No Title as it is...Unfinished

awoken..2002 Michael Brienza & Debbie Burgess

Bony fingers dig thru the wet earth. Gasping for air, the rotting undead claw and pulls itself from
it's grave. The figure stands upright and stares at the new moon thru the clouds. The shrouded
silhouette takes a few steps in-between two other tombstones. Clutching the coldness of marble and
concrete a growling whisper emerged from his torn out throat. "...Wake up my brothers and sisters...
the time is almost upon us..."

A white mist crept along the ground, covering the landscape like a blanket of new fallen snow.
The wind howls, as the feeble moonlight shines raggedly on the mist through the splintered trees.
Something inhuman has awaken and there is no more reason for its coming now than it would be for the
arrival of a psychotic with murder on its mind or a killer tornado.

It's time is now, it's place is here, in this small New England town where baked bean church suppers
are a weekly event. Where small boys and girls still bring apples to their teachers. Where nature
outings of the senior citizen club are religiously reported in the weekly paper.

There was something in the air...

"Damn," Rayne said under her breath as she grabbed her coat, gloves and keys and headed out into the
night. "Darn it, Faust where can you be," she thought to herself. He had been howling incessantly and
made a mad dash out the door when Rayne took the recyclables out to the curb. They had already gone
on their nightly walk and she wanted no part of having to look for Faust on such a bone chillingly
cold, damp and foggy night. It was then she remembered the last time he escaped into the dark.

The Schipperke darted in and out of the trees paying little or no heed to it's masters beck and call.
Occasionally stopping and sniffing around marking it's territory, the stout but small dog was always
fond of playing,of running around in the yard, but having the background of being raised as a
hunting dog, his infatuation with the sport got the better of him.

The moon played tag with the clouds. This puzzled the dog, which was almost on top the field mouse it
had chased close to 15 yards thru black rought iron into the cemetery. The moonlight had revealed the
mouseís moving shadow and then took it away after ducking behind a fat cloud. The dog let out a
commanding bark at the mouse who had ducked into a small crevice. Pausing a few moments and
sniffing, the dog seemed to lose track of the verminís scent and then with a slow jog, the canine
furthered its way into the trees among the sarcophaguses.

"FAUST" bellowed Rayne, standing just outside the cemetery perimeter,"C.MON, HERE BOY!" "Goddammit"
she strained under her breath "DON'T MAKE ME COME IN THERE!!" "Yeah, like he thinks Iím going in
there, well...well Iím not" "YOU GOT THAT FAUST?"

The October winds blew up the yellow and red leaves into swirls, like tiny little whirling tornadoes.

Rayne never liked being around this place, especially after the sun went down. There was nothing
friendly looking about it. The gates, the stone work, just the idea of Faust treading on peoples
resting places just made her spine crawl. She wasn't prepared for the cell phones ring. "Screamin" by
The Flaming Lips was programmed into the ringer by her husband (ever since she took away his MP3
player)and it was so loud that she nearly jumped out of her skin as she fumbled to answer the
call."WHAT??" she quipped? "Where are you?" the electronic voice said on the other end."I'm over at
the cemetery.""Do I dare ask why?" "Well if you would have trained your F'n dog to stay in the house
every time Iíd open the door..." "My Dog? we brought him up together,remember!!" Taking a deep
breath, Rayne relaxed herself and spoke softly."Well, our dog happens to be piddling on someoneís
tombstone at the moment." "You should have grabbed him before he got out." Rayne's eye's narrowed,
"...listen dinner is getting cold, hurry back lovey dovey."She never had a chance to respond as the
click interrupted her. "I'll give him lovey dovey alright," she spoke under her breath gritting her
teeth. Slamming the cell phone onto the floor of the Jeep Cherokee she opened the glove compartment
and snatched angrily at the flashlight. "Maybe we'll have four legged biped for dinner tonight." "YOU
HEAR ME FAUST, GET OVER HERE NOW" she yelled once more. She stepped cautiously thru the black gates
to search of her black furry companion. She hated this place. Yes, it was because of what it
represented but, oh so much more...The End...nothing, a void...

She was brought up Catholic and was told numerous times, in church, in CATHOLIC school...good old St.
Aedan's, that if she was "good" she would have her place, on the other side of Heaven's gate someday.
But as she walked down the path, past the eternal resting places of the dearly departed...well she
wondered if she was "good enough." Were "they" good enough? Were they just rotting corpses, bones
buried 6ft. under. Lying below, were their soul's lounging on the beautiful clouds OR were they
screaming as the fire lapped at their flesh? All the loves lost, all the families broken apart by
death?? Why couldn't we live forever? Her senses snapped back from her deep thoughts to reality with
Faust's howling. She knew where she would find him. It broke her heart...oh no, not again...how many
times must she be brought back here. Why did Faust come to this spot every time? He never liked
Gerrod! How, never mind how, WHY did Faust go to Gerrod's resting place? Do animals sense the heart,
do they really know more than we think they do?

Rayne's feet sliced thru the mist causing it to twirl in maniacal hurricanes of silence.
She felt like Dorothy walking along the yellow brick road thru the dark forest only waiting for the
cowardly lion to jump out from behind one of the twisted oaks.Only there were no cowardly lions, not
in this place. Time stood still here. She vowed never to return here after he had passed.
The Schipperke had successfully bought her back to the cemetery four times since the death of Gerrod,
a fireman and someone she knew intimately.He had died in the line of duty.

She still had farther to go; after all he was buried in the "Morningside" area of the cemetery. Off in
the distance she could hear Faust's howling. He sounded like a lone wolf howling at a full moon. A
chill ran down her spine and tears welled in her eyes. She didn't know how much more she could take
between the dreams/nightmares and Faust's Houdini escape acts because it only brought the sad
memories rushing back to the forefront of her mind. Memories of the man she loved with all of her
heart, body and soul.... Gerrod. The fire, the awful fire at Derrick's warehouse and how Gerrod's
life was extinguished trying to save the business Derrick had created. The irony of it all. And then
there were the dreams.everynight they came to her, sometimes good sometimes so horrible she awoke
with tremors. But always leaving the echo in her mind..."I will come back...."

© MB/DB

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