The great beast reared its ugly head and its pale eyes glistened with the silver glow of the moonlight. Rebecca regretted looking back. Her feet stumbled on a gnarled tree branch and she tripped. Her knee and palms skid in the cool earth, but she used the momentum to pull herself forward--digging her bare heels into the mud--and get back up on her feet. Ahead, she could see the ancient grave markers silhouetted against the faintly illuminated cemetery terrain. They stood tall like soldiers waiting for the call of battle. Like soldiers, they were symbols of death.

Rebecca veered off the pathway. Her feet pounded on the grass, which was still wet from the afternoon rain. She slipped again but managed to keep her balance this time, as she brushed her hand against the cool granite of a faded tombstone.

She could see the plot ahead of her. A round, rusty iron bar created the perimeter. Inside, an obelisk shaped grave marker stood proud, surrounded by the tiny rounded shapes of stones marking the graves of children, aunts, uncles, cousins and lesser family members. The stone read, "Matthew Boise 1843-1904 and his wife Rebecca 1860-..."

Rebecca heard the low growl of the beast as it slid on the wet grass, just a few feet away from Rebecca's heels. The beast snapped its jaws loudly. She knew better than to look back at it, now that she only had a few more feet to go.

She placed her hands on the rusty bar and her palms immediately began to itch. She vaulted over into the family plot and the beast slid to a quick stop just beyond the perimeter. As her feet touched the consecrated earth, a horrible sharp pain shot up her spine like flames racing up an oiled pole. Looking back, she saw the beast's eyes flash red and his face begin to transform into a man's just as white translucent wings sprouted from Rebecca's back and the consecrated earth opened up to swallow her back home.

"Her Own Mortality"

Copyright: © 2010 A. Lorelle Rieflin


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