Lazarus Hill: A Short Horror Story
On their way home from a football game, cheerleaders, Ash and Hailey, walk through the Lazarus Hill cemetery. But their walk is cut short by a couple of belligerent boys and a horde of undead...
Ch. Ch. Ch. Ch. Ch. Rivers of dry red, yellow, and orange leaves crunch beneath the athletic footwear of two high school cheerleaders, Ash Anderson and Hailey Peterson. Ash is a dark-skinned, muscular girl with long black hair, two beautiful brown eyes, a brawny facial structure, and a deep voice. Hailey, on the other hand, has completely different physical features. She is a light-skinned, thin, and rather frail girl with curly blonde hair, a pair of dark blue eyes, small facial features, and a soft, sweet voice. Though, they’re both wearing the same white cheerleading outfit stating the word, “PHOENIXES,” in big, bold, and red letters as well as a red and white ribbon in their hair. Additionally, Ash and Hailey both bear the same personality. They both have an attraction for vigorous football players, take pride in their education, an addiction to anime, and both bear the mind-knives of traumatic pasts.
“Did you see the way Tyler looked at you when he jogged over to the sidelines after scoring his second touchdown? You know what he was thinking?” Ash asks.
“No, what was he thinking, Ms. Ash?” Hailey responds with a touch of sarcasm and curiosity.
“He was thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, look at Hailey’s body, it's straight fire! She’s looking so damn fine with her beautifully flowing blonde hair and her rosy, red lips; I could just mwah, mwah, mwah.’” Ash makes kissing noises as she grabs ahold of Hailey.
“Get off me!” Hailey yells in a jokingly manner.
The two friends giggle and cease their banter for a moment as they squeeze through the iron bars of a towering gate bearing the name, “Lazarus Hill,” in rusted and warped lettering. Silence grows around them like an inconspicuous gas. The wind desists its blowing. Chipped tombstones form an army. Birds stop chirping. The girls continue their conversation.
“You think he likes me?” Hailey asks.
“Oh, he definitely low-key likes you. I mean, who wouldn’t! You’re beautiful inside and out.” Ash responds.
“Thank you, Ash; it’s cheesy as hell. But I appreciate it. Though, I have to say, I wouldn’t mind licking the greasy, sweat off his body after a football game.”
“Okay, forget everything I just said! You’re a freak!”
Ash and Hailey begin to howl with laughter and the snapping of a branch can be heard off in the distance.
“Ash, what was that?”
“I’m not sure, Hailey. Maybe we should turn back and just go around the…”
“AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.” Three boys scream as they appear out from behind a nearby weeping willow tree.
“Jesus Christ!” The girls yell simultaneously.
“What the fuck is wrong with you, Craig. You and your little posse scared the shit out of us. We thought you were…” Hailey says but is interrupted.
“You thought I was what?” Craig, a husky young man with dirty-blonde hair, asks.
“Nothing. Just forget it.”
“What do you Three Stooges want anyways? Have you come to Lazarus Hill to take a couple of hits, then run home and play a little Fortnite?” Ash says.
“Listen here Ash, what my friends and I are doing in Lazarus Hill is none of your damn business. That’s number one. Number two, why don’t you shut the hole beneath your big-ass nose before I rip off your lips and use them as a sock puppet. You big hairy man.”
“I’m not. A man.” Ash says through chattering teeth while clenching her fists tight enough to leave bright-red indents in the palms of her hands.
“What’s your problem, Craig?” Hailey says.
“Problem? I have no problem. Except the fact you like to spend time with this man, when you could be spending time with a real one, such as myself.”
“Ash is not a man; Ash is a woman? Show some respect! Do you have any idea what she’s been though?”
“No and personally, I don’t care. No woman carries a banana and two oranges between their legs: you’re born as either a boy or a girl. You can’t just change your mind!”
“You’re an idiot, Craig. And you always will be. C’mon Ash, let’s just leave.” Hailey says, grabs one of Ash’s shaking hands, and leads her away from Craig and his friends.
“Woah, woah, woah!” Craig runs over to Hailey and grabs her by one of her wrists. “I never said you could leave!”
Craig, let go of me.” Hailey yells while trembling.
“Let go of her, Craig. Right. Now!” Ash says while pushing him away from her.
SMACK! Craig slams one of his knuckles into Ash’s face, causing her to twirl like a spinning top, and fall to the hardened earth. Soon after, Craig’s body-builder friends rush over to her side and begin to repeatedly pound her body with their fists like a pair of jackhammers. As Ash becomes a punching bag, Hailey’s screams fade. But Craig’s voice is as clear as day.
