tagNonHumanDealing with the DeaD

Dealing with the DeaD

bytotallyatease©

This is the first time that I've entered a story into one of the contests.

I do hope that you enjoy it and please vote x

(Meetings in graveyards can be a very spooky affair)


*

She perched on the corner of the gravestone, as the sun shone its last rays over the high wall.

She was waiting for him, as she always waited. She tugged down her long blue summer dress, despite the fact that it was October, nearly November and the air was beginning to chill, she felt... nothing, not too hot - not too cold, just... nothing.

The last of the sun's rays blinded her momentarily, and then darkness began to fall.

She saw the caretakers as they moved through the cemetery, pulling closed the heavy iron gates behind them as they left for the night.

He didn't come!

She so wished that her despair could be vented by the release of her tears, but they would not come, would not spill.

"He didn't come!" she whispered miserably.

The peace and quiet was suddenly disturbed by youthful laughter, just on the other side of the wall.

"Go on then..." a young boy whispered loudly. "You said that you would do it, that you weren't afraid..."

"The wall is too high; I'll never get over that on my own," another boy whispered worriedly.

"Scaredy cat!" several voices cackled. "All mouth and no guts!"

"We'll give you a leg up," the first voice insisted loudly.

"And how do I get back over the wall from the other side?" the second voice persisted.

"It's easy!" the first voice snapped impatiently. "There's that tree, just next to the gates; you can pull yourself up using one of the lower branches and then swing across onto the wall, and we'll be on the other side waiting to catch you."

"So how long have I got to stay on the other side for?"

"Well now... let's see... the graves right at the top end all have those purple stones surrounding them, you can't get them from any of the other graves, so you've got to grab a handful and bring them back with you."

"So I can run across if I want to?"

"Yep, we'll know that you went the entire length of the graveyard - if you bring back the purple stones, then we'll know that you are as brave as you make out."

She perched on the edge of the gravestone, and watched in fascination as the little green head suddenly popped over the wall.

A goblin! She thought in surprise. 'Now there's something you don't see every day!'

She watched as he looked around cautiously and then cocked his leg over the edge of the wall.

He heaved himself over and sat with his legs hanging down on the cemetery side, he paused long enough to see as much as he could in the darkness of early evening.

He gave a soft little grunt which she clearly heard, and then with a sigh he slowly lowered himself down to the ground.

His feet hit the grassy ground with a dull thud, and then he dropped to a crouch.

She was just about to move closer when he suddenly sprang to his feet and spun around to head straight for her at a flat out run.

'He's going to run right into me!' she thought in panic as he neared her at a terrifying speed.

She let out a low scream of fright, just as his feet hit the pebbled path, and at the last moment he veered away from her.

Still she could clearly hear his puffing as he ran down the path right next to her resting place, and he was close enough that she could clearly see his eyes through the large round eye holes of his goblin head.

As he passed her gravestone, his eyes did a sideways slide to travel quickly over her, sitting on the cold stone, his eyes widened in fear for a moment and then he whizzed by.

"Wait!" she screamed out. "You saw me; didn't you -- oh please wait!"

He didn't slow... he didn't stop... he didn't even look around; if anything he seemed to pick up speed, running faster than ever through the cold, dark and silent graveyard.

She buried her head in her hands and wept bitterly. "Oh why didn't you come? You ALWAYS come!"

The darkness thickened and the silence shrouded her; and alone and lost she sat on the gravestone weeping.

Suddenly she heard footsteps, she heard someone labouring for breath...

The goblin was coming back, his green head down and his little legs pumping, he was going to run right past her again.

"NO!" she screamed out as she leapt up from the cold stone and dove straight into the path of the charging monster. "You shall not pass me!"

The goblin glanced up at the girl in the blue summer dress, with wild brown hair and mournful expression, and skidded to halt millimetres away from her.

"You CAN see me!" she cried out joyously.

The goblin laboured to catch his breath and nodded warily.

"Aye... I can see you," he gasped out.

"How do you see me? Every day people walk through here and no one EVER see's me... so how do you see me now?"

"It is Halloween night, and tonight all things hidden, become visible."

"So you can see me... so you can help me!" she cried out joyfully.

