Death Should Be Remembered

When I arrived, the gate to the graveyard was open, wrought iron swinging on its hinges. I hesitated. I didn’t like company when I visited. I preferred to be alone, to stand at the headstones in the silence.

Should I go in?

I looked over my shoulder, back down the road.

I could go home. Come back another day.

No. I needed this. Needed to remember death, relive what happened, hear the screams again. It would help ease the pressure until…

Yeah. Take a chance. Could be someone just forgot to fasten the latch properly. You can always lie if you meet someone.

I passed through the gate, shutting it behind me. I decided to visit Patricia today. Her family buried her in a secluded spot on the east side of the graveyard.

Less chance of being seen.

A silence settled on the place, and the crunch of my feet on the gravel roadway sound like the crack of bone. A familiar sound, but I shivered. It unnerved me for some reason and I was glad when I turned off onto the dirt path. Nothing but the crunch of the occasional leaf there. Not even the chirping of the birds, or the swish of the wind.

I made it to Patricia’s headstone without seeing a soul. I noticed fresh flowers on the grave, a bouquet of carnations.

Patricia’s favourite. I guess her mother made her weekly visit.

I bent over and plucked a posy from the bunch. “Here’s to you Patricia.” I twirled the flower. “I enjoyed our time together, however brief. Though I doubt you found it as pleasurable.” I smiled, the sweet blood-spattered memories making me tingle. I stood a while, reminiscing, then tossed the flower and walked back down the lane.

Halfway along, I spotted a figure. Someone on the path. I pulled up short.

Must have been behind me. Shit.

I took a deep breath.

Just act cool.

I kept walking, until I got close. Then I stopped again. I couldn’t help it. It wasn’t every day you saw a woman sitting on a moss-covered rock, dressed like a southern belle in mourning complete with a parasol.

She twirled that lace covered sunshade and giggled. “I’ve been waiting for you, mon cher.”

“Have you now?” Her voice stirred things in me. I smiled, and gave her the once over.

Despite the strange, old-fashioned attire, I liked her look. A pretty blonde with a slight French accent. I enjoyed blondes. Blondes always screamed the best. I stared at her, that familiar itch creeping through me. I never planned on indulging so soon, but when opportunity knocks…

I licked my lips. I never killed a French lady before.

Oh yeah, this one will do.

I reached for my knife.

“That won’t do you no good, chéri. Little pig sticker like that won’t kill me.”

My hand froze. How did she know?

“Oh, I know all about you. You put too many women in this graveyard, mon chéri. Time to stop. Past time.”

I laughed. “Not going to happen. But you’re welcome to try. A little slip like you, could be fun.”

“Thank you, for the invitation.”

“Invitation, what—” I stumbled, suddenly dizzy, and… she vanished. Nothing left but her parasol.

No way! She was there. It’s not— Where did she go?

“Behind you, chéri.”

A whispered breath tickled my neck. I whirled.

No. No, it can’t be!

“Time to die.” Her rotting, maggoty face flashed me a smile, and pain sliced through my gut.

The smell, I know that smell.

I looked down. Her bloody, clawed hand ripped out part of my intestines. Same place where I sliced my victims.

No! No, No, No!

I tried to scream, but only a sad, dreadful gurgling noise slipped past my lips. I grabbed my abdomen, stuffing my torn organs back inside as blood gushed through my fingers. Agony shuddered through my body.

I’m going to die.

I fell to my knees and let it all go, watched my entrails slosh about on the ground. I clawed at her skirts, my blood leaking onto her shoes, her voice echoing in my ears.

“Don’t worry, mon ami. I’ll be sure to visit your grave. To always remember this moment.”

~ A. F. Stewart

© Copyright 2017 A. F. Stewart. All Rights Reserved.

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About afstewart

A writer of speculative fiction (fantasy, sci-fi, horror) and an indie author of such books as Ruined City, Killers and Demons and Chronicles of the Undead. Also a contributor to the anthology, Mechanized Masterpieces.

24 responses to “Death Should Be Remembered”

  1. Brian Moreland says :

    A.F., I enjoyed your story. Next time I see a French woman in a cemetery holding a parasol, I’m walking the other way. Well done!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Brian Moreland says :

    Reblogged this on THE CRYPT OF HORROR and commented:
    A new horror short story “Death Should Be Remembered” from A.F. Stewart is available to read for free at Pen at Pen of the Damned.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Lee Andrew Forman says :

    Great imagery on this story! I loved the theme and setting. A thoroughly enjoyable read!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Madeleine Swann says :

    Fancy seeing you here! (I follow her blog). Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. John Potts Jr says :

    There is gorgeous melancholy weaved and macabre retribution eviscerated, a perfect balance in this tale, A.F.. Brilliant job!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Hunter Shea says :

    Great work! Started my day just right. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Joseph Pinto says :

    Anita, what a perfect story with a perfect twist and a perfect dose of sinister! 🙂 You painted a wonderfully dark scene here, well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. jonolsonauthor says :

    I enjoyed this one. There was a great build up of who exactly was visiting the cemetery and then you added a little splash of gore to a great piece! Nicely done!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. jonolsonauthor says :

    Reblogged this on Jon Olson and commented:
    DEATH SHOULD BE REMEMBERED by Pen of the Damned’s A.F. Stewart

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Angel with dirty wings says :

    Awesome story, thanks for sharing! Awdw X

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Nina D'Arcangela says :

    Deliciously twisted! I love ‘the hunter becomes the prey’ pieces. Superbly written, A.F., with a perfect setting!

    Liked by 1 person

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