“It didn’t work?!” Jessica shouts at me as we’re sitting outside, eating lunch. “What do you mean it didn’t work?!”
“I poured the stuff over all of the graves, and no one came back to life,” I say simply. “They are all still dead as doornails.”
“How do you know that they’re all still dead?” Tyler asks me. “I mean, they are buried. How would they get out?”
“I . . .” I pause. How would they get out? I think about it for a minute but come up with nothing. It seems like a simple question at first, but it’s not when you get down to it. “I . . . I don’t exactly know,” I finish lamely.
“Are we gonna dig ‘em up?” Shana asks excitedly. “That would be so much fun!” Her smile is huge, showing her uneven teeth.
“Umm . . .” I just trail off. Nothing to say about that subject pops into my mind.
“Yeah,” Tyler says. “We dig them all up and see if they’re alive!” Her teeth are uneven, too. “That would be so much fun!”
“I don’t know about that, guys,” I say nervously. “This could end really badly for everyone, not just us.”
“It’s settled then,” Jessica says, completely ignoring me. “We’ll meet up at the graveyard tonight and dig them all up.”
“I . . .-”
Tyler rudely cuts me off. “That’s an awesome idea!” Tyler’s eyes light up even more. “This will be so much fun!” she shouts again.
“Umm . . . Guys-”
Now Jessica cuts me off. “Shana, you bring . . . well, uh . . . nothing.” Jessica pauses for a moment and before she can speak again, I cut her off.
“Shut up and listen!” I have their full attention now. “I don’t think this is a very good idea anymore.”
“Why not?” Jessica says, crossing her arms across her chest. “Are you scared?” She’s now making her annoying “baby voice”.
“Well . . . I do want my grandma back. I really, really do. It’s just that . . . I don’t think this will end very well. I mean, something could go terribly wrong!”
“Nothing’s going to go wrong,” Jessica says. “We’re going to do this with or without you. It’s your choice.” And at that, they all get up and stroll away, glaring at me for basically no reason. I do notice that Tyler hesitates, though.
I can’t sleep. The agony of knowing that something will go wrong is killing me from the inside, out.
I lay there and stare at the ceiling. Water left over from a rain shower a few nights ago leaks through and drips into a bucket. Drip! Drip! Drip! The sound is slow and maddening.
Should I go after them to make sure they don’t get killed? I wonder. Yes. The word doesn’t come from my own head, but it sounds right anyway. I hop out of bed, slide on my shoes, and head out the door; not making a single sound.
The night air is pretty warm for fall, but there is a wind chill that ruffles the leaves, making strange sounds. I shiver in my shear pajamas out of both fear and cold air. I can’t see them yet-it’s simply too dark-but I can hear the shovels hitting the dirt. I run up to them as fast as I can, hoping to stop them before it’s too late.
“So,” Jessica says, tossing me a shovel. “It seems you have decided to join us. Better start helping.” She smiles slyly. “We’re doing your grandmother first.”
I don’t answer anything in return as I walk over to the hole. It’s deep already, way deeper then I would’ve thought. Shana and Tyler are down there digging. The dirt comes flying out and hits me in the face. I brush it away and look back into the hole. I can see a wrinkly arm sticking out of the dirt. Tyler gets down on her hands and knees and brushes the dirt off of my grandmother’s face. Grandma still looks dead.
I jump down as Shana and Tyler climb out. “Oh, Grandma,” I say. “Why on earth did you have to die?”
Her chest still doesn’t move. I start giving her mouth-to-mouth. “Come on,” I say in between breaths. “Breathe. “Breathe!” I don’t stop doing it. “Please breathe.” A tear slides down my face and I groan at my wimpiness.
I stop. Grandma has started to slowly move. First she blinks her bloodshot eyes. She moves her head from side to side, her necking cracking grotesquely. She sits up, knocking me off of her old, frail body, and smiles at me. Here lips are dry and her teeth are already rotting. Her eyes seem to be glazed over and one of them is falling out of her head. The short hair on her head is wispy and obviously wasn’t brushed when they buried her. The skin on her is also pale and veiny. She has black blood on her cheek. I grimace at the very sight of her. When they tried to bring her back to life, they sped up the decomposition process.
