"Did you do it?"
Terrance got a big smirk on his face as he looked at his anxious friend Marvin on his computer screen. "Yeah I did it."
"Man you are fucking crazy, you spent ALL NIGHT in a grave yard." Marvin chuckled.
"Wanna check out the video?" Terrance smiled proudly. "I'll send it to your phone."
Terrance watched him on skype mesmorized by the video on his phone. He thought, ahh the beauty of technology.
"Man this shit is creepy, all those head stones around. I understand you using the bright red sleeping bag, it's dark as hell out there. You couldn't pay me a million dollars to do that shit. How much is The Creep Show paying you?"
Terrance laughed. "The name of the
site is The Night Creepers. They specialize in creepy night videos. I'm gettin' two grand"
"Damn!" Marvin's eyes bugged out big. "Not bad for a work from home gig."
Terrance nodded his head. "Yeah once they put it on youtube and instagram, they'll make ten times that much. Man, one dude actually filmed himself inside the tiger attraction at the zoo. It was at night, and the tiger was sleep, but still.."
Marvin made a face and laughed.
"How the hell did he even get in to the
"He had a buddy who worked there. Well, he used to work there. His ass got fired once the video came out" Terrance laughed.
Terrance watched Marvin's face glow blue from his cell phone as he continued to watch the video.
"Man this is just too creepy and a little disrespectful." Marvin said.
"How is it disrespectful?" Terrance said a little annoyed.
"Your sleeping on people's graves, people's loved ones and family members. Somethin' about it don't seem right". Marvin said, still focused on the video and slowly shaking his head.
"Well I got through it and i'm gettin' paid. I need it too. Traveling to Florida to go to Flagler college gonna cost some change. You decide between Penn State and Temple?" Terrance asked.
"Temple." Marvin slowly nodded his head and smiled.
"Finer women." Marvin smiled.
"You sure you got an ACADEMIC scholarship?" Terrance laughed.
"Hey, its possible to be smart and shallow at the same time". Marvin laughed. "Hey listen bro I got to go. We still on for Saturday?"
"Of course man, I can't go to Florida without going out with my partna one last time. My parents picking me up at my grandmom's in the morning, then I'll give you a call."
"Cool, i'll talk to you then." Marvin pointed and smiled.
"Peeeaace!!." Terrance watched the square with his friend on it diminish then disappear.
He pulled up his graveyard video to study it one last time.
He looked decapitated with only his head peeking out the top of the red bulking sleeping bag. He was sprawled in front of four cold grey headstones. He smiled, as he hoped his roomates in college would be much more lively. He turned up the sound. The graveyard was eerily quiet not even. the sound of crickets. Other than the whole idea of sleeping in a graveyard, the video was boring. But he was sure the owners of Night Creepers would add some scary music and narration to make it creepy. He fast forwarded the video to about 3:45a.m. His mouth was wide open and his eyes were closed. He was sound asleep. He guessed that was the point during the night when fear left and fatigue had set in . Stiil no sound. He leaned in closer as he began to hear a cracking sound. Like someone walking on twigs. The sound got louder and louder, he studied his face. The expression on his face didn't change he was sound asleep. The cracking kept getting louder . He could see the tree limbs behind the headstones start to move.
Knock! Knock! He jumped.
"Yeah come on in Nan Nan." He had grown to affectionately call his grandmom this since age 5. His grandmoms plump smiling face was the first thing to come in to the room. She was holding a saucer with an orange slice of cinnamon smelling sweet potato pie. She set it down next to his keyboard. He made sure he took down the video before she came in. The sight of her grandson laid out in a graveyard had to be on her top ten list on how to have a heart attack .
She put her hand on his back.
"Thought you might like this baby
while you work."
He smiled big at her. "Thanks Nan, Miss Wanda still coming to pick you up this afternoon?"
"Yeah, she be here soon. You need anything from Walmart?"
