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Leslie Blackwell Leslie Blackwell
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Paranormal Phobia Scene One updated

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She had a friend.

Hi all, have to write a story scene for an online writing course I am doing at present and would appreciate a bit of feedback. Been a while since I have asked someone for help with homework.

Updated 26 May 2018

“Oh shit, now I’ve done it,” grumbled Matthew Swift, staring down at the cellphone he had just dropped into Elspeth Delebarca’s open grave.
“You’re going to have to get it,” affirmed the rational part of his mind.

“Yak told me not to go down there until he got back. He’s the boss you know.”  

“Don’t be such a big girl’s blouse. You’ll be in and out of the hole before he knows it, what’s the worst that could happen?”

He shrugged his shoulders, checked to see if anyone was watching, then lowered it into the grave, and descended one rung at a time. Sunlight disappeared and darkness engulfed him, once he finally reached the bottom. He turned and studied his dank, claustrophobic surrounds.

A few weeks prior to Matthew’s thirteenth birthday, his stepfather was killed in a head on collision. Twelve months later his stepmother remarried a much kinder man named Douglas that helped him through the worst of his paranormal phobia.

Years went by and he fell in with the wrong crowd, hoping to earn his “teenage rite of passage”. Drugs motivated paranoia, and his paranormal phobia returned with vengeance. He saw monsters in his room and believed that his stepfather was somehow in collusion with them.

One night he lashed out and beat up Douglas. A concerned neighbour, alerted the police, who arrested Matthew and locked him up for the night. His stepfather took pity and did not lay assault charges, but Matthew was ordered to attend anger management classes.

Consumed with genuine guilt, Matthew also checked into a drug and alcohol rehabilitation course, and it was there he met a councillor who suggested the idea that working at a cemetery among the placid deceased, might help him overcome his phobia.

“Okay, let’s get this over with” he asserted.  

The dilapidated coffin started splintering as soon as Matthew placed his boot on it. He stepped back and drew a disgruntled sigh then gingerly sidestepped his way along in the gap between the coffin and the left wall.

“Yak says the grave is seven and a half feet long and the phones about three quarters along, so six sidesteps should be about right.’ reasoned Matthew. “One…two…three…”  

Matthew stopped after the sixth, turned round and pocketed the phone. A sudden ominous whisper emanated from the mud causing his heart to chill. He retraced his steps as fast as he could, and started up the ladder.

Seconds later, the lid casket shattered and a decomposing corpse rose up. Dust spilt from its filthy abdomen and scraggly hair and several worms wriggled around where there once was a nose. Its skin had long ago rotted away but some of its now threadbare clothing remained.
“Who dares disturb my slumber?” it said in a coarse feminine tone.

“Please don’t hurt me…” beseeched Matthew, hastening his pace, but the corpse snatched his ankle and hauled him back down again. It then threw itself against the ladder, blocking his only means of escape.  

“What are you doing in my grave…Hmmm?”

“My name is Matthew. I’m a trainee gravedigger, and I dropped my cellphone down here.”

“Cellphone huh, Likely story…more like you were planning to rob the dead? Well you’re out of luck Matt. I wasn’t buried with any jewellery; my husband’s no doubt pawned it for beer and pissed it against a wall by now.”

“We’re actually planning to bury him tomorrow.”

“If he thinks he’s getting into this grave he’s dreaming.”

“Well, the funeral’s already arranged and there’s very little I can do to stop it…Look, why not just let me get out of your grave?.”

“You‘re an unwanted intruder and deserve to be punished! I’m going to make you wish you were never born”


Goosebumps shivered up Matthew’s spine as the corpse opened its mouth wide and made a high pitched screech. Its girth increased. Sallow fangs grew and dagger-like claws projected from end of its finger tips.

Matthew retreated backwards as the corpse advanced on him. His heartbeat became rapid and breaths became laboured. His back hit the opposite end of the grave, nullifying all hope of escape.

“Please don’t eat my brains,” he fretted.
“Eat your brains? I have no stomach to digest or need for food…but I feast on your fear and draw deep from the streams of your screams.”

He winced as her bony hand connected with his left cheek. The force of the blow sent him flying and his head impacted hard against the adjacent wall. Stinging pain surged throughout his nerves and his surroundings swam before his tear filled eyes.  

“That hurt,” he whimpered.


He took a deep breath in, exhaled and then charged forward. His body impacted hard with the corpse, catching it off guard. It tripped staggered in a stunned attitude for a few seconds and crashed butt first into the mud.

Taking advantage of the confusion, Matthew hurried to the opposite side of the grave, and then ascended the ladder two rungs at a time. Once out He hauled the ladder out and threw it toward a line of trees.

Mathew gasped as the corpse started climbing out of the foot end of the grave, digging random bones into the earth to help lever itself up. He hurried to where Yak had left a pile of tools and grabbed a heavy metal spade, then hastened back.

“Return to the mud you Queen of the Zombie Harpies!” he cried, swinging the spade with all his might. It impacted violently with the corpse’s skull, which catapulted to a tree and bounced into some thick gorse. The rest of the corpse fell to the grave floor and disintegrated into dust. “You shall not pass.”

Silence ascended, disturbed only by the sound of serenading birds and the constant shrill of cicadas. He drew a heavy cry and stared down at the empty grave below him.

“Hic en spiritum. Sed non encorpor,.” sounded a voice. Seconds later the skull rolled out from the gorse and chanted: “Evokare lemures demortuis.”

“That’s impossible” he asserted.

The ground vibrated. Cracking, breaking shattering, splintering filled the air, as one by one the masonry work of the surrounding graves crumbled before his eyes.

“Decretum Espugnare. De Angelus Balberith. In inferno inremeablis!” it continued.  “Wa ta na slam! Wa ta na slam! Wa ta na Slam!”

One by one, hideously deformed corpses crawled out of from their desecrated graves and started marching toward him; wailing and groaning.

He discarded the spade, turned and fled. More and more graves crumpled as he passed them releasing more and more copses, enlisting in the army of zombies that pursued him.

He continued running to the end of a path, turned left and started down a labyrinth of other pathways, until he came across a narrow track, leading into a thicket of scrub.

Though running out of breath the snapping of branches and twigs from his pursuers urged him on. His heart pounded and sweat seeped from every pore in his body, speaking volumes for his lack of fitness.

The terrain declined, forcing him to quicken his pace and by the time he broke through the other side of the shrub he was stumbling to keep up with his feet. He now found himself running down a steep grassy bank with no way of stopping.

Matthew managed to maintain his balance and scurried onto the main road, that ran adjacent the cemetery, at the bottom. He cringed as a horn blasted and the tyres of an approaching car locked into a skid. The vehicle hit him and he once again flew sideways. His head smacked against the tar-seal and he lost consciousness, with the words “Wa ta na Slam!” echoing in his mind.

-Scene one ends here-

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