March 23, 2015: The Crown Hill Pet Debacle

Crown Hill Cemetery.

I first came here to investigate claims that the ghost of Zerelda Wallace has been terrorizing Tarkington Park with a Gatling gun.

Now they have sealed off the entire cemetery and surrounding area.

The maze of paved pathways throughout the cemetery has been overrun with the long-lost and passed away pets of the interred.

Ghost cats and zombie dogs, bunnies with moss growing on them and birds dropping feathers every time they chirp.
It’s a grotesque scene, but some how very sweet. The animals sniff out and begin digging into the ground above their owners.

We think it was some of those teenage Satanists. Trying to raise a dead army or something.
We found one of their books and when our resident language expert tried to translate what was written all he found was a dirty limerick about a purple elephant and an old man named Fumpkin.
He read part of it aloud and it turned his pants into leaves.
We don’t know what to do now.

I don’t know what to do either.
I’m sitting at the cemetery gate at Boulevard Place being told over and over again that they cannot let me out without special orders.

It’s just me and hundreds of dead animals.

I’m sitting with my back to emergency crews and all of the other authorities with their hazmat suits and clipboards and expensive equipment.
There was a mother and son in here with me twenty minutes ago, but I haven’t seen or heard them since.

A cold breeze keeps penetrating my calves.
Something brushes my hand.
The clouds part a little above me and I see the sunlight dappling over a semi-invisible cat.
I reach my hand out (hey, a cat is a cat, right?) and feel the cold of its nose and the slight warmth of its head.
It’s a big cat, it’s presence seems to be calming.
In fact, all of the pets here don’t seem threatening at all.

I hear someone chanting in a strange language.
Peeking through the gate I see what must be the language expert trying another spell.
He finishes the spell and closes the book in a self-satisfied way.
The five people around him turn pink and begin laughing hysterically.

I’ve been locked in here for three hours now.
The cat has not left my side.
The more I pet it the more tangible it becomes.
Something tells me it’s my childhood pet.

The other pets are running around, chasing each other, some of the dogs have found bones that they guard and protect with low growls.

Another spell is read.
All of the pets become whole, corporeal.
It’s gruesome. Disgusting.

Animals that have been underground for years, lost in woods, in the stomachs of larger animals…all roaming the ground, totally exposed and festering.

I’m not sure what the emergency crews expected to achieve by blocking off the area with yellow caution tape.
The animals still escaped.
And they were angry.

The cat stood by myself, half-decomposed but seemingly protecting me.
The others ran through and under the gate, or flew off above the trees.
Howls and chirps and blood curdling mews.

The smell hit me before my eyes could make sense of anything.
The overwhelming stench of hundreds of little deaths.

I tried to pull the gate open, but someone in a hazmat suit threatened me back with a cattle prod.

Why keep me in here when all of the animals have already left?

It’s starting to get cold, the sun is shining but it seems like a cruel joke at this point.

I begin walking through the cemetery towards West Dr. Martin Luther King, hoping that enough animals have left so I could breathe in some fresh air.

Walking through the Confederate Soldier’s section I hear gunshots.
I freeze, my heart thumping.
Are they shooting the already dead animals?

I turn back towards where I came from and see a woman there with a giant gun, laughing and pointing at me. Mrs. Zerelda Wallace at last.

I hear the language specialist chanting into a megaphone.
The sky turns yellow and the smell of cinnamon fills the air.

I reach the edge of the cemetery, the police are occupied with two skeletal cockatoos attacking a baby carriage.
I slip over the fence and begin walking away, the cat from earlier following close at my heels.

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