"No, i'm alright." He grabbed the soft, cool slice of pie off the saucer and took a bite. Christmas, Thanksgiving and his Birthday all went through his head at the same time. There was no greater experience for him than eating a slice of Nan Nan's sweet potato pie.
She started to walk out the room then stopped, and reach inside her flour stained apron. She pulled out a white envelope. "This came for you this morning in my box."
He grabbed it and studied it. Just a white envelope with only his name on it. He thought it could have been from his parents but there was no address on it, just his name.
"Thanks Nan." He took another bite of pie. He kissed her plump brown cheeks. "Next time bring the WHOLE pie."
"Oh, stop it." She laughed as she walked out.
As he finished the last bite of pie he walked over to the bedroom window with the envelope. He looked out the window at the huge oak tree in his grandmom's yard. It looked like a guardian over her well kept garden of white, yellow and pink roses. He loved visiting her here in the country to get away from the city for a little bit. Plus, she spoiled him rotten. He had knocked off two birds with one stone. He got to see his grandmom and make his video in her local cemetary. He knew that if he was back at home he couldn't sneek out of the house and do it. Atleast not without his parents usual lecture, ' Why does such a smart kid love to do such ignorant stuff?' He looked at the envelope. No address on the back or front, just his name on it.
He opened it. It was written in pretty neat hand writing :
Thank you for sleeping next to me last night. I've been so lonely
I'll come see you tonight.
He left the room and hurried down
the stairs where his grandmom was reclining in her lazy boy watching Law and Order.
"Nan Nan who gave you this?" He said nervously.
"Nobody sweety, it was in my mailbox this morning. Why? What's wrong?" She looked concerned.
He didn't want to upset her. "Oh nothing, there's just no return address on it."
There was a knock at the door. He could see through the screen door it was Miss Wanda. He smiled. He liked Miss Wanda. Of all his grandmom's friends she was the liveliest. She was in her late sixties but had more energy than most twenty year olds. She always wore loud colorful jogging suits and tons of colored beads. She was into astronomy and other weird stuff, like tarot cards. She always tried to read the lines in his hand to predict his future. His grandmom would always check her by saying, "dont expose my baby to the devils work." He affectionately called them the Walmart road warriors. Because that was their Saturday afternoon ritual. Shop till you drop at Walmart.
"Hey sweety or should I say college man?" As he opened the screen door for her, there was a rush of warm country air and perfume that came in. She had on a bright yellow jogging suit complimented by an orange transparent visor. She topped off the ensamble with about 10 string of green, blue and yellow beads around Her neck. He laughed to himself and wondered if she had been a Christmas tree in a past life. She stared at him, smiled and raised an eyebrow.
He put his hands behind his back. "And no you can't read my palms." He laughed.
She stuck out her bottom lip. " Hey Emma, you ready girl?" She winked at him.
His grandmom waddle up behind him. Although she was in good health for a 68 year old, she had a bit of a bad hip. He and Miss Wanda helped her down the three white wooden steps of her porch and into Miss Wanda's sky blue cadillac.
He smiled at Miss Wanda . " You two wild women have fun."
Ms. Wanda started to walk towards her car then stopped and turned to him. "I forgot to tell you, sometimes I talk to my dead husband Ernest and he told me you spent all night with him. He and some of his friends are coming to see you tonight. See you baby".
She smiled and walked away.
Before he could process and respond to what she had just said, she was already in the car. And he was left alone with the sound of tires rolling down a gravel road and a spinning head. He felt like he was going to pass out. He went inside and sat on the couch. He pulled out the envelope in his pocket and stared at it. He was scared. The phone on the living room table rang. He jumped. He picked it up. It was one of those old rotary phones. His grandmom was convinced cell phones would fry her brains.
"Hello". He could feel his heart pounding in his throat.
"Hello Terrance thankyou for spending time with me last night. Ive been so lonely. Ill come see YOU tonight." The voice sounded sad and fragile. It was the voice of a woman.
