The darkness enveloped her entire being as she trembled through the cold and lonely cemetery, clutching her goose-bumped arms to her chest. The moon was full, but still didn’t provide enough light for her to see, and to make matters worse, her flashlight batteries had died several tombstones ago.The crisp fall leaves crunched under her sneakers as she walked through rows and rows of the dead who had met their fates mostly over a hundred years ago. Vaulhurtz Cemetery didn’t take new additions. It was over a century old and the newest grave there was over sixty years old. It had filled up rather quickly when it opened up to the elite and after The Great Depression, it was completely full.
Most of the stones, she noticed, were upright and had gargoyles and other creepy monstrosities on top of them, as if a grim tombstone would make death a bit easier on the families or something to that nature. Nonetheless, she combed through every single one of them and would continue to do so until she found the right one.
The stone she was looking for would have the name Margaret Anne Thatcher on it, and it would be one of the oldest ones in the place. The grave, of course, would be completely empty-or so Sarah hoped.
The story that her grandmother had told her that night, right before she took her last breath, was a very disturbing, if not sweet one.
Margaret was her grandmother’s grandmother. Right before the turn of the century, Margaret married a plantation owner in South Carolina to ensure that her family’s financial status stayed put. Unfortunately, poor Margaret got more than she bargained for. The plantation owner, William Thatcher was an old, crotchety, cranky, mean, cantankerous and abusive piss-pot of an old man. When slavery was abolished, he kept his plantation running by whatever means necessary, and he worked his new, young bride to the brink of near insanity.
Finally, as the thoughts of the grizzly story her grandmother had just told her replayed in her head for the umpteenth time, Sarah found a stone marked “William Thatcher.” That meant that his wife’s stone would be close by.
Feeling sick from thinking of the cruel punishment that Margaret had received all those many years ago, Sarah spat on William Thatcher’s grave, and as she passed, she found Margaret’s stone sticking out of the ground next to it, below a grand oak tree.
Her stone read “Margaret Thatcher, wife and mother. RIP.” That was it. No dates. Nothing else at all.
A chill swept over Sarah’s shoulders and she pulled her shovel from her side and began digging as quickly and efficiently as she could without getting caught. Then again, on a night like that with the darkness sweeping through the entire cemetery, no one was likely to be about.
When she plunked the shovel into hard ground the first time, she barely made a dent in the earth.
“Shit.” She cursed, resting her shovel against the tombstone for a minute to tie her long dark curls back in a quick ponytail. Then, as quickly as she could, she resumed, pushing the shovel into the ground a bit deeper.
She didn’t have time to wait on a court order to have the grave exhume, and as long as that body had been dead, if it was even in there, she had no reason to exhume it anyhow. Not from a legal stand point, that is.
Personally, she had a very big reason to dig her up. Her grave would contain her destiny, according to her grandmother.
What better way to spend the night of your beloved grandmother’s death and your own eighteenth birthday then to go grave robbing? Her thoughts roamed towards sarcasm, but she shrugged it off.Margaret, according to the stories, had left strict instructions after she faked her death with the help of a few friends, that only the ninth Thatcher woman born could open that grave. Only the ninth would know what to do with the contents, and only the ninth could make things right again. Then, after leaving her daughter with relatives in Virginia, well hidden from William Thatcher, Margaret had disappeared to England, never to be heard from again.
Sarah Thatcher was the ninth born daughter after all those years. Most Thatchers were males, though they were all powerful enough in their own as warlocks. It was known that the witches held the most mystique. This, according to Margaret, was why it had to be a daughter, and not a son.
She pushed the shovel back into the dirt again, after making just a small hole in the earth, and pulled up a gigantic chunk of earth this time. Proudly, she heaved the dirt over her shoulder and kept at it, wondering what on earth was in that grave that was so darned important.
Whatever it was, she wanted it. It could be money. It could be deeds. It could be jewels that Margaret had stored away. And then again, it could be completely empty. Who really knew...
Three hours later, she hit the top of a very old black onyx casket wrapped in heavy silver chains with a silver name plate on top that had Margaret’s name on it and a number nine. It took her all of twenty minutes to uncover the rest of it, retrieve the set of bolt cutters from her bag, and tear into the heavy silver chains. She hacked at them longer than she thought it would take to get decrepit metal to break, but once they fell to the sides of the casket and she unlatched it, she felt she was ready to proceed.
