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Drama Funny Fiction

There really is no way to prepare for the sudden fear that goes right down your spine when a flash of lightning illuminates an area in the night with a ghostly white light and the area it briefly lights up is a graveyard. You become acutely aware that you’re surrounded by headstones and beneath them are bodies of those long gone. You also become aware (and terrified) that six feet isn’t actually that deep.  

Now, the chances of those not-that-deeply-buried bodies actually being able to get out their coffins and climb out of the packed dirt aren’t good. But because you can’t convince yourself those chances are zero, it provides zero comfort.  

So, with fear being such an intense and logic-overwhelming emotion, why would anyone be in a graveyard at night with a storm brewing directly overhead?  

Well, in my case, it was because a class-group and I were searching for our project report papers that had scattered in the graveyard before they were long gone too.  

I’m Eric, a typical lanky, nerdy college kid with out-of-control brown hair who normally would only be caught dead in a graveyard.  

But here I was, carefully trying to avoid directly stepping on flat headstones while chasing papers around with my cell-phone light.  

“This is all your fault, Bryce” I snapped as I dove for a paper fleeing in the wind.  

Bryce, the perfectly tanned, hit puberty at 10 muscle-for-brains jock on the football team with perfectly coiffed almost-black hair and matching eyes and had at least a foot of height and width on me swung his head at me and glared. “Bro, I said sorry, I didn’t mean it. God dang.”  

“That doesn’t change that, hey grab that paper behind you! Don’t let it get away!” I cried out, pointing behind him.  

I was annoyed. I was temporarily jolted from my irk when another bolt of lightning lit the graveyard again. The thunder was quiet and rumbled in the distant like a car with a heavy bass. But the lightening was so bright, it seemed close enough to touch you.  

Bryce smirked in the light “Aww, is wittle Ewic afwaid of da lightning?” he let out his jocky-cocky chuckle.  

“Shut up, Bryce! This IS all your fault! Hurry up and get the papers before it pours!” a third member of our group called out.  

The wind was picking up and some papers whirled around us. We probably looked so cool frantically swinging our phone lights around and lunging for the papers. 

“Aww is Fraidy-Katie going to melt if the rain touches her?” Bryce mocked at her. He snatched up a passing paper anyway.  

Katie, a wavy-blond haired, brown-eyed girl on the cheer team was the total opposite of stereotypical cheerleaders. Sure, she was pretty, but in a more natural way. And she cared a lot about her grades and she did not have a thing for the star-something-back of the football team.  

She made an ‘uggh’ sound as she just missed a paper and had to chase it further into the graveyard when a gust blew past us.  

“You know, Bryce, if you had half as much brain as muscle, you’d have known to not roll the window all the way down when you have a bunch of loose papers on your lap.” the fourth and final member of the group, Emily huffed.  

Emily had straightened black hair and blue eyes that set behind thin-rimmed square black glasses. She used more makeup than Katie, but only because she wore brighter lipstick colors. The intense hot-pink glossy color on her lips was still visible in the moonlight that was coming and going between swirling black clouds.  

“I was trying to be polite when I smoked” Bryce defended sarcastically.  

“Yeah, right. You shouldn’t be smoking anyway, you’re an athlete” Emily said.  

“It wasn’t a cigarette, it was...” Bryce started but Emily cut him off.  

“It doesn’t matter! You shouldn’t be doing any of it! Then this wouldn’t have happened!” she held up the wrinkled set of papers in her right fist and gestured to the open graveyard with her left, the light of her phone spanning the area.  

“Lighten-up, bro. Geez. I said ‘sorry’ like three effin times.” Bryce jogged after another report. 

“Saying ‘sorry’ doesn’t change the accountability” I managed to puff out. I was definitely in the worst shape of the group. I didn’t have asthma but I still felt like I could use an inhaler anyway.  

“Well, look you let another one get away behind you, bro!” Bryce redirected our attention to behind me.  

Two papers swirling in opposite directions were several feet from me and then the clouds covered the moon again.  

Emily and I lifted our phones those directions and proceeded to chase after them. I heard Bryce dive for a paper like he was making a tackle.  

Katie came jogging back and said “I didn’t see any more back there. Let’s check if we got them all”  

All four of us met back to the center of the paved pathway between the rows of headstones. In case, someone wanted to take a leisurely stroll through the graveyard. I rolled my eyes at my own stupid thought.  

We started counting the page-numbers and trying to put them in order in each other’s hands. 

“I have nine, who has ten?” Emily asked as she attempted to straighten the papers by tapping them on her slightly lifted knee.  

“I have ten and eleven” Katie said, fanning through the few papers in her hand. She held the aforementioned papers out to Emily.  

“And I have 14 and 16” Bryce said, handing his last two crumpled papers over. “Does it really matter? It’s just the first draft we’re turning in”  

“Yes, it matters. Do you really want the first draft critique to be ‘hey juniors in college, learn to count?’” Katie snapped.  

“God, Bryce. And couldn’t you have not wrinkled these so much?” Emily complained as she tried to smooth them.  

“I was snatching them out of the ****ing air, whaddya want from me?” Bryce complained back. “This wouldn’t have happened if Professor Jutton...”  