He slammed down the receiver. His heart pounded inside his chest and he started to pace back and forth.
He couldn't explain or tell anyone what was happening. No one would believe him except Miss Wanda. And knowing her, she would bake cookies to make sure they had something to eat when they came by. He thought of only one thing he could do. If they were coming for him tonight, make sure the fuckers can't get in. Nan Nan wouldn't be back until about 8. Shopping at Walmart was usually followed by dinner at the local Cracker Barrel. He would make use of the time to turn this place into an anti-zombie fort.
In the warm sun and surrounded by chirping country birds, he walked the parimeter of the white victorian style home making sure there were no loose boards that dead hands could pry open. He nailed down any that were loose. It was easy after that. He made sure the kitchen door was securely locked and in front of it he moved the heavy cabinet where his grandmom kept her best china. He actually felt sorry for any zombie that damaged Nan Nan's precious china. He knew that would be their zombie ass. Nan didn't play when it came to her china. She wouldn't notice the changes to the house. Because a day of Walmart shopping, followed by a dinner of country fried steak, mashed potatos, stringbeans and her favorite peach ice tea, meant she would head straight to bed. He of course would make sure her bedroom door was securely locked by using her spare keys. All windows and doors were secured. The only thing to do was to wait.
Nan Nan was safe in her room and sound asleep. He looked at the time on the clock radio sittng on the night table. The red numbers said 12:17 am. He had his bedroom window open which faced in the direction of the cemetary about a mile away. He didn't want any surprises. He wanted to see his unwelcomed visitors coming. But all was quiet except the constant chorus of crickets and occassional hoot of an owl. He looked out on the front yard, all was still. His eyes were getting heavy. Screw this he thought, he closed and locked the bedroom window and welcomed the coolness of the pillow against his face. He hoped he wouldn't dream because there was no telling what was waiting for him there.
He sat up straight in his bed to the sound of a creaking door opening. He slowly pulled back the curtain of the bedroom window. There was nothing in the yard, everything was still. He looked at the door of the bedroom , locked. He looked at the bedroom closet. It was wide open. He got out of bed and realized he didn't lock the closet so it could have swung open itself. As he walked towards the closet he felt a strange chill. Once he got there he was expecting to see his suit case, Air Jordans and clothes hanging up, instead he saw THEM, the dead. They were coming. His closet was no longer a closet. They had turned it into a dark portal. They had found a way in. In the cold darkness of the closet, they looked about 20 feet away. They appeared blue as if lit by an unseen moon. They moved slow, but straight ahead. Some of them were in tact. But most of them were damaged by decomposition. Some were missing eyes, arms and lower jaws. He slammed the door shut. Surprisingly when they reached the door, there was no violent attempt to break the door down as he expected. Instead persistant attempts were made to turn the door knob and there was a constant tapping on the door. Which made him believe they didn't want to hurt him but return the favor and spend time with him. Since he wasn't in the mood for a living dead pajama party. He sat down on the floor and proped all his weight against the door, hoping they wouldn't loose their patience and turn violent. He didn't count them but he guessed there were about 15 of them and if they decided to break down the door, he didnt stand a chance.
Terrance was motionless in the backseat of his mother and father's suv. He was a zombie. Not because one of the dead decided to treat him like a slice of sweet potato pie and take a chunk out of him. He was zombie-like because he stayed up all night and didn't get anymore sleep. It was around six in the morning, the crack of dawn when the dead stopped trying to get into his room. When he opened the door, there was his suit case and red Air Jordans. It was just a closet and not a portal for the dead. When his parents asked him why he didnt get any sleep, he lied and said he was worried about college. Because he knew they would never believe the truth. In fact, he felt no one would. So he kept this little life tid bit to himself. Slowly falling asleep, he realized he would learn many lessons in college. But one life lesson he learned, a lesson he will never forget. Never, ever sleep all night in a grave yard.