Storytime: A Walk in the Graveyard

Hellloooo and happy Halloween everyone! I wanted to do a quick short story and post this yesterday, but I finished it a bit later than planned and wanted to give it a quick look over today before I sent it out. (100% guaranteed I’ve missed typos, but I do like to make an attempt.)

So yes, it’s story time today with a creepy All Hallows Eve story for my readers.  There’s a bit of non-con discipline here but I’m not a fan of giving away too much in warnings so I’ll leave it with that.

                                A Walk in the Graveyard

She knew better, of course she did. Lizzie’s mother had warned her since as far back as she could remember “Don’t go into the cemetery on All Hallows Eve. The veil between the worlds is thin and the dead walk.”

It might have seemed like an odd warning to give; after all, how many children had to be warned away from the cemetery, especially at night. But things were a little different in her family since they lived in the caretaker house that was tucked into the corner of the cemetery. Her parents maintained the grounds and their presence ensured that there were no teenagers hanging around drinking in the crypts, no graffiti, and that no vandalism took place.

It wasn’t especially onerous and really only required her father’s part-time work, in exchange for a beautiful home to live in rent free. They’d always told her how lucky they were and that she should feel grateful, but for her it had never been ideal. She was the creepy kid who lived in the graveyard and none of her friends ever wanted to come to her house after school—no matter how nice that house was.

It also meant no trick-or-treating, since she’d have to go through the cemetery to go out and then back. When she was a child it meant coming home directly after school, taking off her costume and then sulking in her room all night. She knew all the other kids were out having a great time as they went door-to-door collecting candy. She didn’t even get the fun of passing out candy because no one was desperate enough to come through the cemetery to knock on the caretaker’s door, not even if the gate was left open for them, which it never was after dark.

It meant that Halloween had never been her favorite holiday and she didn’t look forward to it the way all the other kids her age did, but that all changed when she went away to college. For the first time in her life Halloween was an amazing adventure. She was too old for trick-or-treating, but the shock on her friend’s faces when she mentioned she’d never gotten to go turned into delight as they began planning to take her out in costume. Then there were the parties; she got a little drunk, but it was a blast and the best holiday ever.

For all four years of college she took advantage of the freedom to enjoy Halloween. She took great care in selecting her costumes and set up an exhausting schedule that had her busy every minute of the day and night, which led to her being crowned the Queen of Halloween in her senior year of college.

And then she graduated and went back home to live with her parents for a while until she figured out what she was going to do next. She was twenty-two and old enough to make her own choices now, so it wasn’t until she was trying to decide what to dress as for Halloween that she realized her parents still intended to restrict her to the house.

“Are you… kidding me?” she demanded, staring in shock at her mother.

“Of course not, Lizzie. You know the rules. The cemetery isn’t safe on All Hallows Eve, so you’ll be home by sunset as usual,” her mother replied. There was a firmness to her voice that made it plain she wasn’t going to give to arguments.

“Mom, I’m not ten anymore. I’m an adult now,” she said.

“That doesn’t make it less dangerous. If anything…” Her mother paused and shook her head. “Anyway, you’ll be home before the gate is closed and that’s final.”

“What if I spend the night at a friend’s house?” Lizzie asked. She wondered if there was even a point to asking that since she didn’t have any local friends that she could impose on; the few she’d been close to hadn’t come back after college and to most she was still the weird girl from the graveyard. But she had been invited to a party and if it was a good party it would probably go very late and she could probably snag a corner to nap in until morning.

Her mother shrugged, “If you like. As long as you don’t enter the cemetery after dark.”

She thought how funny it was that her mother was more concerned about her coming home after dark than she was about where she spent the night, but her parents had always been weirdly obsessed with the cemetery and apparently that would never change. She’d thought the stories about the dangers of being out after dark on Halloween had been made up to scare her, but apparently, they really were just that superstitious.

“Fine, that’s settled then,” Lizzie said. She figured she’d work out the details later, and she had more important things to worry about first—like what she was going to wear.

In college she’d been on all the Halloween committees, involved in all the planning. She really had become the queen of the holiday and somehow she’d expected to bring that confidence back home with her, but it didn’t work out the way she’d intended.

