Cover Illustration by Nathan Wyckoff
a publication of Silver Pen
Issue 17 November 2012
The Silver Pen Writers’ Association Presents a Silver Pen, Incorporated Publication
'Magination Magazine Director and Publisher: Sue Babcock Fiction Editor: Kellee Kranendonk Cover Art: by Nathan Wyckoff ’Magination Magazine is a publication of Silver Pen, Incorporation, which is a non-profit organization focused on quality writing and reading. Kids’Magination Learning Center is a division of Silver Pen dedicated to children who are eager to write stories about the fantastic flights of their imaginations. Copyright ©2012. All reights reserved. No part of this publication may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotation embodied in critical articles or reviews. For information contact email@example.com All stories herein have been compiled by Silver Pen, Incorporated under ’Magination Magazine. These are works of fiction. All characters and events protrayed in this book are either products of the author’s imagination or are fictitiously used.
About our Cover Illustrator
Nathan Wyckoff has been an illustrator, painter and writer on the scene for over a decade. Between gallery shows, Nathan frequently publishes illustrations and fiction in numerous magazines, recently being nominated for an AWP Intro Journal Award for his weird poetry. His online illustration portfolio can be viewed at nathanwyckoff.squarespace.com.
by Shari L. Klase illustrations by Nathan Wyckoff
Fiction Graveyard Robbery by Shari L. Klase illustrations by Nathan Wyckoff
Amanda pulled Lily by the hands impatiently. “Come on, let’s go. You’ll miss the show.” Lily sighed in exasperation. “Look,, you make me meet you before midnight. Then you take me to a graveyard. Don’t you know it’s my birthday? What kind of creep show is this?” Amanda grinned with her wry smile. “Exactly! But you are going to miss it if we don’t get there by midnight.” Lily rolled her eyes. “If I didn’t think this was a big practical joke I Page 1
might be scared right now. Midnight at Bethel Cemetery? I must be crazy.” Amanda pulled Lily along. “We have to be inside the gate by midnight or it’s a no show,” she urged, panting rapidly. Amanda rushed Lily inside the gate and then pushed her down near a tombstone. “I’ve got to prepare you.” Then she looked at Lily closely and sighed. “Well, there’s no way to prepare you. You will run and you will scream, but nothing bad will happen to you, Okay?” Lily frowned at Amanda. “Yeah, yeah, whatever. Nothing will happen at all except maybe a couple of your stupid friends will come out in costumes and try to scare me out of my skin.” “You’ll see,” Amanda replied quietly. “It’s almost time.” As the clock of the nearby Presbyterian Church struck midnight, a hush fell over Bethel Cemetery. Suddenly there were white apparitions pouring from each gravesite. An old man jumped out in front of Lily and she fell down on her hands and knees. Amanda scrambled up, laughing hysterically and ran toward other tomb stones. “Amanda!” Lily screamed. The old ghost man spoke up. “Who are you, young lady?” “Lily,” she choked out, barely breathing. “I died a few weeks ago,” the old man told her. “Do you know my wife, Emeline?” “No,” Lily whispered. “Then get out! You’re of no use to me and you’re on my tombstone.” His voice thundered and his boney finger pointed at Lily. Lily scrambled up and started running. But there were pale forms everywhere. A young girl appeared before her. “I was murdered,” she said. “Stabbed right through the heart.” Lily didn’t pause to look. She screamed and ran the other direction. She Page 2
almost ran through another ghostly form; a mother holding her baby. “She was only three weeks old when she died. I couldn’t bear it. I killed myself so I could be with her,” she croaked out. Then she began weeping. “I miss my other children.” Lily backed up away from her, but behind her from the corner of her eye she could see a leering face. “You don’t belong here! Leave us alone!” Lily’s heart beat faster and faster as she looked for a way of escape, but she could no longer see the gate she had entered in. She gasped for breath and forced herself to slow to a walk, unsure of where she was in the graveyard. “Amanda!” she yelled. “Over here,” a voice shouted. She ran to the voice, dodging ghostly figures, some old, some young, some even little children. “Where is my mother?” one cried. Finally Lily saw Amanda. She grabbed onto her with trembling hands. “What is this? Get me out of