Can a dead man reach out from the grave to exact revenge against those responsible for his death? Welcome to installment number 33 of a story that explores that possibility. If you've not done so, read the story from the beginning HERE.
George clinched his fist and bellowed, "What do you mean? Smashed open from the inside? Impossible!" He sat down at the edge of the grave and slid into the earthen pit. Steve positioned himself between the grave and the small group.
Tiffany was staring in the direction of Hunter and the suddenly attentive Catherine. Bemused, she nodded. She knew Hunter had been seeing someone. She never guessed that it would be a sweet and innocent girl like Catherine Cooper. She wasn't hurt or angry that he had found comfort in the arms of another woman. In a sense she felt relief, if for no other reason than it justified her own infidelity.
Tears were forming in her eyes once more. Jack, poor Jack was lying back there dying. She couldn't bear to look upon him, impaled on that pickaxe. It was strange, she thought, how she had been using him like she'd used others, only to fall in love with him. She wasn't sure just when she realized she loved him, but it didn't matter. For the first time in her life she was in love with someone who also loved her. The tears were becoming more difficult to control. It was too painful too accept that now she was going to lose him, forever.
David could tell that it was time for his part in the drama by the silent message in Steven's eyes. They were rolling to his immediate left and back. He studied the man's eyes to make sure Steven was in fact signaling him. When Steve's eyes moved for the third time David returned the gesture with his own eyes.
Steven's eye movements had indicated where in the grave George was located and David shouted to him, "Face it, George. Eddie's ghost escaped from his own grave. It was Eddie who caused all those accidents. It was Eddie who killed all those kids."
George shouted angrily from within the pit, "Nonsense. There's no such things as ghosts. Nobody can come back from the dead."
Undaunted David spoke again, "Eddie came back. He came back to exact his revenge on those responsible for his death."
George propped the shovel against the earthen inside wall of the grave and pulled himself up and shouted, "It's me! It's me who's exacting revenge around here, not some imaginary ghost!" He began to pound on his chest with one hand while holding onto the gun with the other. "It was me who caused those accidents. I killed the bastards who killed Eddie!"
David ignored his tirade, "You're a ghost aren't you, George? After all, you came back from the dead, did you not?"
George seemed to relax somewhat at David's question. "Ha, ha! Right you are. I did, didn't I?." He began to laugh again and uttered, "Boo!" Then he began to laugh the laugh of a mad man.
"It's a strange feeling coming back from the dead, isn't it?" David knew that George would soon grow tired of their banter. He was nibbling at the bait that had been cast before him, but it was time for him to start fishing in earnest. "I know. You see, I've come back from the dead too!"
George stared at the brash young man for a moment. He was tired of the game. "Just who in the hell are you?"
David grinned and rested his hands on his hips and replied, "Don't you know, George?"
"I've never laid eyes on you. How would I know?"
"There happens to be three empty graves up here, George," he said pausing only to watch his reaction. He raised his arm and pointed and continued, "There's Eddie's grave behind you. Then of course, there's your grave."
George chuckled, "Alright wise guy, that's two. The third ...?"
It was time to play the trump card David thought. He extended his hands and made a motion as if drawing something to his chest, "That would be my grave ... Right next to your grave ... Dad!"
Standing to the right of George, Steve was shaking his head. He was trying to signal David to back off. George could snap at any moment. To think that his son David had not died might be too much for him to swallow, too much for him to accept. Was David forgetting that George was holding a gun?
He sensed the tension among the others. He'd felt their angry glares from the moment he'd sided with George. He couldn't blame them though. After all, for all they knew he had indeed betrayed them. It had been Sam's idea that he gain George's confidence. It was a dangerous game he'd been playing.
He glanced beyond where they were gathered. In the dim moonlight seeping through the clouds he could see that they were gone. He drew in and exhaled a deep sigh of relief. Maybe, just maybe he'd be alright.
"NO!" George cried. "David ... My David drowned in the quarry that night."
"They never found my body," David exclaimed above his protest. "I was never in the water!"
"I ... I saw your shoe ... and ... your cap ..."
David almost felt sorry for the man as he began to blather. He was quick to quash any pity for this man. "My shoe and cap, yes. Me? No. I was safe in Sam's car."
"Lies! It's all lies!" he countered. He was at the breaking point. He raised the pistol and released the safety. "You are not a ghost. You are not David! David is dead!"
David tensed. George shoved the pistol into his midsection and squeezed the trigger. The retort shattered the quietude of the winter night.
(to be continued ... Echoes of Eddie-34)