Her costume was a perfect combination of beautiful and macabre as she dressed carefully in the old-fashioned thrift store bridal gown. She’d splashed it lightly with fake blood and sticking out of the center of her bouquet of silk flowers was a rubber butcher knife. She’d even convinced her mother to help with an elegant up-do though her mother sighed and shook her head frequently. Her mother didn’t understand, and had never understood her fascination with Halloween, or why missing it every year had been so hard.

“Make sure you don’t come home until the sun is fully up, Lizzie,” her mother warned as she closed the big cemetery gates behind her.

“Oh mom,” Lizzie laughed, shaking her head, and strolled away with her antique dress trailing the ground behind her. She wasn’t entirely sure what she was going to do for the night, but she was positive she wasn’t going to tell anyone why she couldn’t go home. She could only imagine the reactions she’d get if people knew that her parents were so stuck on old superstitions. It was positively medieval.

And the party didn’t even turn out to be worth all the trouble. She spent most of it standing alone sipping tepid beer while people she didn’t like much had fun around her. She missed her college friends and the amazing parties she had helped plan. One thing was for sure, none of her parties had descended to the level of “Close your eyes and touch these ‘eyeballs’ that are really grapes”. If she’d known it was going to be a walk-down 5th grade memory lane she’d have just gone trick-or-treating instead at least then she’d have some candy to show for it.

To make it worse, clearly all the cute guys had left town never to return because there wasn’t even anyone she wanted to ask to dance. She left early, hoping that somewhere she’d find a better Halloween celebration to join. She wandered the streets, teeming with children in costumes. Their shouts and laughter filled the crisp autumn air and she felt a pang of loss for that missed experience in her childhood.

It had been lots of fun going out with her friends at college, but nothing could replace the thrill of getting dressed up and begging for candy as a child. The look of fear in their eyes as the older kids jumped out and shouted ‘Boo!’, believing, if only for a second, that monsters were real; the avarice in their greedy little hearts as they compared which houses had the best candy, and of course the wonderful play pretend feeling of being what you’d dressed as—those were the things that her younger self had missed out on.

Suddenly she felt done with the holiday. No longer in the mood to celebrate she sighed and sat down on a low wall. The cold stone leeched the heat from her body and she shivered, regretting the fact that she hadn’t wanted a coat to cover her dress. “Well, this sucks,” she grumbled. Her feet kicked the ground in annoyance, delicate satin shoes scuffing painfully over gravel as she wondered what to do.

It was early, not even ten yet, and it was a long long time until morning. She wasn’t going to go back to the dull party, which had probably already fizzled out anyway, and it was too cold to sit there until morning. Then a thought struck her…

Just because her parents had some dumb superstitions about walking through the cemetery at night didn’t mean she had to go along with it. She could go home, crawl through her bedroom window and have a good night sleep in her own bed, then get up early and go right back out—pretending like she was just coming home. It wasn’t the most ideal plan, but she was sure it would work just fine. Her father was a deep sleeper, and a snorer, which meant her mother wore earplugs to bed, and they tended to retire early so it was unlikely they’d hear her coming in.

She hopped up off the wall and headed straight for home. The tall iron gates were closed, and locked tight as usual, but she knew there was a little trick with the old lock. A little jiggling and it popped open without a fuss. She closed it behind her and then stopped there on the path and took a deep breath. She laughed nervously. It was funny but just all of a sudden, she actually felt scared.

She told herself that she didn’t believe there was any danger in an empty cemetery. All the residents, after all, were quietly laid to rest which made it safer than most neighborhoods, but still…the way her mother had always cautioned her came to mind. The stories her father had told her about wayward children who were caught in the graveyard on All Hallows reverberated in her memories and she began to have doubts.

She almost changed her mind; she almost turned and left the cemetery, but instead she laughed at herself. “Don’t be an idiot, Lizzie. Jeeze,” she muttered. She picked up the trailing hem of her gown and set a quick pace down the path. Before she’d gone too far the street lights shining through the gate vanished, as if rejected by the dead, and she was left completely in the dark.

