The headstone was breathing.
The hand’s needle-like fingers pierced through my skin, injecting me with a venomous dose of fear that feverishly crawled throughout my entire body; crawling like the blood-red ants in the eyes bulging out of the headstone that turned to face me. Fright tried to crawl out of the open grave within my jaws, fighting to escape my body through screams.
The headstone was sobbing.
I was free from the hand’s grasp, but I wasn’t free from the otherworldly horror I was about to face. The headstone rose from the ground as both hands pulled themselves out, unearthing an ancient relic carved in the image of a pale woman forgotten by time, wearing a dress made of red leaves.
The Headstone Lady was born.
Since she was forgotten by it, the Headstone Lady had skinned time itself, wearing its withered skin around the branch-like bones of her distorted body. Her cries were muffled through the overgrown tumor that enclosed her head—a massive growth made of granite—exposing only lidless eyes and black hair that fell down to her uneven shoulders like ivy confirming time’s forgetfulness.
The Headstone Lady took her first steps.
I prepared to strike at her, but Ed wouldn’t move. He kept throbbing in my hands, refusing to harm the Headstone Lady. The bones in my arms threatened to crack and tear through my flesh as I forced him to attack. “I think I’m in love, Allie,” he said.