ST. MARK'S CEMETARY
Lebanon blinked and said not a word. He then turned to face the gentleman next to him.
"Uhm, may I ask who are you--that is, if you don't mind?"
The man chuckled and looked at the grave while he responded.
* * *
"It isn't anywhere!" Waverly said, shaking her head. "I was looking at it this morning. Where could it have gone?"
"Someone must have taken it." Ishod said, shrugging.
"But why? It was obvious that it wasn't for the public to read." Waverly said.
"You read it." Ishod sat down and made a tent out of his fingers.
"Yes, but it's an entirely different matter. I'm family, not just another guest." Waverly leaned against a bookshelf, crossing her arms.
* * *
Closing the door right behind her, Germaine Clermont pranced down the sidewalk, rolling a Samsonite suitcase behind her. She had instantly decided to head down to St. Barthelemy that day. Whether or not if it would surprise Lucinda Cain was the question plaguing her mind. Why on earth was all of that "commotion" going on down there? She could not answer the question and, frankly, she had more than enough questions to deal with right now. Stopping at an intersection, Germaine quickly glanced at her wristwatch. Yes, she could make it. Crossing the street, she headed in the direction of the local train station.
* * *
ST. MARK'S CEMETARY
Azariah Clowes stared at the fresh dirt pile in front of him. He frowned and gestured to the rector.
"Name's Lebanon, right?" he asked. Lebanon nodded and stared at the newcomer. Just who was this man? he thought. And then--
"Got any shovels?" The question sent a shock-wave through both Lebanon's body and mind. He blinked and looked horrified at Azariah.
"I beg your PARDON?" Azariah was insistent.
"I said--do you got any shovels?" Lebanon was adamantly disturbed by the very thought. He had a strange sense of foreboding about this.
"ARE YOU POSITIVELY MAD?" he yelled. Azariah didn't even have the courtesy to look at him. Instead he was peering at the new grave.
"NO. But the way I see it Lebanon is that we HAVE a problem. This is the way I see it. 1) You said yourself that this is a grave that isn't supposed to be here. 2) No one died recently (or so we thought) and no one was buried in this cemetery recently either. 3) No one knows whose buried."
"MADNESS! I TELL YOU IT'S MADNESS! Yes what you say is all true--but for asking for shovels--"
"Well, apparently you don't see the most important implication in all of this."
"And what is that?"
"If you didn't bury him, and if you say this tomb wasn't here yesterday, well--I think the rest is obvious."
"That is exactly why I asked for shovels," Azariah turned to face Lebanon with a stone-cold face, "so we can answer THAT QUESTION:..."
"Please, the very thought of...exhuming a body...well..."
"...who is buried here?"
* * *
"I'm thinking that anyone who stole it in the first place, must have disregarded any common courtesy such as whether it was right to read something you're not supposed to." Ishod said.
"How do you mean?" Waverly asked. "You think it was stolen?"
"What else could have happened?" Ishod asked, "There hasn't been any instances recently, to my knowledge, where something disappeared on its own."
A smile crept along the sides of Waverly's mouth, He's right, we need to look at this logically.
* * *
"Abel," Mute wrote on his tablet, showing it to the rest of the group.
"You all are involved, you all have no choice. There were eight that hurt him. There were eight that buried him. As there were eight in the beginning, so there are eight now: Ishod, Waverly, Germaine, Adrian, Azariah, Lebanon, Emilia, and Mute. The eight diminished to one. And now, the eight have been called from the ends of the earth to conclude this. To end this. And there is only one left. The youngest. The fairest. The one with the darkest heart. And my blood calls her name: Lucinda CAIN." As he wrote the last word, he fell to the floor, tablet landing on his chest. His eyes whitened for the second time. No pupils. No irises. Just horror in the faces of the group around him.