Gutteral Screams resumes with a tale of three teenagers going out for a good time. In a mausoleum. Because that always works out well in horror stories.
Graveyard Grunge by Morgan Boyd
Dried leaves crunch under feet as a sickle-celled moon slices through the fogbank, casting a yellowish tinge across gray tombstones.
“Can you two stop making out long enough to crack the Four Loko?” Charles asks after the two teens sprawled out on a dirty mausoleum.
“Wish you hadn’t guzzled all the Natty Ice last night,” Hal says after removing his pierced tongue from Mercedes’ mouth, and the alcoholic energy drink from his safety pin covered backpack.
“Might still be some backwash,” Charles says, tossing a nearby half-crushed Natural Ice towards Hal.
Hal feigns a swig and draws from a vape pen before shotgunning the fumes between Mercedes’ lips.
“Check it,” Charles says, hopping off the sepulcher and unzipping his leather jacket.
“Fuck yeah, Johnny Rotten,” Hal says, using the flashlight on his IPhone to see the image on the T-shirt.
“Sid Vicious, dumbass,” Mercedes says. “Even I know that. I got a razorblade if you want to make it look legit.”
Charles cracks his Four Loko, jumps atop a thick gravestone, and tries keeping his balance while chugging the Taurine and malt liquor. When the can is empty he belches, hurling the aluminum container against a large white tomb.
“Toss me the paint. I’m bored,” Charles says. “I’m not watching you guys bone down in the graveyard again.”
“Shut up,” Mercedes says, lobbing the red acrylic aerosol can.
Charles catches and shakes the canister as he skanks to the large white tomb.
“That crypt wasn’t here last night,” Hal says, scrolling through pictures on his IPhone.
“God you’re dumb,” Mercedes says, and kisses Hal.
Charles sprays an oval shaped anarchy sign on the tomb.
“Huh?” Charles asks as an old woman with long white hair and a flowing white gown appears.
Droopy sunken yellow eyes swirl above a sickly leer, revealing needles for teeth. A pink earthworm-looking scar circles her neck.
“Holy. Shit,” Mercedes says as the old lady holds a hatchet over her head.
Charles drops the paint can as the old woman grabs his wrist. Hissing, she swings the ax. Charles blocks the blow with his free hand, losing three fingers in the process and spraying blood across the old lady’s face.
Hal and Mercedes jump off the sepulcher and dart down a row of gravesites as Charles’ screams echo behind them. Unable to locate the cemetery gates in the fog, the lovers collapse against a tombstone near a willow tree as a loud hiss fills the air.
Yellow eyes glow in the darkness. The old woman in white, spattered in Charles’ blood, appears through the mist, raising the hatchet over her head. Hal and Mercedes scream as the blade swings down.
A deafening sound thunders through the graveyard, and the splintered hatchet clatters against a nearby gravestone.
A stranger, holding a shotgun against his left shoulder, steps out of the fog. He wears faded blue jeans and a brown shirt with green stripes. A white long-sleeved thermal under the T-shirt is pulled up to his elbows. Lengthy tangles of blonde hair obscure his face.
“Back away from the teens, spirit,” he says in a deep voice, pumping the action.
The old woman hisses, lifting Hal by the neck, and ripping out his right eyeball with her razor sharp teeth. A bloody geyser erupts from Hal’s socket as a shotgun blast reverberates through the necropolis. No trace of the old woman remains except a bloodstained sheet, tangled in the branches of the nearby willow tree.
“Is she dead?” Mercedes asks, placing the palm of her hand against Hal’s eye socket to slow the bleeding.
“Yes,” the stranger says. “But not by my hand.”
“But she’s gone?”
“For now,” the stranger says.
“Guys? Where are you?” Charles yells through the darkness.
“Over here,” Mercedes says.
“What happened?” Charles asks, appearing out of the fog.
“This guy saved us,” Mercedes says. “Charles, take off your shirt. Hal, call 911.”
Mercedes cuts the Sid Vicious shirt in half with her razorblade, using a strip of fabric as a tourniquet for Charles’ hand.
“Bitch got my eye,” Hal says.
“Hal, I need you to call 911,” Mercedes says, tying the other half of the shirt around Hal’s face.
“Lost my phone.”
“I found my fingers on the ground,” Charles says, opening his good fist to reveal his digits. “Maybe they can reattach them. Where have I seen this dude before?”
“Sit down, Charles,” Mercedes says. “You’re in shock.”
“I’m serious. He looks like that guy on all those shirts at Hot Topic. Didn’t he die in the nineties?”
“The dude who hung himself masturbating?” Hal asks, trying to focus his one eye on the stranger.
“Not that guy. Fuck. What’s his name?”
“Who cares,” Mercedes says. “He saved our asses. Mister, you got a phone?”
“He’s that dude from that band. I know it. People say he faked his death.”
“You’re mistaken,” the stranger says with a chuckle, racking the gauge as a cold breeze flutters his long blonde bangs to the side, revealing a gruesome hole where his face should be. “Just didn’t want the old lady having all the fun. Especially when it comes to mall punks.”The fogbank snuffs out the yellowish light from a sickle-celled moon, and darkness envelops the gray tombstones as a thunderous chorus reverberates through the graveyard.