here,” Lily said shivering with fright. Amanda laughed. “Told ya so. It’ll be over in a minute.” It was then that Amanda and Lily saw her; their former friend from school. Only, she wasn’t a real live being. She was a ghost. She put out her hands toward them, imploring them. “Help me. I don’t belong here!” she moaned piteously. Amanda went white as a sheet. Lily spoke quickly. “Lucy?” she asked. Lucy nodded. “Yes.” “But it’s impossible. You’re alive. I saw you yesterday at school.” Lucy cried out. “You saw her! She put me here. I don’t belong here. You must make her come back. I want to go home.” She reached out her hand and grabbed Lily’s necklace. It snapped in two and fell upon the ground. Then Lucy vanished with all the others. Again, a hush settled over the graveyard. Amanda and Lucy fell to the ground in fright. Amanda, who had been in total control until a minute before, was Page 3
now speechless in shock. “Amanda! What’s going on? Why was Lucy Keyes here? How did you do it?” Amanda regained her feet and pulled Lily out of the graveyard as rapidly as she had pulled her into it ten minutes before. Once outside the gate, she breathed a sigh of relief. She sank down on a bench. “I didn’t do it. It happens this way every year. I’ve been here before.” “You mean you’ve seen ghosts before in the graveyard?” Lily asked in astonishment. Amanda nodded. “The first time I was scared like you but after that I had to come back. Something seemed to draw me here. Someone brought me here like I brought you and they told me about the graveyard. On December 12th, at 12 midnight every year in this place the people buried here come back to life for twelve minutes. I didn’t believe it either, at first, until I saw for myself.” “But Lucy?” Lily questioned her. “I swear, Lily. This is the first time I have ever seen Lucy Keyes here.” “Do you think she’s dead? I mean, did she just die today?” “I don’t think so,” Amanda said softly. “As far as I know, they have to be buried here to come alive again and Lucy was in school yesterday.” “She grabbed my necklace,” Lily said abruptly. “Did any of the others ever touch you before?” Amanda shook her head. “They can’t. At least I didn’t think they could. They’re not of our world. But Lucy said she doesn’t belong here. What did she mean?” “I don’t know,” Lily answered, “But I want to find out.” # The next day in church the two girls sat quietly for a change while the Pastor spoke. They were both thinking the same thing. Why was Lucy Keyes sitting two pews in front of them when she was in the graveyard at Bethel Cemetery? Lily had goose bumps. Amanda was white as a sheet. After the service, neither one of the girls wanted to speak to Lucy but something led her to them. Page 4
“Well, you two look white as ghosts,” she said, studying them. “What’s the matter?” “We were up late last night watching scary stuff,” Lily spoke out quickly. Amanda elbowed her. “On television,” she added. “Was it a true story?” Lucy asked. “About girls that disappear in the graveyard.” “We have to go,” Amanda interjected with surprise. “See you at school?” “Sure,” Lucy nodded casually. The girls pulled away and out the door and whispered conspiratorially. “She knows something,” Lily said. “How could she?” Amanda asked. “She wasn’t at the graveyard last night, I mean not in her real body anyway.” “Well, maybe her ghost body told her about us.” “She can’t have two bodies,” Amanda scoffed. “There can’t be two of her.” “Then who’s in the graveyard? Or who’s here with us?” Lily asked forebodingly. Without even realizing it, the girls had headed toward the cemetery. Even though it was day, both girls hesitated as they neared the gate. “What are we doing here?” Amanda asked. “I want to see that grave,” Lily said with determination. “How will we find it?” Amanda sighed. Lily looked at her. “My necklace.” The two girls searched the grounds around the tombstones. Each remembered the apparitions they had just seen and shivered. Then Lily suddenly came to a halt. “There,” she said, picking up the sparkling heart that had fallen upon the ground. The tombstone in front of them was massive. It had two figures that looked like gargoyles carved in stone on either side of the tomb. “Whoever she is, she must have been rich,” Amanda said with a whoosh of Page 5