She froze, hands shaking as she dug for her phone and turned the flashlight on, hoping it wouldn’t drain her battery completely before she got to the house. The narrow beam of light seemed to make the background even more ominous and she found herself hurrying along almost at a trot. The rushing was probably why she didn’t see the hole until she’d stepped in it and found herself crashing to the ground with a pained yelp.

“Fuck, fuck, fuck!” she swore as she clutched her ankle in both hands. It hurt, but it didn’t feel like it was starting to swell so hopefully she hadn’t sprained it badly. Her phone however had gone flying when she hit the dirt and it took her a second of searching to find it because the flashlight had gone off. It wouldn’t go back on either, in fact, the phone was dead. She could only hope it was a drained battery and not broken by the fall.

“Well, this is just great,” she said, letting out a long sigh as she slowly and painfully got to her feet.

“Something wrong, Miss?” a voice said from the darkness.

She gasped and spun around, searching in vain for the man who had spoken. “Who-who’s there?!” she demanded as she balanced awkwardly with most of her weight on one side.

“Edward Montgomery…at your service, young lady,” he said, introducing himself with an oddly old-fashioned manner of speech. “And you are?”

She hesitated, wondering if it was safe to give this stranger her name, but he’d told her his and manners dictated she reply, and she decided a first name alone couldn’t hurt. “Lizzie…well, Elizabeth but everyone calls me Lizzie,” she explained.

Her eyes strained, trying to find him as they slowly adjusted. Luckily the moon was nearly full and soon she could make out the shadow of a tall man moving towards her. “Y-you shouldn’t be here. The cemetery is closed at night” She tried to sound firm but had a feeling that he could easily hear the shaking of her voice.

“I heard you cry out. Are you injured?” he asked. He was close enough then to take her by the arm, and he ignored the way she tried to flinch away.

“N-no. I mean yes, a little. I twisted my ankle, but it’s fine,” she said, hoping the reassurance would mean he would let go of her arm. It didn’t.

“It’s not wise to walk here after dark. Especially tonight of all nights. Didn’t anyone ever warn you of that?” he asked. One eyebrow went up in question and there seemed to be recrimination in his voice.

“Yes, well, I don’t believe in silly stories,” she said. She yanked her arm free from him and tested her balance, relaxing when she found that she could put weight on her ankle. She turned to glare at him, “I live here, in the caretaker’s house. You’re the one who’s trespassing,” she added with a snap.

“Am I indeed?” He laughed, a low liquid sound of amusement.

“What’s so f-funny?” she asked, frowning.

He shrugged, “It’s All Hallows and nearly the witching hour as well. There are many who walk here tonight, but I think it’s you who don’t belong. Unless—” He paused looking her over with a decided possessiveness.

Suddenly she wished she’d worn something less formfitting. She cleared her throat, fidgeting nervously as she waited for him to finish his thought. Finally, she had to ask, “Unless what?”

“Unless you’re here to offer yourself. You’re dressed the part certainly. Standing there in your bridal gown when the veil is thin—are you looking for a lover from the other side, girl?” he asked. He leaned in as he spoke, and the words seemed to caress the sensitive skin of her neck.

Things tightened in her body and suddenly she felt so vulnerable. “What? No! That’s not—that’s ridiculous. There’s no such things as ghosts and if there were I wouldn’t be trying to have sex with one,” she said. She gave him a disbelieving look but in truth she was starting to doubt her own conviction, and wonder if her parents hadn’t been right after all. There was something decidedly otherworldly about this man.

He was tall, and his hair curled handsomely around his face. It was a bit long for the current styles and made him look old-fashioned, but no more so than did his clothing. In fact, those seemed almost a match for her own outfit. A bridegroom to her bride in his formal suit—it appeared black but with only the moon for light almost any dark color would.

While she was looking him over, he had continued speaking and she suddenly realized she hadn’t heard a word he’d said. “I’m sorry, what?” she asked.

“I was wondering, if you aren’t here to submit yourself to a spirit lover, then what are you doing here?” he repeated patiently.

“Oh, I—I was just going home,” she replied, with a hint of guilt in her voice. Childhood lessons were deeply ingrained and she couldn’t help feeling bad about disobeying her parents.

