I hadn’t been to see him in a while, the thought of visiting the place where his body lies. The body that no longer houses him, just laying there decomposing. But I could not feel or see him any longer, I knew that it was time to visit his final resting place. I slowly drove around the half circle of the cemetery, I knew the place well. Many of my ancestors were buried here: Aunt Letha, who raised my great grandfather, my great grandfather himself. I could see their shades walking among the tombstones as I pulled my car close to his grave. Stepping out of the car I breathed deeply, taking in the calm and love that was showered on me by my ancestors. I walked to his grave and sat in front of it waiting for him to join me. I waited for what seemed like a long time, he had to be mad at me for not coming sooner.
“PawPaw, I’m sorry I waited so long. Don’t be mad.” I felt a hand on my shoulder, I turned to see the sad eyes of my great grandfather looking down at me. He looked at me and then at the tombstone of his second son as if to say he wasn’t here. I sighed, he was hiding from me. Angry no doubt. Turning my eyes from my great grandfather, I looked once more at the tombstone, “I really am sorry.”
Another hand on my shoulder; soft, feminine, Aunt Letha. I looked up to her but she was staring at the edge of the woods that surrounded the cemetery. I felt her spirit become sharp, angular. There was fear in her touch. I rose to see over the tops of the tombstones, what could have a shade so scared? I followed her gaze to the woods’ edge, standing just beyond the tree line was a tall shadow. Fear gripped me, it was not here for the shades. I continued to stare, I needed to know what this being was. It stepped into the fading light of day and I saw it. The creature towered over the young trees at the edge. I could make out its shape, a strange mish mash of animals: it stood on the powerful hind legs of a kangaroo, on its back were the tough leathery wings of a bat, and finally bringing my gaze to its head I saw it was that of a camel. The fear melted away and a sort of frantic giddiness took its place. This creature looked so odd that, to me, it could not instill fear into anyone’s heart. Then the creature turned its head towards me, our eyes locked. My brown eyes being bored into by its blazing purple ones. The fear surged through the giddiness, I leapt to my feet and ran for my car.
I drove as fast as I could to my temporary home at my grandmother’s. Turning down the long gravel driveway I noticed a shadow standing on the porch, it couldn’t be! But it was, the creature standing outside the closed door of my grandmother’s home. It watched me as I rolled to a stop, headlights shining on it. Its head tilted as if to ask if I would risk leaving my vehicle. I watched it with a terror I had never felt before, nor have I felt it since. It sat back on the porch and continued watching me, daring me to either exit my vehicle or call for my grandmother. I knew that if I called for my grandmother the thing would take her, just as I knew that if I left my car the thing would take me. I had no choice, wait out the creature and hope that come daylight it would leave.
Soon I found my eyes drifting closed, shaking my head I forced my eyes open. I knew if I fell asleep the creature would make its move. But exhaustion won out and I fell asleep. I awoke the next morning to find the creature gone, but deep gauges ran along the side of my door where the thing attempted to get to me. No, not get to me. A show, a warning that stated that it could have me if it truly wanted.