“Let me show you what a real man feels like.” Craig says in a seductive tone of voice, ripping open Hailey’s uniform like tearing the wrapping off a present. Hailey attempts to push him away, but his strength is too much for her to handle. She falls to the ground. Closes her eyes. The world grows dark. Everything fades. But the pressure of Craig's body is soon lifted.
FWOOOOOOSH! AAAAHHHHHHH! SNAP! CLACK!
"Ash, what are you doing? Stop it!" An unfamiliar voice echoes behind closed eyes.
FWOOOOOOSH! SSSSHHHHHTTTTT! AHHHHHHHH! GET AWAY, GET AWAY! THIP! THIP! THIP! AAAAGGGGGGHHHHH! HHHHhhhh!
Hailey can hear the sound of a distant and loud sigh. Then, suddenly, Ash's voice pieces her ears and she can feel her trying to pick her up off the ground.
"You can stand up, Hailey. It's alright. I won't let them hurt you." Ash says.
Hailey stands, but is hesitant about opening her eyes.
"Hailey, it's okay. You can open your eyes."
Hailey does as Ash says and is baffled by what she sees. Standing a couple feet in front of her, is Craig. Unlike the last moment she has seen him, Craig is quaking like a flimsy building during an earthquake. One of his hands is covering his blood-speckled mouth and face. His eyes drift back and forth like a pendulum. His black and orange Five Finger Death Punch shirt is tie-died in blood. Flesh fragments are sticking to his leg hair like some strange mixture between meatloaf and raspberry jelly.
Sickened by the sight, Hailey peers around Craig and sees his missing friends. A little ways behind him, laying up against an oak tree, is the mutilated body of young man. Not too far to the left, is another young man who's laying dead as well, except his neck is misshaped to look like an extension spring. Eventually, Hailey turns to look at Ash to confront her about her actions and is surprised when she discovers her eyes are glowing a neon green.
"Wha... Wha... What... are you?" Hailey is barely able to utter the phrase.
"I'm your friend, Hailey. I'm different in more ways than you can possibly imagine. But I will always love you and you will forever be my best friend. I did what I had to to protect you and I would do it again in a heartbeat." Ash pauses for a moment. "If you trust me, then take my hand, and let me rid the world of this man."
For a moment. Hailey doesn't do anything, but turn toward Craig again. She stares as he continues to shake and plead for his life.
"Hailey, please don't, you don't have to do this. I... I'm sorry, I will never do it again. You're the last girl I will ever try to..."
Before Craig can finish his sentence, she places a hand in Ash's.
"Do it." Hailey says through a stream of tears.
"As you wish, bestie."
After making this statement, Ash makes fists with her hands, and closes her eyes. A flash of green glow begins to burst around her, appearing as a singular colored form of the Northern Lights. In a matter of minutes, countless greedy, grey arms erupt out of the ground, clawing at the clouding sky above. In a matter of seconds, a horde of undead, bearing glowing green eyes begin to walk the tombstone aisles of Lazarus Hill. Without hesitation, Craig becomes Godspeed and attempts to escape the labyrinth of dead mothers, fathers, and children. But his efforts to run are pointless.
"Where are you going, Craig?" Craig looks down and becomes frozen with shock.
"Sheryl? I... I... I..."
Sheryl, another one of Craig's recent victims crawls with one arm toward his left leg. But he remains as still as a statue; thus, giving her the chance to wrap her arm around his left ankle, digging her yellowing nails into his skin.
"Shhhhhhhhhhhh! It will be okay, Craig. I'm not going to hurt you. I just want to know what a real man tastes like."
"AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Get off of me, get off, get off, get off." With a few kicks and swivels of his feet, he's able to escape Sheryl's tight grip. But not the grip of a hungry horde. They quickly surround him and he becomes the main course of an eating contest.
As Craig squeals and is skewered like a wild boar, Ash and Hailey stares at the massacre taking place near them for a minute or two. Then, Hailey turns toward Ash.
"Can we please leave, Ash?"
"Of course we can, of course."
The two exit the way they came, and before long, the undead return to their graves. Craig and his friends' bodies are never found. A few weeks later, another young man goes missing in the small town of Morton, Connecticut. The beloved, the praised, and the gifted Morton High School star quarterback, Tyler Dawson has gone missing during an afterparty. He will be missed, but not by Ash Anderson and Hailey Peterson.