“But surely your parents have warned you about the danger. If they are caretakers of this place, then they would know it well. Were you not told?” he asked. There was a hint of sternness in his tone and she flushed guiltily.

“Those were just stories. Superstitions,” she said, sounding uncertain.

“They were not. You should have listened to your parents, because now you see…you’re in trouble,” he said.

“T-trouble? Are you… are you threatening me? If I scream my parents will—”

“Will do nothing, because they have the sense not to leave their house tonight. They know that such things have consequences, as you should,” he said grimly. He reached out, touching her cheek lightly and then his hand slid into her hair, gripping a handful and giving it a sharp yank that had her falling into his arms.

“Oh!” she gasped. Her hands flew up to catch herself, landing against his hard chest, and she could feel the strength in his body. Her eyes met his and locked until she looked away. There was chemistry there, but something about his gaze frightened her as well. It was hunger.

“A mortal in a cemetery on All Hallows Eve belongs to any who would claim her—for the night or…longer,” he whispered against the shell of her ear. It was followed by his tongue, gently tracing the edge.

A shudder ran down her back as a small whimper escaped her. She’d never felt so helpless or so alive. For a second, she contemplated surrendering to him. He was handsome and strong, there was a lot to desire there but either he was crazy, or he was a ghost either meant a relationship was out of the question.
“Please. I—” She stopped, unsure of what she actually wanted.

“Shall I claim you, Elizabeth?” he asked. His voice was low, and it seemed to strum across her soul, taking her words from her. “Would you like to be mine for a night, or forever?”

She swallowed, trying to ease some response from her dry mouth. “I don’t even know you,” she whispered finally.

“Do you want a courtship then? I’m afraid our time is too limited for that, but your body already knows me. Can you feel it, Elizabeth? Feel how it reacts to me?” he asked, and each word seemed to elicit a response.

His hands came to rest at her waist like they belonged there. There was nothing overtly erotic or inappropriate about the action, but her insides did a low spin and she swayed dizzily in his grasp. Beneath the old lace and satin her nipples were hard and sensitive. Her panties were damp with desire and every breeze felt like a caress across her skin. Her head tipped to the side, inviting him to taste her neck and he did. Licking and then nipping with his teeth until her fingers curled against his chest and she moaned.

It seemed to be what he wanted, and he repeated his question, “Do you want me to claim you and make you mine?”

Yes. The answer was so obviously yes, but she couldn’t make herself say the words. She’d had boyfriends before; she wasn’t a virgin, but her experience was with boys her own age. This was a man—a man who would take complete control from her. She could sense that and she was scared of how much she wanted that. “I can’t,” she said finally. The regret was heavy in her tone.

He sighed, “Pity. I’d be within my rights to take you anyway, but I think I’ll wait. The penalty must still be paid however, and since you’re not ready to pay the woman’s price I expect it had better be the child’s,” he said.

She blinked, pulling back to look up at him. “I don’t understand,” she said, sounding confused. There was a tingle of warning in the back of her mind.

“You broke the rules, disobeyed your parents and put yourself in danger. By our laws I have the right to take you as my lover or bride, but I prefer a willing woman. It does leave us in a quandary though,” he told her.

There were so many questions bubbling up. What were these laws? What did he mean when he said he’d be within his rights to claim her? “W-what quandary?” she asked nervously.

“If I don’t stake a claim on you, another can and not all would respect your choice. So, I will mark you as mine—just not as a lover,” he explained.

She stared, trying to figure out what he was saying. “I don’t understand,” she said, though she was beginning to get the idea that she was going to regret her choices.

He dropped his arms, and his hand caught hers. Without replying he tugged her to the nearest low tomb. The marble box didn’t even come up to his waist which made it a handy seat for him to settle on. Before she realized what he was about to do, he had upended her across his lap, and she squealed at the sudden indignity.

“What are you doing?” she demanded. She knew of course, she just couldn’t believe it. It had been a long time since she’d been spanked, and never from a complete stranger.

“I told you. I’ll give you the child’s penalty for disobedience and mark you as mine at the same time. It’s for your safety and to teach you to listen better in the future,” he said firmly.

