Someone wanted to prove their cemetery wasn’t haunted. No one would take such a pointless job. I said as much but he was insistent. My team started plotting his death. To save his life, I accepted the job. Well, that was part of the reason.
Bellwood Cemetery had been in the news lately. People walked out of it as if in a daze, mumbling to themselves. They marched themselves in front of cars. 10 people died and 5 were injured before a police officer was placed at the cemetery’s entrance.
The world knew paranormals existed but it was a recent “discovery.” The cemetery was haunted or cursed, both or something worse. Humans avoided that conclusion like it was a deadly disease.
Invisible hands clamped around my legs. They crawled higher and punched me in the stomach with the force of a speeding truck. It didn’t hurt but somehow, I found myself on the ground.
“Dim, are you all right?” Jayan, our protection specialist, said touching my shoulder as I sat up.
Angry fire exploded throughout my body. I surged to my feet, gripped his neck and hauled him off the ground. He was taller than me but that didn’t mean anything to my ability. He needed to stop calling me that. In what world did Dynna become Dim? Why wouldn’t he use my birth name or at least come up with a less obnoxious nickname? 14 years, I’ve been dealing with that nonsense. If I crushed his throat, he wouldn’t spit on my name ever again. Shadows rose and cheered. Whispered voices encouraged me to squeeze tighter.
Jayan put his hand on mine. “Calm down, Dynna.”
The shadows went silent and disappeared. The fire inside died. I released Jayan as all my energy seemed to gather my feet. I hit the ground again.“What changed?” Jayan stood close enough to me that his presence created a protective barrier. We explored this cemetery a week ago. It didn’t feel so wrong before.“Ritual?” I offered, not bothering to stand even though the ground wouldn’t stop moving. Jayan shook his head.
“Maybe, but too simple. Someone probably opened something they shouldn’t have.”
“No,” Bastian, our researcher, chimed in. “I asked. They haven’t done anything new or unusual. They weren’t lying.”
“Someone could’ve broken in recently and opened something or conjured something.” I coughed out the last part.
The air slid down my throat like city sewage. My mouth felt slimy and heavy like old garbage was gumming it shut.
Shadows moved across the grass and tree trunks. Some took shape in the moonlight and strolled across the ground as if they were on a nightly stroll.
“Armitage?” I asked.
She swore in the Old Language.
“Not demonic but close.”
“No known murders are buried here,” Bastian said.
Made my theory looked more likely. But, that wouldn’t explain why people were being driven to kill themselves. White, deformed figures rose from the mist. Some were missing pieces like a page not fully burned. They crouched behind grave markers as though playing a game.
Giggles, howls and snarls filled the air, all jumbled together to make one horrifying song. A tortured male’s scream broke through followed by a female’s howl of pain.
Time to work.