With one heavy, deep breath, she pushed the top of the casket open, and to her shock and horror, there was a very fresh body inside. A male body, dressed in turn of the century garb and a gothic top hat. He didn’t look over a hundred years old at all.
On the contrary, the corpse looked brand new and not a day over thirty, albeit he was a bit dusty.
Sarah gasped and stood back, waiting for a stench to hit her, but it never did. Just mold and musk. Her heart jumped into her throat.
Silver-blond locks of shoulder-length hair was draped over the dead guy’s shoulders. White lashes covered the closed eyelids of the corpse’s sleeping face. If it weren’t for the fact that the dead man wasn’t breathing, she would half expect him to jump up and start talking to her.
Frustrated, Sarah turned around and peered up at the moon and the star-sprinkled night sky. Holding her hands up in the air, she muttered, “Some destiny this is!” Then, she tossed the shovel on the ground and turned around again to face the corpse.
“Dude, I don’t know who you are or why the hell you’re in my great great great great, a million times great grandmother’s grave, but you are not what I expected, here!”
She closed her eyes and stood on her knees at the side of the grave. There had to be something in there besides a dead guy!
Bravely gathering her wits about her, she slid one hand into the side of the casket, past the corps’s chest and into the lining, checking to see if there was a letter or a document in there. Perhaps a key to some kind of other buried treasure with a map?
She slid her hand down further, closer to the corps’s arm and closed her eyes as she felt around the rock-hard, chilling-cold body.
She moved her hand to the other side of the body and slid her fingers into the lining of the other side of the casket, right above his chest again, still keeping her eyelids tightly closed.
Then, she felt cold fingers wrap tightly around her arm and heard a low growl from below her.
Her knees wobbled around in the fresh dirt that she was sitting in, and snapped her eyelids open.
With more force and strength than she’d ever felt in her entire life, the corpse animated and pulled her inside, right on top of him. His eyes were a fierce red, his face stone cold, chiseled, and angry.
There were no words to describe the horror that she felt inching down her spine, nor the cold of death that the corpse spread over her skin when he touched her. Nothing could describe the pain that spread through her neck, either, when he bit into it with a force stronger than death itself. Warmth spread over her neck and into her chin and chest when the fresh blood from her new wound seeped all over her and down her shoulder.
She couldn’t even scream. It came out of her throat in a gurgling, but no coherant words escaped.
He held her as tightly as a lover, but gave her not pleasure, but pain and suffering instead. It lasted only a minute or so, but to Sarah, the splintering, dull bite felt as though it was an hour before he finally released her, pushed her off of him and out of the grave, violently, and let himself out to stand next to her.
“You’re Margaret Thatcher’s granddaughter?” His voice was low and raspy, but he spoke with a brilliant English accent and wiped her blood from his lips with the sleeve of his earth-worn shirt.
Her head was spinning and she felt weak, but managed to nod in his direction with utter hate in her eyes. “Yes,” She whispered towards him as she pushed herself up from the mound of fresh dirt that she’d shoveled earlier.
“You’re a witch?” He asked her.
“Apparently so. That’s what they tell me.” She sassed him, but knew that it was true. She was a witch, but not a very good one. She got her spells mixed up and always managed to ruin them in one way or another. Either that or they simply backfired on her.
Wiping a bit of blood from her shoulder, she gathered her bag and her shovel. “Well, it’s been horrible meeting you, and I hope I never have the pleasure again! Had I expected a vampire to greet me, I would have left this grave alone.”
“Ever met a vampire before?” He asked, straightening his clothes, staring at her.
“No, but there’s always a first time for everything, and hopefully a last!” With that, she spat blood from her mouth and realized that her lip had somehow been busted when he’d thrown her from the casket. “I’m leaving now. Good luck with the whole bloodsucker thing.”
A sly grin crossed his lips. “You’ll be seeing me again, Sarah Thatcher.”
“In hell, maybe.” She mumbled, feeling beaten and misinformed as she walked back out of the cemetery, searching for the iron gates she’d climbed over to get in a few hours ago.
Let me know what you think through comments here. If it sucks, please tell me so. You won't be doing me any favors by telling me that the beginning of this story is great when it's really not. Go ahead. Take your best shot. I'm a big girl. I can deal with some criticism. :)