Petal Eaters

Excerpt from forum ((OOC: so forgive typos, they’re IC typos))

Thread: Petal Eaters
Posted 2012/06/28 by malcontent7

Okay. I’ve been on these forums for awhile, and you know I’ve had some things to say about rotters. Makes sense, right? I work in a cem. Im around bodies most days. I kind of have it figured out. But, thing is, rotters aren’t what woke me up. They weren’t my first calling. First time the Messengers came for me it was to kill something that I don’t know what it was. And these things have been bugging me, and I noticed that a bunch of the other people are putting up their first time so i thought I should too.

So, a few months after I started in at the cem, I started noticing that sometimes when families left flowers at the graves, they’d end up missing early. Its my job to pick up the flowers when they get too old, and sometimes one of my coworkers does the same, but we weren’t doing this. And I know it wasn’t us because we kept finding the leftover trash from the flowers in front of this one really old tomb up on top of the hill. I asked my boss about it, because it was weird, but he says don’t worry about it. Probably raccoons, he says.

So maybe its raccoons who just really like that tomb, but that things kept closed tight all the time, so I don’t get how there doing it. I try to let it go, and my boss is really insistant that I do, but I can’t let it go. One night I get a camcorder and set it up to watch that tomb, thinking maybe I can get a good idea about how many of these raccoons there are, and maybe I can do something about it. I don’t like some fucking rats messing with dead people. Isn’t right.

It’s why I hate rotters, right? I hate that something doesn’t let them sleep like they earned.
The coons don’t hit for a couple days, so I keep setting the cam up. One morning I get to work and I see flowers are missing, and sure enough there’s a stack of flower stems and chewed up plastic flags and shit outside the tomb. I get my cam and I check the footage, and I guess id iddn’t charge the battery full because it cuts off right at the good part. I mean total b horror movie stuff where I see the tomb opening and I see something moving inside there and then the footage ends. But, I bet you all see where I’m going: what I was seeing, I don’t know what it was, but it didn’t look like a raccoon. At all.

It was like a hand, a knobby hand.

I was in denial, right? Who wouldn’t be. I didn’t know better yet. So what do I do? I assume it’s like a hobo or something, so what do I do? I make sure I get the night shift, and I go in there with a shovel. But inside the tomb theres nothing. Nowhere a guy could hide. I poke around for an hour, and I got nothing. So Im going to get out of there and Im walking down the aisle towards the gate, and I hear something behind me. It’s like a birdsong, right?

I get to hiding, with my shovel, trying to see whos singing, and I can’t see anybody. I sneak around, and then I see somebody walking between gravestones. I start circling this guy, but, he’s circling too, picking up bouquets. And he’s spiderwalking, almost, like that girl when they released the Exorcist. And part of me is thinking, “That’s not a dude, that’s a dog or something. Maybe it’s some sort of huge rodent, a freak raccoon after all.”

But then it stands up, and it’s tall and skinny, and I get scared. It’s like human, but deformed. All long limbs and joints, and it has a head like one of those aliens from Aliens. I’m not proud, but I hid.

I had the next couple of days off, but I couldn’t stop thinking about what I saw. It scared me, even when iw asn’t looking at the thing, just lurking inside my head. So what do I do? I go back, and this time Ive got this heavy axe that we sometimes use to deal with some old roots in the cemetery grounds. So I’m waiting, and I’m stalking around, and suddenly I’m flatbacked.

The thing was hunting me while iw as hunting it, and it got the jump on me. It’s face, I just can’t even begin to describe it. It’s like, this is what people say a gray alien’s face looks like. It’s like, not a face, it’s a protoface. It has two slits for nostrils and these squinted up eyes like the moonlight is too much for it. But those gray aliens, they always have such small mouths, and this thing had a huge mouth with these floppy loose lips like all the muscles were dead. And two rows of teeth, a flat set like a cow and a sharp set like a dog. It’s breathing in my face, still as hell, and its breath is equal parts rotten yogurt and cheap perfume. It’s staring me down, and I know I’m going to die, and I think I can tell you guys this, but, my pants weren’t exactly clean.

And then it just got off me. It jumped like a grasshopper, and it lands on this obelisk and hangs there like a comicbook superhero, and then it crawls around and down, bending like a snake, these fat fingers and toes gripping like a monkey’s paw, and then it rears back up and I see it’s holding a bouquet of flowers from the grave next to the obelisk. And I’m watching its profile as it begins just pulling petals off the flowers and eating them. It’s just eating the flower petals like chips. Every once in awhile, it pops a whole flower head into its mouth and just eats the whole thing, and sometimes, maybe after it eats one it really likes, it leans its head back and makes that singing keening noise. And I just watch it for like, I don’t know, a couple minutes maybe?

Then it’s starting to crawl along the tops of the graves, never touching the ground, and it’s scooping up bouquets and bunching them under an arm, moving on just its two legs and its one free arm, and it’s just clearing out a section, scooping up all these funeral flowers, and the last thing it grabs is one of those big funeral wreaths, and it just bites it in this way too big mouth, this mouth that just extends like on eof those national geographic videos of snakes eating deers, and it starts to make its way back across the grave tops.

And that’s when I see the axe, and it’s right by the my hand again. And then I see the obelisk, and a moonbeam is on the side. I’ve seen that tomb a lot, and the words on the side were always this Robert Frost poem about death, but this time, it isn’t. this time the obelisk says

The words start scrambling and then it says IT EATS THE DEAD TO FEED ITS CHILDREN. And they scramble again and it says WHEN THE DEAD ARE GONE IT WILL EAT US ALL.

And I know what to do, I grab the axe and get to my feet, and then I’m running at this thing while it’s walking like a waterbug on top of the graves, and I don’t really remember what happened next, but when things came back, I’m kneeling next to the obelisk, and the thing is cut into pieces and there are new words on the obelisk. It says THERE ARE MORE. UNDER THE GROUND. THEY WILL FEED.

And at this point, the words on that stupid obelisk are like, my teachers, and I just flat out ask this stone grave marker, I ask, “What do I do?”

And the obelisk writes, FIRE. So I did. There was a lot of screaming when I poured gasoline into that mausoleum. Something shaped kind of like a child tried to escape. I ddin’t let it out. I’m not wholly proud of that, but in retrospect, I know I did the right thing.

We all know about rotters, but this thing, I think it was some sort of ghul. Maybe one of you knows more about them than I do, but I guess there this type of Arab monster that lives in cemeteries and eats corpses. But the thing is, some of the legends say that there genies trapped in dead bodies and that if they eat enough bodies they get out, like demons. So they aren’t really like the rotters at all, they are more liek a demon possession. So that thing looked like a kid, but there’s no way. So I don’t feel bad about doing what I needed to do.
Anyone else seen one of these things?

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Petal Eaters

Strange Bedfellows darkmonkey13