replies.
“Sucks the big one, George. The rest of them think everything will work out for us, but the stupid old bitch gave our share to our parents for us. Shit! You know that ain’t gonna pan out. Mom and Dad believe we’re a couple of losers. We won’t see a dime of that fucking money.”
“Nothing we can do about it,” the passive one mopes.
“Maybe there is.” Hearing arrogance in this one’s voice, the Ghoul pays closer attention.
“What do you mean?”
“The old witch insisted on being buried with her favorite jewels. That shit is worth a fortune, and it isn’t doing any good rotting in the ground. That dough could be in our pockets instead.”
“You’re not suggesting… ”
“Yes, I am. Who would know?” A smile creeps across the Ghouls face upon hearing this, it’s beginning to sound promising.
George, the skittish one, hops down from the tombstone. His baggy-ass shorts almost falling off him, exposing black and white skull-figured boxers. He pulls them up to keep from tripping and starts to pace nervously while shaking his head. “You do this, you’re on your own! I’m not getting caught digging up our dead grandmother. It’s not like we’re damned ghouls!”
Oh, the graveyard resident bristles at the audacity of this statement. These two interlopers are discussing stealing from their deceased relative and one has the nerve to degrade him? This is a definite case of misplaced morality. What he does is to survive, but them? They are merely greedy boys, not caring about anyone other than themselves.
“You’re not scared, are you, George?” Tom asks, a sneer on his face.
“Well, a cemetery at night is not my preferred place to be. Pretty creepy if you ask me.”
“Look, tonight will be the perfect time to do this. We come in, dig the old lady up, heist the jewelry, shove the coffin back down, and split. The ground will still be soft, they won’t tamp it down until tomorrow. And her plot is so far from the road, no one will even know we are here.”
George shakes his head again. “Too risky.”
“Okay. I’ll come alone and do the deed, and I’ll be damned if I share it with you.”
George gnaws on his fingernail while he thinks. He wants the money. They’ll get a good sum for those trinkets buried under the ground. Enough to buy plenty of nose-candy for both him and Ginny. Yeah, Ginny, she’d spread her legs for the good shit, and he’ll still have a wad of bucks left over.
“Okay, okay!” he says, “I’m in.”
“Right on, bro. The good life is just waiting for us, all we need is a little scratch. We won’t have any more problems come tomorrow. None at all.”
Haha! Those two will have more problems than they can imagine, the Ghoul muses. Bad for them but great for me. Two main courses tonight. What a delectable feast! And what a charming host I’ll be as they walk straight into my kitchen.
Darkness is complete this evening: no moon at all, and the street lights are too far from this part of the cemetery to be visible.
The Ghoul sits, waiting patiently, knowing they will come. Tom’s intent was so intense the demon could taste it on the tip of his sensitive tongue. No way the little bastard will allow this opportunity to escape. The greed gnawing at the selfish twerp radiated throughout the graveyard earlier. It will be easy to zone in on it when he returns. The alarm will sound, the dinner gong personified.
His chest hairs feel the prickle of their approach. No lights – good boys. That’s makes it even easier. Who will be the wiser?
The duo walk toward the grave, tripping repeatedly, banging their feet into the smaller stones rising mere inches above the ground: the markers for the poor.
“Shit!” George whispers.“I can’t see a fucking thing!”
“That’s good,” Tom says. “It means no one can see us either, dumb-ass.”
“Yeah, I suppose. But I still don’t like it.”
“Stop your bitching! We’re almost there.”
Fortunately they’re holding the shovels over their shoulders, otherwise, the way these two are careening about, the damn things would be clanging on everything in sight, alerting people in the next town over of their presence.
Only when they get close to the grave do they use their flashlights, and even then, sparingly.
“Here’s where the old bitch is buried,” Tom whispers. “Let’s hustle!”
George needs no encouragement to hurry up and get the hell out of there. If it wasn’t for the thought of Ginny’s naked body calling out to him, he wouldn’t have come in the first place.
