November 22nd, 2011 | Published in Haventon Chronicles
Chapter Four Part Two
After he put the phone down, David sat in his sitting room and considered something he didn’t want to face. He wasn’t sure he’d be able to cope with going to the cemetery for his father’s funeral. He hadn’t been there since the night after Emma’s burial. The night Tanya had taken him there to show him what his beloved sister had become.
The memory of the strange white mist seeping out of the grave and reforming into his sister’s pallid form still made his mouth dry and made his stomach lurch. He still wasn’t sure why he hadn’t panicked – shock probably. Tanya had taken it equably enough, but she was used to this sort of thing. She’d told him they’d been lucky to have a body to bury at all. Emma was a slow turner. Some vampires rose within hours of their apparent death, but others took a few days.
It had been enough to convince him, and once he recovered from the shock, he’d been furious about what had happened to Emma. He’d wanted to free her, wanted to find the vampire who had done this to her, and destroy him before he did it to someone else. That had been the reaction Tanya wanted, of course. She’d recruited him into the Order that day. He hadn’t been to the Cemetery since.
But he really needed to go to his father’s funeral, which meant he needed to face this. He sighed and headed out.
The Cemetery was quiet, and there was no one near Emma’s grave. Silently he walked over, knelt down, and placed a hand on the soil.
“I’m doing the right thing, aren’t I, Sis?” he whispered. “I was so sure, but now I need to know that my certainty was not misplaced.” He paused. There was no reply, of course. She wasn’t there, and even if she were, the vampire she’d become would not want him to kill her. He gave a wry smile – Emma was the last person he’d actually ask about this. He looked at the grave and blinked back tears. “Oh, Emma! I wish you were still here. I wish you’d never met whoever it was that caused this. I- I wish so many things.” His blinking failed, and his tears began to flow freely. Emma’s features seemed to float in front of him, and although he knew it was all in his mind, he could almost think it an apparition, but vampires left no ghosts. Not while they were still undead anyway. All the same he had to stifle a scream when a hand touched his shoulder. He would have sworn no one was close by.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to make you jump, Dave.” Sarah was standing there. “I was just surprised to see you here.
“Yeah,” he said. “I’ve been avoiding it for far too long, but I realised earlier that I’ll have to come to Dad’s funeral. I thought it would be better to deal with this first.”
“You have at that,” Sarah said. “We were worried you’d never accept Emma’s death.”
“It was hard,” he said. “I needed to lay some ghosts first.”
Sarah gave him a long, thoughtful look. “Emma hit you as badly as Martin hit me didn’t it? Damn, our family has the worst luck. Sometimes I think we’re jinxed.” She knelt down and arranged the flowers she’d brought on Emma’s grave. “I’m glad you did this. We’re going to be burying Dad in the next plot.”
“Yes, I thought that was likely. Do we know when yet?”
She shook her head. “The coroner’s still trying to find out what caused it. We should get a temporary certificate later this week. We’ll organise it then.” She stood up and brushed the dirt from her jeans. “Why don’t you come over to the farm for dinner tomorrow evening? My boss says I can have family over any time, and I’m sure he’d be pleased to meet you.”
“The farm?” David asked blankly.
Sarah grinned and brushed a lock of light brown hair out of her eyes. “If you’d kept in proper touch with the family, you’d know I’m working on an organic smallholding just outside town. I have been for a couple of years.”
“You’re a farm hand?” he asked. Somehow he couldn’t imagine that.
“No, silly. I do the office stuff and run the website. Michael’s a total technophobe. But it’s a bit out of the way for commuting, and I still don’t drive, so Michael lets me rent one of the cottages instead of using it for guests. We generally eat together though. Cooking for one is expensive. Will you come?”
“Of course, though, I work tomorrow afternoon, so it’ll be about seven. Is that okay?”
“Sure.” She grabbed a pen and a tattered envelope from her bag. She put the letter back, jotted an address and some directions on the envelope, and handed it to him. “Sorry I don’t have anything better to write it on.
“This is fine.” David glanced at the address. It was a couple of miles out of town, not far from Singer’s Lake. “Damn! I haven’t been out here since we were kids.”
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