“G-grandma?” I ask nervously. “I-is that you?”
Grandma opens her mouth to answer me, but only a loud moan escapes her lips. She starts to stand up slowly.
“Grandma?” I ask again, horrified by her appearance. “W-what are you doing? A-are you alive? Grandma? Answer me! Grandma? Grandma?” My voice is only a little squeak now. “Grandma, what are you doing?”
She doesn’t answer even once. Instead, she starts walking towards me in what little room we have in the hole. I slowly back away. Fear suddenly strikes me when she doesn’t stop, doesn’t fall over because of lack of muscles; just keeps on walking towards me. I am now up against the dirt wall. Only my grandma and I are in the hole which means there’s no one to help me.
“Help me!” I scream into the night even though I doubt anyone will hear me. “Help me! Help me! HELP ME!”
No one answers my calls. I can only hear Grandma’s moans and strange metallic sound. Suddenly, a shovel comes flying out of pretty much nowhere and hits my grandmother in the chest, knocking her straight to the ground. I look down at her and there is a dent in her ribs.
I turn around a look for a way out. Another shovel hangs over the side of the hole, the pointed part facing down at me. I grab it as hard as I can. It cuts my hands and causes them to sting. Using the shovel as I rope, completely ignoring my bloody hands, I walk up the wall. My hands leave bright red blotches on the shaft. I climb over the side and lie on my back. Shana, Jessica, and Tyler stare down at me.
“What have we done?” I ask them with concern once I can breathe again. “What are we going to do?”
“I threw the shovel,” Shana says, completely ignoring my important questions. “I really did throw it.” She smiles a dopey smile.
“How did you know when to throw it?” I ask, trying to have a conversation with her even though it probably won’t work.
“I didn’t,” Shana replies. “I just really like throwing stuff.” She squirms around and smiles gigantically.
“Uh-huh,” I say. I turn and look at Tyler and Jessica instead. “What are we going to do?”
Tyler ignores me and stares off into space. “We brought the dead back to life,” she murmurs. “We brought the dead back to life!”
“Okay,” I say, wanting someone to answer me. “What are we going to do, Jessica?! We brought the dead back to life and now they’re going to kill us! What on earth are we going to do about this?!”
“The real question is, what are you going to do about this,” Jessica says simply. “I would really like to know.”
This makes me ultra mad. “What am I going to do?” I ask, stepping towards her. I smile, and realize that I am starting to lose control over myself. “Why would I be the only one trying to fix this mess?!”
“B-because . . . well, you were the one who did this.” She motions to the hole that contains Grandma.
“No!” I shout. I have completely lost control. “You did this! If you hadn’t gone exploring, then you wouldn’t have found the serum! And if you hadn’t found that serum, you wouldn’t have made me use it! And if you would have heeded my warnings, well, then no one would ever know about this and we all could’ve lived happy, happy lives! But no . . .” I leave the sentence hanging in midair for I am too angry to say anything more the idiot that is my friend.
“It was supposed to be a gift,” Jessica says back coldly. “We knew that you wanted your grandmother back, and we were just trying to help you. I mean, you just seemed so sad. We had no clue that anything like this would happen. We’re just sorry that you didn’t get your grandmother back after all.”
The part that hurts the most is that they’re sorry for doing this to me. They’re never sorry about anything. They weren’t even sorry when they broke my wrist six years ago.
“I . . . I . . .” I don’t have anything to say in return.
“We’re sorry,” Jessica repeats.
“We truly are,” Tyler says, joining into our conversation. “Sorry, Eva. These things just happen sometimes.”
Another tear slides down my cheek. I am flooded with emotions. Anger at them for doing to my grandmother, not letting her just rest in peace. Solemnity because of the fact that they’re sorry and I yelled at them so meanly. But mostly confused because I have no idea what we’re going to do.
I turn and walk away from them, not wanting them to see me crying so hard. Even though I don’t make a note of it, I notice that the case if gone from where I left.
I wobble all the way back to my house. I used to think that it was safe, but it’s definitely not anymore. I sob under the covers until morning comes. And even then I don’t stop crying.