The Legend of Archibal: The Phantom

He glanced at the grave markers and found some of Mr. Sullivan’s family plots. He wondered if he would find his family graves here as well. His mother was born and raised in this town and so was Aunt Edith. Uncle Obel was from the North so he didn’t expect to find any of his family plots. He couldn’t recall if his father was from here. He could ask his mother, but she probably wouldn’t answer him. Even simple questions about his father she avoided disclosing. He wondered if she despised him that much. He had mixed feelings about his fathers’ wanton decision to leave. Maybe he had his reasons and maybe he was tired of them. His mother had thrown out everything that belonged to his father. Walter was able to salvage the pocket watch and other items, hiding them from her. He recalls the collector mentioning his name. Did it mean anything?

He was about to go back the other direction when he spotted Alden in a distance, standing next to a sarcophagi. He ran up to Alden. “I thought I’d never find you here,” Walter said.

“I was going to wait by the gates but Black Coats kept marching up and down. Sorry about that.”

“Why are we here again?” Walter said.

“Well, I didn’t know if you would believe me so I had to show you.”

“Show me what?”

“My grandfather.”

Walter looked at the stone cold sarcophagi. “You mean his tomb?”

“No, that isn’t it,” Alden winced. “Once a month during this time things come alive. Ghosts. Remember how I told you that strange occurrences happen, as if controlled by magic. Well, a year after my grandfather died he appeared in my room. Ever since then, he comes to me. It is never in the same place. It’s always somewhere different. Last time, I found him here. I know it’s not the best place, but maybe he will appear here again. I’ve looked everywhere else in town and haven’t seen him yet. I wanted you to meet him.”

“How long do we have to wait?”

“Not long I hope. I forgot to bring a lantern. I was hoping you would bring one.”

Walter had also forgotten to bring one and felt stupid about it.

“Has anything strange been occurring at the inn?” Alden said.

“Actually, I saw Gertrude and Mildred being helped by a poltergeist.”

“Really,” Alden was excited about the news. “What did it do?”

“Stir the soups, roast the mutton, and fold the laundry,” Walter said.

“I wish one would roast a mutton in our home,” Alden said. “This year the cabinet doors and drawers in the kitchen won’t shut. No matter how much my mother tries to close them they open back up. She decided to stay in her room.”

“My Aunt has also decided to stay in her room.”

“This time of year is not for the faint–” Alden stopped mid-sentence as he gazed at something behind Walter.

Walter got a little scared. “Is it your grandfather?”

Alden shook his head. “I can’t tell what it is.” By then the sun had sank behind the mountains and the light vanished from the cemetery, covering it in a gloom. Walter turned to see what it was. Whatever it was, it was flying in a tangle black mass, directly towards them. Walter wondered if they should run when in an instant they were attacked by a mass of bats. Walter and Alden yelled and broke into a run. Walter followed Alden and Alden zig zagged through the tombs, going further in the cemetery. The bats engulfed them in their swarm. Walter couldn’t see anything in front of him, separating from Alden. He tried to flap them away which only angered them. When the bats finally dispersed, Walter looked around. Alden was a few feet away, checking himself all over.

“Did they bit you?” Walter came up to Alden.

“I don’t think so, but I guess I will know come daylight.”

“Why would you wait till daylight?”

“See if I have turned into a vampire. They hate the natural light, remember.”

Walter found it amusing, but didn’t dare to laugh. Alden took it seriously. Walter then noticed that the sun had faded away and now darkness covered the land. “Uh, Alden?” Walter was trying to get his attention.

“Did you get bitten?”

“No, but look up,” Walter said.

Alden looked up and saw the night unfolding before him. “This is not good. We better get back to my grandfather’s grave, hopefully he is there.” Then Alden said the worst thing he could have said in that moment. “I have never been in this part of the cemetery. I hope we can find our way back… What is that?” Alden pointed to his left. “Something is moving over there.”

“Maybe, the bats are coming back,” Walter turned to see. He could not define what it was and it was heading towards them, rather rapidly. His heart began to pound. “I see them over there too,” Walter pointed to another direction. Ever where he looked they were surrounded by them. Walter became nervous. He began searching for the ring. When he checked his pockets he couldn’t find it. Walter panicked. What were they to do?

“I don’t think these are bats,” said Alden. They were in trouble now. Where were the Black Coats when you needed them? As the dark shadowy creatures approached them, a low screeching sound came from them. The closer they got the louder the screeching became. They were not friendly. They got closer and closer. Walter swore he saw outlines of angry black faces. They were ready to engulf the boys in a blob of blackness. Walter felt the air being knocked out of him. Horrible thoughts came to his mind. Is this the end?

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