breath. “She’s not Lucy Keyes,” Lily said. “It says Baroness Louisa St. Clare.” Amanda gasped. “She died two hundred years ago. Why was Lucy in the grave of a baroness?” “When have we even had a baroness around here?” Lily asked. A voice chuckled from out of nowhere. Both girls jumped. “Sorry to startle you girls,” Old Man Carter apologized gruffly. “I heard you talking. That Baroness is the most famous person in this cemetery. She came from New England, married some baron over in Europe. After he died, she married a lawyer in our town. She was supposed to have been a witch.” But he laughed. “I never believe half the stories I’m told about this graveyard. I’ve been caretaker for thirty years and I’ve been told some wild stories. Some people even say the cemetery comes to life sometimes at midnight. I’ve been here plenty of times at midnight, and I’ve never seen any specters.” He eyed them curiously. “Have you?” “Stranger things have happened,” Amanda said quickly, before Lily could reply with her usual honesty. # “Amanda, how long has it been since we stopped hanging out with Lucy?” Lily asked reflectively. Amanda drummed her fingers on her desk. “Let’s see. Has to have been more than a year month, close to two, maybe.” “And why did we stop hanging out with her?” “She changed,” Amanda said thoughtfully. “She seemed weird.” “Yeah,” Lily agreed. “I remember you said she didn’t seem like the same old Lucy. There’s something else I remember, too. Do you remember Boomer?” “You mean Lucy’s dog? Gosh, yes,” she laughed. “He used to jump up on me every time we were over at Lucy’s place.” Lily nodded. “Then one day he wasn’t there. I remember asking Lucy, ’Hey, where’s that adorable mutt that’s so annoying?’” “Yeah, I do remember. It was crazy. Lucy said her mom had gotten rid of him. He had started growling at Lucy, and Lucy said, ’I told my mom to put Page 6
it down.’ But her mom gave him to Lucy’s aunt.” “Lucy loved that dog,” Lily said in a subdued tone. “I remember thinking at the time that Lucy seemed kind of cold getting rid of Boomer like that.” Amanda nodded. “Lucy wasn’t Lucy. The reason why Boomer growled at her was because he didn’t know her. He didn’t know her because she was Baroness Louisa St. Clare.” “That’s crazy!” Lily exclaimed. “It’s not. That old caretaker said she was a witch. I’ll bet she’s spirit jumping and has been doing it for a long time. ” “Two hundred years?” Lily asked. “I think so. The thing is what can we do about it?” “The ghost Lucy said ’Bring her to the graveyard.’ She grabbed my necklace. None of the other ghosts touched us, did they?” Amanda shook her head. “No, I don’t think they could because they’re Page 7
dead.” “Then Lucy’s not really dead. She’s stuck. We bring Louisa back to the grave on December 12th and Lucy gets her body back.” “Louisa won’t go back to the graveyard, knowing what could happen to her,” Amanda said with a sigh. “Maybe we can trick her into going,” Lily suggested. Amanda’s eyes widened. “How do you trick a witch?” “With some magic of our own,” Lily said with a smile. # There was no mistaking Lucy had changed. The more time the girls spent with her, the more they realized this wasn’t the same girl. The new Lucy didn’t like movies, sports or chasing after Troy Bensen. The old Lucy teared up over most chick flicks, loved soccer and had an enormous crush on Troy. However, the new Lucy was crazy over fashion; something the old Lucy didn’t care about at all. Luckily the girls had nearly a year to formulate the plan and in that year they could gain back the friendship of a certain Miss Lucy Keyes alias Baroness Louisa St. Clare. In the week before December 12th, Amanda and Lily became more and more nervous. What if something went wrong? What if they couldn’t hide their true intentions from Lucy? “I thought you both had disowned me,” Lucy said to them with an inquisitive look. “Disowned?” Amanda asked. “I think she means we dumped her,” Lily explained. “No way,” Amanda denied. “We thought maybe you felt differently about us.” “After all, so much about you has changed,” Lily added. Amanda threw her a look. “Well, we all change,” Lucy said with that calculating look she often used. “Exactly. Amanda is changing. She’s another year older, so we’re planning a Page 8
