“7 to 4”

The Caretaker

Day 52

7:00 to 8:00 A.M.

Time claims an old man for the second time in his own home. Its hands and face are covered with his blood and brains.

The Caretaker has bashed an old man’s head in with a clock.

I’m tired.

8:00 to 9:00 A.M.

The undead children in Duck Crossing Park are still playing.

With his sharpened shovel, the Caretaker decapitates their playtime.

I hate this.

9:00 to 10:00 A.M.

The early-bird customers in Lily’s Cafe are picking apart living flesh and bones.

Like a vulture landing on roadkill, the Caretaker’s shovel starts picking apart undead flesh and bones.

When will it finally end?

10:00 to 11:00 A.M.

In the public library, decayed pages are tightly wrapped around reanimated skeletons.

The Caretaker punctuates their final sentences with the sharp end of his shovel.

When will I finally end?

11:00 to 12:00 P.M.

The ghost stories of this city pale in comparison to the ones walking the streets, shambling and dragging themselves past their original endings.

The Caretaker dismembers them into gory chapters without brains—chapters that will fill some of his cemetery’s plot holes.

Halfway through the day. I can do this.

12:00 to 1:00 P.M.

Crunch goes the cereal between the Caretaker’s teeth.

1:00 to 2:00 P.M.

After life beat them to death, the Director was always there to dress the dead’s wounds in his funeral home.

Now, the only thing left of the Director are his words, written in beautiful cursive script on a sheet of paper as white as the three-eyed corpses he left for the Caretaker.

“A bullet to the head

Marked their true end.

Take them, my immortal friend.

I promise we’ll meet again.”

2:00 to 3:00 P.M.

Death doesn’t discriminate—she paints pictures with every color available to her, using every brush regardless of which direction it bends. The mayor of Orchard, New Jersey did the complete opposite. That’s why some of the city’s residents chose to follow Death’s leadership instead, willingly giving up their lives to her. They rested under the weight of dirt after being tested under the weight of oppressive hurt. Now they march.

A rally of the dead marches towards City Hall.

The Caretaker… does nothing. He watches, hoping they rip the mayor to pieces. Then they can all rest in his cemetery.

More bodies for tomorrow. 

3:00 to 4:00 P.M.

The Caretaker returns home with a truckload of corpses. One by one he buries them, feeding them to the giant under his cemetery.

It’s just another day for the Caretaker of Ascension Lawn Cemetery. One by one he buries them, feeding his yesterdays to a giant graveyard of thousands.

Do it all over again tomorrow.