“JOO-Ton” Katie corrected.  

“What EVER, bro!” Bryce whined “If he hadn’t put me in a group with a bunch of freakin’ nerds, this wouldn’t have happened.” 

“If he hadn’t put you with us, you would have failed this project.” Katie pointed out. “That’s why he split up the football players this time, because the two groups of football players completely bombed the last project”  

“Why does he ****ing care anyway? I was told college professors didn’t care about students like that” Bryce said as if he were betrayed for having a professor who gave a damn.  

“One; it’s a smaller campus. And two because Professor Jutton is up for tenure and he needs to have successful classes this term to qualify. And he doesn’t want a bunch of stereotypical football players to get him disqualified” Katie informed him. She was helping hold some papers for Emily as she put them in numerical order.  

“And again, Bryce, this wouldn’t have happened if you had any sense whatsoever” Emily spat. “Eric and Katie will you please hold your lights at the papers so I can count them? I can’t hold my phone at the same time.” but she asked it more pleasantly but annoyance laced her tone. 

She dropped her phone in her cross-body clutch as we did as she asked.  

Emily sifted through the right-hand corners where the page numbers were located and after a few seconds of whispering the numbers she sighed.  

“We’re still missing pages 12 and 17”  

We all groaned and started looking around with our phone again to catch sight of anymore papers passing nearby.  

Then we all gasped to the sky when the loudest thunder roll of them all shook the sky and several streaks of lightening zoomed around us, accompanied by another intense blast of wind.  

It didn’t get any better for our situation when we felt the drops of rain. It only took a few seconds for it go from a few heavy drops to a complete downpour and the girls (okie and I) let out shrieks from the cold heavy rain. October nights were chilly enough without the bad weather and now we all hugged ourselves against the cold night air.  

Emily squeezed the papers to her body to protect them as we were quickly getting soaked.  

“Emily, quick get the papers back to the car, the rest of us will look around one more quick look around for the other two pages” Katie yelled over the rain.  

Emily took off hunched over the papers, digging her phone out to see the ground. 

“We will?” Bryce asked incredulously.  

Katie smacked his arm and it made a loud slap against his wet skin.  

“Owww, that’s some bull, because if I did that to YOU, it’d be...” Bryce was cut off again.  

“LOOK FOR THE DAMN PAPERS, BRYCE!” Kate ordered loudly.  

Her and I were already fanning out, trying to cup our phones to protect them. After 30 seconds or so, none of us saw the papers and then rain was coming down harder, so we quickly retreated to the car.  

We were all out breath, even Emily when we slammed the car doors shut. She had just shoved the papers into Katie's backpack on the floor of the passenger side backseat and then had continued to look around the M.I.A. papers too.  

We are all panting and shivering in our spots; I was in the driver’s seat, Katie was in the back passenger side, Bryce was next to her, and Emily was in the passenger seat.  

“Bryce” Katie gasped out.  

I moved my wet bangs clinging to my forehead aside to watch them through the rearview mirror. 

“What?” Bryce answered, taking in his own gasp of air. 

“I hate you”  

Bryce rolled his eyes to glare at her. “Got it” he fake smiled for a second before his face fell again. Then he crossed his arms and leaned back as he faced the window instead of Katie’s scowling face.  

We all sat there a second in mostly silence except for us getting our breaths to normalize.  

Then I started digging in my soaked to the skin pocket to get the keys out. Katie and Emily both started trying to find dry parts of their clothes to wipe off their phones.  

“Let’s stop at a store and buy some rice for our phones” Emily suggested and Katie concurred. 

We all started discussing what store was nearby that would sell rice and then all of a sudden Bryce shouted.  

“HEY!” then suddenly he wrenched the driver’s side passenger door open and practically tumbled out of it.  

The three of us all jerked ourselves into whiplash to look at Bryce.  

“What is he...?” Emily asked. 

I side-glanced at her and she moved her stringy wet hair to the side and squinted to see Bryce the best she could in the dark. I squinted out of my rainy window. The key wasn’t in yet so I couldn’t roll it down so I opened my door instead.  

Under the streetlight and through the pouring rain across the street, we watched as best we could, Bryce full-force sprint to the corner of a black-poke-top fence. Flattened and clinging around the corner post was something white.  

Then we saw Bryce stop to peel it off and then take off further up the corner and we couldn’t see much around the corner. All we could tell was Bryce’s large body dive into the tree-lawn. 

I winced at the thought of the pain.  

Bryce slipped at little as he pressed up and then he came sprinting back to the car.  

I closed my door when he started coming back and twisted my body as much as I could to look over my right shoulder.  

Bryce came in seconds later, slammed his door and was panting really hard now. His front was muddy and had a couple leaves and grass blades glued on to him by the mud.  

He was also holding up two soaked papers, one in each hand.  

Katie carefully took each one from him to look at them and then handed them to Emily. The one on the fence had a corner ripped off, both had some mud smudges and were soaked.  

Emily examined them closer “Once we dry them off, we can brush off the mud and they should be good enough for the first draft turn in”  

We sighed in relief.  

“Bryce” Katie said.  

“What” he panted.  

“I love you”  

October 23, 2022 00:59

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