birthday bash for her, and it’s going to be amazing. You’ll come, right?” Lily asked. “When is it?” Lucy quizzed her. “Next Saturday,” she replied, trying to sound casual. “Aren’t birthday parties usually a surprise?” Lucy asked. “Oh, this one is going to have lots of surprises,” Lily told her. As the two girls left Lucy’s house, Amanda spoke quickly. “Do you think she realizes the party is December 12th?” “If she does, I hope she doesn’t connect the date with the graveyard. She can’t know that we know anything.” “Fingers crossed,” Amanda said thoughtfully. # The party was still going on at 11:30. Amanda had gotten permission to host a slumber party so nobody was the wiser. There were three other girls beside her, Lily and Lucy, hopefully to throw off suspicion. Lily looked at Amanda nervously. “Okay, guys. We are coming to the surprise part of the party and no surprise is complete without blindfolds,” and she pulled out five long scarves. Lily tied them on each girl, while explaining. “We’re going to have a game of Blind Man’s Bluff. This game is going to be even crazier because none of you will know where we’re going, except me. I’m the host, and besides, I have to drive,” she laughed. She herded all the girls in the car, carefully sitting Lucy between her and Amanda. She pulled in before the gate of Bethel Cemetery. It was quiet and calm. Chills made Amanda and Lucy shiver. The girls in the backseat were chattering but the three girls up front were strangely silent. Lily broke the silence. “Now, rules are: Nobody removes their blindfolds until I say so. I choose the first “Blind Man”. Blind Man keeps her blindfold on, of course. We, others, hide and she tries to find us.” Lily led the giggling girls from the backseat and the still silent Amanda and Lucy. She wanted everyone near the grave of the baroness. She would choose Lucy as the blind man, and she’d be near enough to the grave at Page 9
midnight for the real Lucy to claim her body back without Louisa even knowing it. “Now,” she said loudly, as the chimes began to ring ominously, “I choose Lucy Keyes.” Everyone but Lucy removed their blindfolds as the apparitions began pouring out of the graves. For an instant the three girls in the dark stood stone still. Then screaming began as they realized the truth about the graveyard. They ran helter skelter, leaving only Lucy, Amanda and Lily standing frozen in their tracks. Bedlam had broken loose. Louisa stood with her blindfold on, still as death. Lily and Amanda stared at her. Then Louisa began to laugh. “You girls are such idiots! You think I could be fooled by your stupid schemes. I cherish this date and celebrate it every year, and not for Amanda’s birthday. This year I celebrate it particularly because while you were planning my demise, I was planning yours.” Louisa suddenly removed her blindfold. “Why you two look white as the ghosts in this graveyard,” she said with a grin. Then she grabbed Amanda and pushed her at a ghostly girlish shape that was standing at a nearby grave. “Amanda, this is my daughter, Rachel.” Lily stood open-mouthed in terror as she watched her friend’s visage change from one of trusted friend to evil enemy. Amanda’s ghostly spirit fell into a pile near the tomb of Rachel St. Clare. “No!” Lily shouted as she jumped on Louisa and wrestled her to the ground. Louisa screamed in rage, and in a moment, Rachel, in the form of Amanda, threw herself on Lily. But Louisa had fallen too near to her own tomb. The real Lucy flew upon her and regained her body. Louisa shrieked and returned to the grave. Lily and the real Lucy grabbed Rachel and flung her back on Rachel’s grave where Amanda’s spirit regained her own form again. The three girls fell backward as all the spirits instantly whooshed back into their graves. It was 12:12. Time was up! Lucy, Lily and Amanda hugged each other. “Thank you,” Lucy said tearfully. Page 10
“Well, this has been one heck of a birthday party,” Amanda said with a sigh. “I wonder where all my guests have gone.” “One thing’s for sure, I doubt they’ll accept any more invitations from us,” Lily said with a smile. “This birthday was almost my death-day,” Amanda said, “I’m sure glad you both were in time to save me. I don’t think I’d like a year in that grave.” “No, you wouldn’t. I should know,” Lucy added. “Now, let’s all go home. I don’t want to ever set foot in this graveyard again until I’m really dead.” THE END
AUTHOR BIO: Shari L Klase is a writer and poet who especially loves fantasy for its ability to entertain and enlighten readers. She believes real adventures always begin with the imagination. ILLUSTRATOR BIO: Nathan Wyckoff has been an illustrator, painter and writer on the scene for over a decade. Between gallery shows, Nathan frequently publishes illustrations and fiction in numerous magazines, recently being nominated for an AWP Intro Journal Award for his weird poetry. His online illustration portfolio can be viewed at nathanwyckoff. squarespace.com.