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The Green Death

by Laura Carlozzi 2 months ago in fiction
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A not so environmentally friendly murder

The Green Death
Photo by v2osk on Unsplash

My sleepy little town had nothing exciting to do, at all. Keeping myself entertained was a chore. I wasn’t much for school or keeping a long attention span. Hence why my nickname was Flit; I flit from one thing to another like a little hummingbird. My story starts the summer after my senior year. I was so glad to be done with school and could not wait till the fall so I could turn 18. I was born late in the year and my parents opted to keep me with my class. I didn’t really have a party in mind so I pulled out a notebook and started scrawling some ideas.

Ravenstock lay directly beneath a gloriously old, well kept dam that loomed like a gentle giant over the city. It was a decent sized town, maybe 150,000 or so, and we had most of the usual things kids could want or need. Last year, the county board elected to build a skatepark to keep the youngsters corralled instead of flying all over the city. I headed to the park now to meet with my best friend Chet. We grew up next to each other, we had chickenpox together, and from then on we were like twins.

As I walked under the midday sun, I tried coming up with ideas. We had exhausted all the usual commercial party spots over the years so I was looking for something new and exciting. As I neared the park, I could hear Chet lamenting about missing some landing he has been working on for the whole summer. “Man, I was this close!” He exclaimed. The person who had the unfortunate role of listener was our other friend Ty. She had come at the beginning of high school, and we hit it right off. Ty, short for Tyara, is medium height, blond, with brown eyes. Chet is tall with red hair and bright, blue eyes. I am the shortest and have long, black hair with cool, gray eyes that give everyone a shock when we first meet.

Ty glanced over with pleading eyes, and cried out, “Save me from this pain!” I laughed as I made my way over and gave Chet a reassuring hug. “I know you’ll nail it next time champ.” He grumbled into the top of my head while giving me a half hearted hug in return. I let him go and was reaching up to give his cheek a squeeze when he leaned back and said, “Oh no you don’t”. I promptly received five minutes of tickling. “Alright you guys enough,” I managed to squeak out. “I need help with this dangon party or I am just gonna forget about it!” Both Chet and Ty looked at each other with serious faces. Ty looked back at me and said, “well that just won’t do.” We started the long walk around town to drop off each friend at home while we put our heads together. Just as we were rounding Chet’s corner, he exclaimed “I’ve got it! You know how we started doing paranormal investigating? Let’s make this party an overnight spooky one at a graveyard so we can practice!”

My mouth gaped open at his genius and Ty gave a solemn nod of approval. “I can grab all the extra tech equipment,” said Ty thoughtfully. I chimed in that I would handle all the camping gear and tents since my family did a lot of outdoor stuff. I had five brothers so we had more than enough. By the time we got to Chet’s house, we had a solid working plan and we all agreed to hammer out the details over the weekend. We waved goodbye to Chet and continued on to Ty’s house. Ty had become like the sister I never had and we linked arms as we strolled along the streets. The lamps were just beginning to glow and it was a very peaceful picture to behold.

I hugged Ty extra hard when we said goodbye at her house and I began the trip back to my house. I lived just under the dam at the edge of the city and I loved it. When it was quiet at night you could hear the lapping of the waves on the far side of the wall. It used to lull me to sleep as a child and was still one of my favorite sounds today. As I rounded the end of my driveway, I couldn’t wait to climb in bed so I could get an early start. We had less than a week and a half to plan this bash and it would be one we would never forget. The rest of the week flew by and as the weekend dawned I had laid out my attack plan. I would make a list of all the equipment we needed and then go search out a relatively hidden cemetery. I wasn’t sure how folks would feel about the topic so I wanted to be mostly out of the way. Plus then if we stayed up extra late we wouldn’t bother anyone. As I sipped my cup of coffee, I began my list, and when it was finished, emailed it to Ty for final approval.

I then pulled up google on my computer and typed in cemeteries near me. Oddly it kept giving me locations over a hundred miles away. I checked to make sure the location option is activated on my system and entered the request again. I got the same response with little difference. After some minutes of checking the computer's connection, I was unable to complete the search. Baffled, I walked downstairs and asked my mom casually where the nearest cemetery was located. “Why on Earth would you want to go someplace so gloomy, Flit?” She shook her head in disgust as she walked away from me, conveniently avoiding the answer.