The goblin stepped back on his heels.

"I don't know that I can help you..." he muttered. "You are dead after all, and there is nothing to be done about that."

As he looked at her she felt her last vestiges of hope dissolve away and once again she buried her face in her hands, and wept bitterly.

"He never came... he always comes but he never came!" she sobbed.

"Ere now!" the goblin exclaimed uncomfortably. "Don't fuss so, it's not polite."

She was upset, and she was inconsolable, and she was so confused. Her wails continued and the goblin took another step backwards.

"If you don't stop that!" he suddenly snapped irritably. "I shall go by the other path and leave you here -- alone."

She didn't want to be left alone... not yet... it had been so long since she had someone to actually talk to!

She slowly pulled herself together and allowed her hands to drop down to her sides and looked at the little goblin sadly.

"He didn't come!!" she whispered in utter devastation.

"Who didn't come?"

"Him! My lovely boy... my sweetheart... my lover... he always comes to put flowers on my bed... and to sit and talk with me for a while... but today he didn't come!"

The goblin looked around him anxiously. "Don't you have anyone else to talk to? What about the others, can't you talk to them?"

"There are no others," she whispered in defeat. "No one else to talk to -- so alone... so lonely!" She wept a little but quietly this time, and the goblin let her be, for a moment.

"My grandma told me about you lot..." he murmured slowly as though remembering something from a long time ago. "She said that you ghosts can't see each other; and that you only want to talk to the living, that the dead have no interest for you..."

"But the living can't see us," she sighed sadly. "I sit on my stone every day and I call out to whoever is passing by... but they never reply... and then yesterday; they spent hours at my bed, playing around with my stone... and then a little while later a small group of people came to admire it... I called to them..." she smiled in remembrance. "'Look at my lovely stone' I called out... but they never replied, and then they all went away again... so no one EVER talks to me!"

"Except for your loved one?" the goblin offered suddenly. "Your loved one comes and talks to you -- you said that he did."

"Yes... he talked to me... he told me of his day, and his life and the people that he met with..." she smiled sadly. "But he always finished his visit with a little tear, and telling me how much he missed me -- 'still... even after all these years', he would say... then he didn't come any more... I've waited for days now... maybe even weeks... but he hasn't come!"

The goblin stepped back again suddenly - so that he could peer at her gravestone.

"It has been a lot of years... hasn't it?" he said with some surprise. "Your lovely boy wouldn't be such a boy anymore..."

"HE was always my lovely boy - to me!" she snapped.

"But not such a boy?" the goblin persisted.

She bowed her head sadly. "No not such a boy anymore," she admitted. "I watched as the vigour went from his stride... as his shoulders began to stoop and his eyes lost their sparkle... I watched as his hair thinned and lost its colour, and his skin began to sag..." She sniffed and then smiled defiantly at the young goblin. "But still he was my lovely boy... my handsome lover."

The goblin regarded her thoughtfully for a moment. "It says here that you were just twenty five when you died..."

She nodded sadly. "It was a hot summer... a VERY hot summer; I spent too long outside... I fell asleep in the sunshine... I don't really remember much more."

"And was your lovely boy the same age as you?" he asked softly.

"No he was a little younger than me... it was his twenty fourth birthday, we were outside enjoying a picnic." She smiled softly as she remembered. "He was younger than me; that was why I called him my lovely boy."

"It's says here that you died more than sixty years ago."

She looked at him in surprise. "Sixty years! It seems so..."

"Your lovely boy got old." The goblin persisted. "Maybe he got sick; maybe..."

She looked confused for a moment, and then slowly understanding dawned.

"The dead don't deal with the dead... they don't see each other... don't talk to each other..."

"It says here that he died and now he rests with his beloved Lilly."

A devastated look crossed her features. "So close!" she whispered, "He's so close but I can't..."

She looked across at the goblin again and hope shone from her.

"You can see ghosts though... you can see me... can you see HIM?"

The goblin's shoulders stiffened and for a long moment he did not seem to want to reply.

"It says here..." he began slowly. "That his name was Burt... did you have a special name for him?"

She looked at him impatiently. "I already told you once... he's my lovely boy!"

