She pulled her coat closer, trying to ward off the cold. She’d not known a chillier night; well at this time of the year. Winter was almost two months away even though it was hard to believe seeing the thin film of ice on the ground. The fog wrapped around her like a veil of ice, its icy fingers clutching at her shoulders. She shivered. There were no ghost in the mist for Pete’s sake. She wasn’t going to let her imagination run rampant with her.
The wind blew the leaves among the nearby tree, the sound more like a woman wailing than the rustling of foliage. Branches snapped as if someone or something stepped on it, but it seemed more like the crushing of bones. She cast a quick glance left and right; she was alone. She knew she was alone. Right? Her boots must be the breakers of branches even if the sounds seemed to be coming from farther away.
Something that sounded like a moan came from her left; she stood still biting her lips. Her hair stood on her entire body. She tasted the iron tang of blood on her tongue. She wouldn’t scream. It was nothing. How old was she? Really? There was nothing to be afraid of. The worst that could happen would be some kid in a vampire costumed jumping her to ask for treats. Halloween craziness. As unlikely as it was that anyone would be treat or tricking where she was now.
And yet… It was All Hallow’s Eve. It was more than a fun night to play at being monsters. Once people believed there were true demons in the darkness. And the dead. Which was why crossing the cemetery was the obvious dare. She’d been here several times… during the day. But now it wasn’t so easy. In fact… she rubbed her neck; it tingled. As if someone was watching her. She turned around. Nothing. Then again, it was too dark for her to see more than a couple of meters away and only because of the moonlight.
She had to resume her walk. She wasn’t going to get to the other side if she stood there. She stumbled and gasped. Had something grabbed her ankle? No; she must have caught her foot in a root or something. Right?
She whipped around and almost screamed herself raw. She pushed her hands into her mouth to stifle the sound. The shape looming over her was… a stupid angel statue. She knew it was ridiculous but her heart wouldn’t slow down. It was nothing though: crossing the cemetery after twilight was nothing. Was it? She repeated the mantra ‘nothing’s gonna happen, there’s no one but me’, as she resumed her walk towards the West exit.
Wait! How could she hear branches breaking under her feet when she was stepping on gravel? She accelerated. She was going to be fine. Just fine. On her right another dark shadow appeared in the night. Probably another statue; she didn’t take notice. Well not enough to let it distract her. She had to get through. There must be less than 100 meters left to the exit. She could see the gate through the fog. She was almost there.
She waved through the mist to keep track of her destination. Was it an impression or was it getting foggier? Well it was getting later. How long had she been in there? She stumbled again. Looking down she noticed the tree root: why was there a root in the middle of the gravel path? She took another step, as clouds of mist caught around her wrists. They did really look like bony fingers trying to clutch at her.
She couldn’t stand it anymore, she ran. Fell. Screamed, as the looming figure over her approached, a red light on its brow. The Guardian: the legends were true? She would never doubt her cousin anymore. She almost used a protective spell when she saw it was Ed, the cemetery warden.
“Are you ok? Oh it’s you Miss Shaw?”
“Ed? Sorry. You scared the bejesus out of me. I thought…”
“Well I might have been the Kyrkogrim but he’s probably fighting off the demons at this hour.” The man chuckled; how ignorant humans could be. “Your friends dared you to cross, right?”
“Yes… they probably heard me scream like a mad woman too.”
“Ah so you lost the dare then.”
“Not yet. The dare was merely to cross. I’m almost there.”
The man smiled; helped her up. He followed a few steps behind to light the way. She finally exited the place.
There in the safety of the car were Ashley and Diana. Well… next year, she’d make them cross the graveyard and see if they didn’t find it eerie as shit. And she definitely wouldn’t tell her mom where she’d been. Their circle’s ruler would probably ground her to eternity.
In response to the Daily Post writing prompt eerie (and trying not to use the word at all until the very end.