They turn their lights off and start digging. Tom would have done this alone, but with his brother here it makes for faster shoveling, less chance of being caught. It seems to take forever, but the soft dirt comes up easily.
Tomorrow night would have been much harder. They reach the casket and prepare to open it.
“Je-zus! What’s that odor?” George chokes. “It’s awful!”
“Just some dead animal. Don’t worry about it.”
Having crept to the edge of the pit, peering down at them from above, the Ghoul intones, “Let me assure you I’m anything but dead. In fact, I’m very much alive, and I’m hungry.”
“What the… !”
The monster leaps down into the grave before the words are out, his immense presence felt by the brothers even though they cannot see him. His stench makes them reel, makes their eyes water, but instinct tells them they must keep their wits to survive. They attempt to shine the lights on him, but the demon swats them out of their hands.
“Not yet, my intrepid duo. You will see me in due time, but I wish to play with my food before I indulge in the taste of your warm blood running from your pink flesh. Think of me as a kitten, a soft, furry cuddly kitten, knocking you about a bit, watching you squirm in horror as I prepare to gorge on your intestines. Worry not, I’m no glutton like you fools. I will take my time, letting each of you experience being devoured alive so I can savor it all the more.”
They swing their shovels at him, but he artfully darts away from their attack and knocks them to the side. As George prepares to holler out, the Ghoul rakes his long nails across the boy’s throat, rendering him speechless. George reaches for his larynx only to find it gone.
Tom has no intention of hollering. Even with this monstrosity bearing down on them, he’s still too greedy to pass up the hidden gems. Surely the two of them can fight off this animal. He attacks the beast with his fists first and then starts pulling out chunks of the creatures body hair wherever he can.
The Ghoul is growing angry. He puts both of Tom’s hands in his mouth and saws on them savagely until they tear free. Blood pours from the mutilated arms and the demon sucks at the blood, drinking as though to sate an impossible thirst. Tom stares at his destroyed arms in shock, barely able to stand the pain.
Laughing as he does so, the beast flicks a flashlight at George. “Shine this on me and watch as I devour your bother. You wish to know what foulness carries such an awful stench. I grant your wish, if you’ve the stones for it.”
He allows the shock of it to sink in for a moment or two, enjoying the terror emanating from both boys, hearing the pounding of their hearts, tasting the salt on his tongue from the rivers of nervous sweat pouring from them, and scenting the blood that trickles from the gnawed-off stumps.
Then he lunges at Tom’s midsection, tearing into the delectable innards, rolling them around his tongue like spaghetti on a fork. Tom’s attempts to scream are mere gurgles of blood. No sound issues forth.
Methodically, the Ghoul eats away at him, enjoying the sensation of the struggle left within Tom’s body as he tries to resist: a hopeless cause. Soon, the taste of death is added to the succulence of his flesh.
Turning to an almost comatose George, he says, “Don’t worry, I won’t leave you out of the fun.”
George tries to back up, but there is no place to go. The Ghoul throws him atop the coffin, slowly tearing off chunks of his flesh, savoring every delicious morsel as his meal twitches in agony. The closeness of the ‘kitchen’ excites him even more, for this is his domain to rule.
Good times must come to an end, and George goes the way of his brother, the scent and taste of their recent lives tickling the giant’s hair. He completely devours the bodies and leaves their bones in the grave with their dearly departed relative.
“Mrs. Bellows,” he says with an exaggerated bow, “I will now allow you to rest in peace. As you can see, I have given you company. Maybe not the best of companions for your new life, but at least you will not be alone.”
He climbs out of the grave and covers it up, making everything look the same as it did before the carnage began. Stuffed to the point of near regurgitation, he sits on Mrs. B’s stone refusing to allow an ounce of her ungrateful grandchildren to escape.
A great night, indeed. This new existence of his is most satisfying.
~ Blaze McRob
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