He reached down and swept the gown up onto her back, exposing the thin satin panties she wore underneath. Her legs quickly clamped together, crossed at the ankle in case he should try to yank those down too, but apparently, he was leaving some of her modesty intact. Not that it mattered anyway, his hand was more than hard enough to make up for the flimsy protection of her panties.

She felt every bit of sting and heat clearly and her cries of pain soon echoed in the darkness of the cemetery like a beacon of suffering. When she looked up through tear-filled eyes, she thought she saw a crowd watching, but they moved in and out of the shadows so swiftly she wasn’t sure if she was imagining it or not.

She had no idea how long the punishment went on, but she lost all composure very early on. His hand felt hard and unyielding as it crashed down across her backside. She tensed her cheeks, tightening the muscles to minimize the pain but it didn’t seem to help. He seemed tireless; his arm swung at a steady pace without a pause to rest and each crisp spank seemed to hurt more than the one before it.

She’d never been the type to be stoic under pain and he’d barely pinkened her skin before she was begging him to stop. “Please! I’m sorry! I just wanted to go home!” she cried. The anguish in her voice was only slightly exaggerated in the beginning and even that embellishment vanished very soon after as the punishment continued.

“Be very lucky I was the one to find you then. I’ll see you home at dawn, which is more than others would have done,” he said grimly.

She wondered if her pleas had irritated him because suddenly his hard hand began targeting her upper thighs with a dozen or so slaps that had her legs flailing desperately. When he moved back up to pepper her quivering bottom again, she was almost grateful because the sting was so much less there than on her tender legs. Almost grateful.

The spanking continued for a long time. It was entirely his choice to stop because no matter how much she kicked and struggled, he kept her pinned in place with ease and eventually she tired herself out and the fighting was reduced to tears and the occasional yelp when his hand smacked down on an especially sore spot. And then abruptly he stopped, and the sudden silence was deafening.

He left her dangling across his thighs for a few minutes; his hand rested where the last slap had landed, as he waited for her to catch her breath. When she was calmer he picked her up and settled her in his lap to comfort her like a child and she was immediately soothed. She curled up while he held her and eventually the flood of tears slowed to a trickle.

She didn’t care if she looked childish like that. She had no dignity left after the long spanking anyway, and there was no one around to see. No one alive anyway, and she was still not convinced that ghosts were real. He felt warm and solid as he held her, and the people she’d thought she’d seen watching her display were gone now. Probably just a figment of her imagination she decided.

Between one moment and the next she fell asleep and how long she slept, she wasn’t sure. The whole night had taken on a strange timeless feel to it, all she knew was that when he woke her and put her back on her own two feet, a weak light was starting to appear behind the trees. False dawn.

She wore his suit jacket against the chill as he walked her to the stone caretaker’s house in the far corner of the cemetery, and she slipped her hand into his, holding onto it for comfort. True dawn was close when they got to the door, and she slipped out of his jacket and passed it back to him.

He leaned down and brushed his lips across hers. “Be good and take more care with your safety,” he warned.

“I will, but…but when can I see you again?” she asked.

He was silent for a few seconds, considering her question. “Next Hallows…I’ll watch for you and if I find you walking I’ll know you’re ready to be claimed.

“But—but that’s a whole year away,” she protested. Now would be the time for him to tell her that it had all been a prank, that he was just as alive as she was. She waited for the reassurance, but it didn’t come.

“Next year, if you return you’ll be mine,” he repeated. “Remember.”

She opened her mouth to reply but just then the first true light of dawn speared through the trees and suddenly Edward was gone. He had vanished right before her eyes.

She stood there staring for a long time before she finally went into the house and went to bed. Later she was able to honestly assure her suspicious mother that she hadn’t come in until after dawn, but she thought it was best not to mention anything that had occurred prior to coming home. Especially as she wasn’t entirely sure it had happened. Part of her still wanted to believe it had all been a dream or a hallucination.

The rest of her wanted it to be real—wanted him to be real.

Either way she had one full year to decide how she was going to spend her next Halloween and she had a feeling that it was going to be the most important choice of her life.

 

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