DISASTER . . .
It had to be a joke. Right? This wasn‟t real. It couldn‟t be real. It had to be a joke. A loop of
gauzy spider web flapped at her, tendrils streaming like long fingers.Harley shivered. Fuzzy light from the full moon flirted
behind clouds. She didn‟t want to
believe her eyes, but the evidence lay right before her: a familiar hat and a corpse, feet sticking upout of the ground, the head still under a mound of dirt. A weathered-looking headstone poked upbehind it, leaning drunkenly; thick spider webs strung from the top of it to the bony hands of aplastic skeleton propped up against a nearby oak. It was only forgotten Halloween decorations. Thegrinning head tilted to one side, and a black rubber spider as big as a dinner plate dangled from atree limb. It swayed in the wind and cast eerie shadows over the cemetery. Fog hovered above thedamp ground.It was a scene straight out of a horror movie.
Cemetery Man. I Sell the Dead. Grave Encounters 2.
And the classic,
It was a joke, right? But what if it wasn‟t? What if—
no, it had to be a joke. A prank. Someone
was trying to punk her. Probably Eric to get even with her for the ferret thing. That‟s all it was. A
joke. And yet . . . it looked so real.Harley shook her head. This was ridiculous. Why be afraid when it was just a prank? She took
two bold steps forward. Okay. She‟d play the game, and then she‟d get even. Still, her heartbeat
escalated, and her mouth went dry, and she had to force her knees to bend as she knelt on the dampearth. Her fingers skimmed the turned clods of black dirt. Clumps stuck to her fingertips, and shecarefully brushed them away. Slowly, the face emerged. Her stomach dropped.
It wasn’t a joke.
“Holy hell!” Harley yelped and tried to stand up and leap backward at the same time. She didn‟tmake it. Her feet slipped in the slick mud. Her arms pinwheeled, but it didn‟t save her. She landed
on the ground with a splat and sprawled on her back. Fear and disbelief clogged her throat andmade her heart beat so hard her ribs ached. The urge to run like hell was overpowering. She kickedat the ground to wriggle as far away from the corpse as she could get. Panic set in when she gottangled in clingy filaments of the fake spider web. It clung to her like Silly String. The more shebatted at it, the more entangled she became. Finally, with a mighty yank, she freed her hands of mostof the web.Maybe it was the yank that put her off balance. Maybe not. It felt like she was pushed. Her cellphone flew out of her hand and into the air, and she went backward, tried to catch herself, but herhands skidded in the slick mud, and she slid from the mound and down into a deep hole. She landed with her shoulders at the bottom, her head tilted to one side, and her legs wedged up against the wallover her head. A little dazed from the fall, she blinked a few times, squinted up at a fuzzy patch of light about five feet above her head. As she lay there looking up at the small, rough rectangle of dim light, it dawned on Harley that
she‟d fallen into an open grave.
. Why hadn‟t she paid attention to that little voice inside
that had told her to stay home tonight? Or to Diva? But no. Now here she was in a grave. And noone around. This was not good.She wriggled around and tried to move, but her body only wedged tighter into the soft dirt.Spider web threads still clung to her face and snagged on her hands as she sank deeper into the mud
and muck at the bottom. This wasn‟t doing it. She‟d end up here for the entire night if she didn‟t
figure a way out
and she had to get out. Whoever had left that body might come back. Now she
was certain she‟d been pushed. A sense of urgency prodded her to desperation. She clawed