The goblin looked pained.

"There are hundreds of them here..." he hissed at her. "And if I open myself to them all; then they'll overwhelm me, and I'll never be able to find a new ghost such as your boy!"

"So what can you do?" she whispered back.

"If I call him by a name that means something to him, then it will isolate just him; and draw him to me."

"So call him then... my lovely boy... Lilly's lovely boy!" she snapped back.

Again the goblin looked pained.

"My friends are all just on the other side of that wall... if they hear me calling out 'lovely boy!' in the middle of a darkened cemetery... they will NEVER let me live it down!"

"Huh!" she sniffed. "What are they to me? I want my boy... FIND my boy!" she drifted closer to him and her look became less mournful and more dangerous.

"Oh alright then!" the goblin snapped. "But you just keep your distance -- you spook you!"

She looked offended, and even a little angry, and the goblin wondered if maybe he'd said the wrong thing.

"Your energy interferes... I can't find him, if all I can sense is you," he told her hurriedly.

She hesitated for a moment eyeing him up suspiciously; but then she glided back again and the goblin heaved a sigh of relief.

The goblin lowered his head for a moment as though summoning his energies, and then suddenly he threw his head back and called out softly; "Burt... Lilly's boy -- Burt -- Lilly's lovely boy Burt!" he kept his voice low, but the power hummed through it.

He waited for a moment his head tilted as though listening... then he called again.

"Burt... if you're out there... Lilly is here; she's waiting for you Burt!"

He waited silently for a moment, and then suddenly his small shoulders seemed to stiffen, and his head turned suddenly, to peer just behind Lilly.

The goblin moved quickly, so quickly that she barely had time to register his intent.

"Stay where you are!" he hissed at her as he moved behind her. "Keep facing your resting place, we don't want to frighten him, so you just keep yourself there."

As much as she wanted the goblin to help her communicate with her lost love... she was oh so tempted to turn around and search for him herself.

'The dead don't deal with the dead...' the old tale echoed back to her.

Her best bet here was to cooperate with the goblin and hope that he would continue to help.

"Burt..." she heard his soft whisper and again had to fight the temptation to whirl around.

"Burt... she's here... Lilly is here... she's waiting for you Burt."

He was silent for a long while, and she was beginning to get restless.

"He's here!" the goblin suddenly whispered. "How are you Burt?" he asked in a louder voice.

He was silent again, but this time he spoke after only a few moments.

"He's all confused... he says 'one moment he was lying in a hospital bed -- with people bustling around him -- and the next he was in the cemetery and everyone had gone away'."

She hugged herself as she remembered those first few moments -- hours -- days! And her eyes filled with tears.

"Oh my sweet love!" she whispered, "it's always like that at first... the trauma of dying is too much for us to bear -- so we forget it for while."

The goblin spoke in a low voice, and then fell quiet to listen.

"He says that he still misses you -- even now," the goblin stated quietly.

"I miss you too... now!"

"He says, he hopes that you liked the dress that he picked out for you."

She looked down briefly at her dress and tugged it straight, then smoothed it with the flats of her hands.

"Yes I liked his choice VERY much," she smiled.

"He says that he chose that one because he always thought you looked beautiful in it... like his true princess."

Her smile wobbled slightly, and she gave a soft sigh.

"He was always the silver tongued rogue! Always flattering me with wild compliments!"

"He says that he meant every word of them, he only ever said those things to you -- because they were true for you."

She gave a little sob and her eyes filled with tears.

"He used to love stroking my skin..."

The goblin was silent for a moment, and then he gave a little uncomfortable cough.

"He says that he used to love to kiss your skin... he says that he loved to suckle on your breast, that he loved the way you squirmed when he nibbled on your nipples."

She gave a naughty little giggle. "He used to like kissing me in other places too..."

"Ere now!" the goblin exclaimed suddenly. "I am SO NOT going to tell her that!"

"He loved it when I used to touch him too..." she told him provocatively. "He loved it when I used to kiss his skin... when I used to put him in my mouth and I would suck... I would suck until he couldn't stand it anymore and he would..."

"ENOUGH!" the goblin called out in clear agitation. "You two are the most indecent ghosts that I've ever met!"

