On the way home Charlie dialed her mother. Caroline was frantic with worry over her daughter's prolonged absence. “Charlie dear where are you, are you alright?” She asked, immediately flying off the handle.
Charlie decided it was best to skip over some details, such as lying unconscious in open grave with a strange boy. “Sure mom I'm fine. I stopped by a friend's house.”
“Friend. What friend?”
Ouch, Charlie thought. Was her anti social status really that obvious? Two years ago, she had a whole army of friends, now it seemed she had alienated everyone for the sake of solitude.
“I meant a co worker,” she quickly recovered. She waited for her mom to calm down, before she ended the phone call. Her mother was always the first one to panic.
She pulled into the parking lot of a local 7-11 to pick up the milk her mother had asked for. Her jeans were covered in dirt, blood was dripping from her head. She ransacked Jim's jeep wrangler for something to cover up the gash. The only thing that she could find was a pink baseball cap. Definitely not Jim's style. Possibly one of the fluzies he had dated, she thought jealously. She lowered the brim, so she could avoid eye contact and unnecessary conversation while inside.
Charlie retrieved and purchased the milk without any hassle or raising anyone's suspicion. She was in the parking lot and just about to the car when someone tapped her on the shoulder. She jumped and nearly dropped the milk.
She turned to face the voice. It was the boy from the cemetery. The one who fell into the grave with her. She couldn't recall his name, but you don't easily forget the face of your grave mate. Dark hair, gray eyes, like storm clouds, she had thought earlier while studying him in the gave. He was winded as if he had been running. “Is this yours?” He pulled out an odd necklace from his pocket. The charm on it was unique in style. A green glowing emerald fashioned into a rock the color of col. Definitely not something you'd find at a department store jeweler. “I found this in the cemetery.” he explained.
Charlie rarely told lies, but something about the necklace drew her in. She couldn't tear her gaze away. “Yes,” she took the necklace from the boy. “Thank you.” She said awkwardly, trying to suppress a grin. She waited until she was in Jim's car to clasp it around her neck. She glanced up at the rear view mirror to get a better look. In the mirror, a flash of movement in the backseat caught her eye and caused her to do a double take. Her knuckles turned white as she gripped the steering wheel. Slowly, very slowly she turned around.
A man; old and decrepit sat in the backseat. In spite of his age and seemingly poor health a cruel smile transformed him in dangerous reanimation. She screamed as the figure lunged for her wrapping his hands about her neck. He looked so frail and brittle. He had to be in his nineties, he could have been on life support. Yet here he was stronger than an ox, chocking her with the necklace. Her hands sprawled out on the dashboard in front of her, seeking anything that could have been used as a weapon. She found it in the form of a pen.
Bringing her arm back with brute force she stabbed the man in the jugular. Instantly he released her. She covered her face and waited for the gruesome spray of blood, but it never came. The man simply dissolved into ashes. The pen fell to the floor. She struggled to regain her composure taking shallow breaths. This time when she turned around, the back seat was exactly how Jim had left it. Cluttered with a few papers, but surely no corpses littered the seat. She blinked. Did she imagine it all? Another glance in the rear view mirror would confirm the marks around her throat where the man's hands had been.
With shaky hands she pulled her keys out of the ignition. She was losing it, that much she knew. She opened the door, and climbed onto the hood of the jeep seeking fresh air to clear and calm her mind.