Font size: - +
MOMENT 31: GRAVE GARDENING
Cheesy City's burial grounds didn't look much like an ordinary graveyard. A balloon, floated over each grave, with the names and dates of the deceased. The balloons appeared made of cement, despite being aloft. I glanced at one and read it aloud, "Rust In Pieces," while another read, "I'm only sleeping." A third read, "Look Behind You!"
On instinct, I spun around, sword at the ready, but no one stood there besides Pupper-Dog Boy.
He cocked his head. "Did you hear something?"
"No," I said. "...and that's what's most troubling. The oinkers didn't follow us here."
"Maybe they view this as sacred ground?" Jeremy asked.
Inicula scoffed. "Unlikely they view anything as sacred."
"Then why?" Pom Pom asked. "I bet I know why, but maybe I don't. Do you want to hear why, if so just let me know!"
Pupper walked behind me and slid something into my hand. I looked at the rolled up parchment in confusion.
"It's a summoning spell," Pupper whispered. "Keep it safe."
I cocked an eyebrow but shoved the small scroll into my back pocket.
"Is anyone gonna ask me why?" Pom asked again. "I'm sure I know the answer! C'mon, ask--"
"Why?" We all shouted.
"Because some are already here!" Pom pointed to the top of a mausoleum on the far side of the graveyard. My heart sank as I saw several, red-eyed, gray-skinned, Crispy Bacon.
At once the ghoul porks leaped from the mausoleum and stalked toward us.
"Pupper, where's the Grimoire Index?" I asked.
"If I had to guess, in the mausoleum!" Pupper replied.
"Great, so past them." Jeremy held his sword out, swinging it, trying to keep the hissing undead at bay.
"We might as well get this over with," I said.
Inicula, as always, ran in first, swinging her weapon, but these pigs weren't slow like the others, they scattered around her swing. Jeremy poked and prodded at one that with its back turned. Pom Pom thrust her blade, and one jumped over, landing behind her.
"Pupper, we'll hold them off!" I said. "Go get that Grimoire Index!"
He whimpered, looking at the mausoleum, "But I'm afraid of the dark!"
"I don't want you wasting spell power on these ugly things," I argued.
He whimpered again, and I sighed. "Fine! We kill them all, then go in the mausoleum."
I charged a pair of Crispy Bacon and swung my saber at one's shoulder. The blade sank in, and it turned back. It hissed and dove forward, tackling me to the ground. I dropped my sword and held back its snapping jaws.
"Some help here!" I cried, barely able to keep the monster from feasting on my face.
A moment later, Inicula's foot appeared and punted the Crispy Bacon into the fence surrounding the graveyard. It landed on a spike and sunk low, so it could only flail like mad.
"T-Thanks!" I said.
"Need you alive," she shouted as she went after another enemy. "We can't afford to lose numbers."
"Gee, thanks." I rolled my eyes and lifted my saber. A trio of hissing pigs backed Jeremy into the corner. I ran to help him, but Pom got there first, swinging the Sword of Mastertood and severing all three's spines. They fall back, gnashing their teeth, and paralyzed from the waist down.
Jeremy wasted no time in stomping on each of their heads. I looked at the others fighting and saw an opening to run for the mausoleum. I rushed to the iron gate. I pulled on it, and it didn't budge. Frowning I wondered how I could get them open.
"Duh, magnetic!" I murmured.
I took a few steps back and yanked both gates right off their hinges.
"Dark vision would've been nice," I muttered. "But NO, just magnetic powers!"
I felt around the walls and reached into the center of the darkened area. A large coffin sat in the center, but no Grimoire Index, unless of course, someone had placed the Index INSIDE.
"Crap monkeys," I whispered. "Undead outside, and now I get to defile a grave."
Outside, I could still hear the hissing of Crispy Bacon, and perhaps even Inicula. The battle waged on. Sighing, I grabbed the lid of the stone coffin and pushed. It took all my strength, but finally, it slid a bit, then more, until it fell off the coffin and landed hard on the ground with a silence-shattering thud.
"Sorry!" I whispered.
I reached into the coffin and regretted that action right away. My fingertips grazed what felt like an arm. The ancient smell of death alone, nearly made me vomit, but this made my skin crawl. Still, I continued to feel around. I found the skull of whatever kind of ani-man it had been and my fingers slid in its eye sockets.
"Ew! Ew! Ew!" I cried and moved around the coffin.
Just as I decided the Index couldn't be in there, I felt a small plastic box.
"Is this it?" I snatched the object and rushed back to the light.
In my hands, I held a little box. I popped it open, and inside I found a card index. I rummaged through the never-ending cards.
"This IS it!" I rushed to the doorway. "I found the Grimoire Index!"
The scene I found caused my heart to stop. My friends were backed into a corner by the Crispy Bacon, and a tall, robed figure stood in the center of the graveyard. The goat ani-man turned to face me.