"Tell him that I love him more now than I ever did before..." she whispered tearfully. "Tell him I'm so sorry that I can't hold him and show him the way..." she held a hand to her cheek in surprise as a tear trickled down her face. Ghosts don't weep, there's no fluid left in their body for the release of tears.

The goblin turned slightly towards her, as though sensing her surprise.

"Something is happening?" he asked her quietly.

"Yes... I don't understand?"

"It is Halloween night, remember and on Halloween night some things that cannot be on any other night..."

He turned to fully face her and gently scooped a tear from her cheek.

He turned away leaving her feeling like she'd just been burned! The feel of flesh and blood; living and breathing... after all these years... she felt like she'd just been scolded.

"Tonight is the most special night of the year..." the goblin declared formally "It is Halloween night... and on Halloween night, some things that are not visible at any other time, are visible tonight. The living can see the dead... and the dead -- well they can see the dead -- as well."

He took her arm gently and again she felt the shock of the touch of a warm living breathing being.

He gently turned her in that dark and silent graveyard; he turned her to face her lost love.

The wasted and withered old man that he had grown into... that he had been when he had died.

"Lilly!" he whispered incredulously.

"Oh my boy... my lovely sweet boy!" Lilly glided across to him and wrapped him in her cold embrace.

Together in that cold dark cemetery they held each other tight and wept for all the years they had been separated.

As she cried over him the goblin held a hand on each of their shoulders.

"Burt! remember your birthday..." he whispered. "Remember your picnic with Lilly and how you were then... remember how you looked and how you felt... Lilly help him to remember."

"You were so very tall..." she smiled softly. "Your shoulders were so very broad, you were so strong you could lift me off my feet as though I was a child... your hair was dark and thick and your eyes were the deepest brightest blue... you were my lovely gorgeous lover..."

As she spoke, her lovely Burt began to remember, and as he remembered he began to change.

His shoulders went back as he lost that stoop that age had brought, his hair became thick and dark again and his eyes lost their cloudiness as he could see properly for the first time in decades.

He looked down at his love and with a joyous roar he swept her up and spun her around.

"There now!" the goblin murmured with satisfaction. "You're back in sync now."

"But what will happen once Halloween is over?" Lilly suddenly asked as she pushed at Burt's shoulders so that he could put her back down on to the ground.

"After tonight we won't be able to see each other again." A tear trickled down her cheek again. "I don't think that I could bear to lose him... not again!"

"You've waited all this time for your loved one." The goblin told her. "But he's with you now... so the both of you must move on before it's too late... you must move on together."

"But where do we go to? How do we go?"

The goblin looked at them impatiently.

"Your picnic of course!" he snapped. "It's the last time that the two of you were together, so you must go back there -- so that you can move on!"

"Do you remember the picnic Burt?" Lilly whispered softly.

Burt smiled down at her. "How could I EVER forget the very last time that you smiled at me? I've carried it in my heart for ALL these years."

Lilly returned his smile although hers wobbled dangerously.

"Remember it now then my love."

They stood facing each other, with their hands held tight and their eyes closed; as they both remembered their last time together.

Suddenly they both opened their eyes and looked around them, as though searching.

"Over there!" Burt suddenly pointed.

As Lilly and the goblin turned to look; Lilly realised that it was the last place the sun had shown its rays, just before it had set.

Now it was as though the sun was peeping back over, to watch them, and as its rays hit the grass it was as though daylight was in that small area.

The two ghosts looked gratefully to the goblin.

"Thank you!" they called in unison as they ran hand in hand to the small patch of day time.

They entered the rays and suddenly they were back at their picnic site.

The blanket was spread out on the grass, and the river bubbled merrily just down the bank.

The tree that hung over their blanket shaded the food that was laid out on it.

The young couple looked at the food and then smiled at each other.

The food was not going anywhere.

This time was for them... for them to be together.

The young strong man swept his love into his arms and kissed her long on the mouth.

As she wrapped her arms around his neck he found the zip at the back of her dress and slowly pulled it down.

He lovingly removed her dress and then gently pushed her down to the ground, tugging at his own clothes as he went.

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