Maverick and the Malevolent - A Terrifying Night at Yup Cemetery - Part 2

Posted by Jennifer Clark on

  Yup Cemetery

  .

   A loud “BANG!” added to the intensity of the moment as Matt jumped up from his chair and it fell to the concrete floor. Maverick was still partially under the desk as he continued to growl, his fur on end. He slowly appeared from the shadow of the desk to meet Matt in a tight heel position. He nudged Matt’s dropped hand with his snout, as the other was clenched tightly in a fist over his mouth. Matt’s gaze hasn’t moved from the screen, as the vile creature was still visible.
She had long dark hair, sunken eyes, and tattered clothing. Her mouth hung open at an angle and exposed yellowed teeth and a rotten tongue. Her face was stained red from blood and badly mangled, as if torn up by someone in defense as she devoured them.
.
“Zombies ain’t real – it’s just a prank. She looks a little like...” His heart sank.
.
The girl he was thinking of had been missing since last October; she was all over the news but faded quickly from the media once police uncovered her car from the lake. She had apparently lost control to avoid hitting a cat on the road. She was only 22 years old. Matt had talked briefly with her over Facebook, and they attended the same laundry mat every other Tuesday. She was soft-spoken and loved to laugh. He had liked the way she smiled at him, and he couldn’t forget her name if he tried.
.
“Gia…” he whispered under his breath. He shook his head in denial. “No, that’s not possible. There’s no way.”
.
Matt watched as the creature disappeared into the shadows of the trees. He tugged gently on Maverick’s floppy ear and looked down at him. He was still unsettled and seemed inconsolable, something very out-of-character for typically such a sweet, happy-go-lucky dog. Something was very wrong here, but Matt puffed out his chest and put his hands on his hips. He was the kind of guy that didn’t like to display emotion, especially fear. Now was his time to shine and show off to those trespassers that no one could shake him – especially not in a cliché place like a cemetery.
.
“Well, let’s go see who’s trying to spice up the evening, shall we?” he said with a confident smirk. “It’s just a prank after all.”
Maverick lowered his head and laid back down under the table – his obvious protest to such a foolish idea.
.
Matt insisted, “Come on, Mav; I brought your squeaky pork chop. We can toss it on our way to the south end and see if we find those pranksters.” Maverick really did love his squeaky pork chop.
He thumped his tail on the ground and looked up at Matt with his big brown eyes; it was settled.
.
   The duo left the safety of the tiny building, pork chop and flashlight in hand. Matt tossed the squeaky rubber chop into the air ahead of him. Maverick chased after and promptly retrieved it, squeaking it loudly in his mouth as he trotted happily back to Matt. The flashlight shone brightly and uncovered the path ahead of them as they continued to play with the obnoxious toy. Maverick brought it back again and again.
.
Maverick
.
Matt threw it harder this time, and it disappeared into the shadows of nearby foliage and head stones. Maverick took off after it as usual, but then he let out a sharp whimper and came running back without his beloved prize.
.
“Whoa, buddy, what’s up? Find the hooligans?” Matt said quietly.
.
He redirected the flashlight to Maverick and was shocked to see he was bleeding from his hind leg. Aiming the flashlight towards the bushes Maverick had yelped from, he scowled and shouted into the darkness “WHO’S THERE?!”
.
   A guttural groan erupted from the brush as the delicate leaves shook and fell to the ground. Matt stepped forward, readying his hand over his jeans to grab his pocket-knife and defend Maverick and himself; he assumed it must have been a wild animal, judging by the bite wound on Maverick’s leg. The bushes rustled as the strange sound continued, and the figure slowly grew taller as it emerged into the light.
.
Matt squinted his eyes and choked on his own inhale.
“…You?” Matt stammered as he watched Gia move towards him. “But, you’re… dead.”
.
To be continued...
Art by Stacy Jarrard

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