I rode my bike over to the local library near the center of town and waved to our never aging librarian. I swear she must be made of granite. Our dear ageless keeper of the books also favored the old school way of researching; the dreaded microfiche. I accessed the file labeled city planning and set myself down for a very long day. It was over three hours later when I peeled my bleary eyes away in disbelief. I had not found a single plot of land ANYWHERE. I had thought maybe they labeled it a mausoleum or crypt, but to no avail.

My feet followed one after the other into the bright summer sun; was I dumb? Did I miss something? Am I blind or did I have a stroke to have missed such a large piece of information? Thoughts kept swirling in my head, crashing into my vision, until I realized I had unknowingly walked to my favorite spot above the dam. Down below the water crashed against the ancient stone and peace came over me. In the distance, I saw the mist rising from the water treatment plant and gazed as it formed shapes in the sky. How could this actually be true?

I decided I would ask my dad when I got home. He worked at the water treatment plant and loved everything about geography, especially our city. I swear he memorized maps in his spare time. I walked in the door to find my mom making dinner, when she turned to me and asked, “Flit, can you please set the table? Your father will be home soon and we are having his favorite.” Yum! That meant her famous meatloaf, mashed potatoes, rolls, and corn on the cob. I set about getting all the plates, cutlery, napkins, and finally everyone’s drinks.

When dad got home, everyone clamored to the table and sat down in a hurry. Growing up with five brothers taught me how to hold my own, especially around food. I elbowed my oldest brother away from my rolls and gave him a dirty look. “Mom, Flit elbowed me in the face. Aren’t you going to say something?” He whined. “You are all grown adults and I will not police your squabbles. Figure it out and don’t get my house dirty,” mom called from the kitchen as she was taking out the pie from the oven. I have no idea how my mom found time to feed us all, take care of the house, and work a part time job.

“So dad, I have something to ask you. I was looking for a graveyard, yah know so my friends and I could practice our paranormal investigations, and I can’t seem to find one.” My dad’s fork froze midair and my mom almost dropped the pie onto the floor. They both gave each other a quick glance they thought I didn’t notice and my dad answered, “Honey, graveyards are disgusting, old, and you could get seriously hurt in the dark. Why don’t I see if I can have the historical society lend you access to a house for one night instead? Your mother and I would feel much safer about that option.”

For a second, I was overjoyed to have the prospect of going to a haunted house. Then I realized they had both dodged my question. I opted to play along and pretend that was a great idea and go snooping on my own. This whole thing was getting really weird. “Oh my gosh, could you really dad?!?!?!?!? That would be super cool and so much better!” as I got up to hug him and kiss his cheek. I hoped I laid it on thick to put them both at ease so they wouldn’t worry or check up on what I was doing the next few days. My dad’s face relaxed and he quipped, “Oh sure honey it’ll be no trouble at all. I went to college with the head of the society so it’ll be a cinch.” I feigned as much excitement without going overboard and then scurried off to get ready for bed.

The next day, I called both Chet and Ty, telling them my ever increasingly weird story. They agreed it was beyond strange and vowed to keep silent while we went hunting on our own for the truth. We decided it would be easiest to investigate the night of the party since we would be alone in the house and the parents promised to leave us alone. Chet was going to visit his aunt in the next town over and would try to search the library there for any information. We added a few more things to our list we would bring for exploring and went out shopping.

The night soon came upon us, and we were waiting for Chet to arrive at our oldest mansion in town. It had been built hundreds of years ago by the first people to live in Ravenstown, and was kept in really good shape! I was super happy they were letting us use the space and we promised to stay out of the unfinished portions so as not to ruin the restoration process. As soon as Chet pulled up in his aunt’s car, he hopped out scrambling to say goodbye while grabbing his belongings. “Bye Aunt Mae!” He called over his shoulder while he almost collided with us in the front doorway. “Careful, you lug head,” Ty screeched. Chet slid to a stop inches away from making a human dog pile.

“Sorry you guys, I just had to get here and share what I found. I can’t believe it and my aunt almost mucked it up by calling your dad, Flit. I had to bribe her with four solid weekends of gardening to keep her quiet,” he said breathlessly. We stared at him wide eyed. “Well then, let’s get inside and get settled,” I stated. I looked around me at the darkness expecting someone to jump from the shadows and chase us. We placed all our stuff on the long dining room table and sat on the far end while Chet set up his tablet. The eerie glow from the screen gave me some creepy chills.

“First off, there has NEVER been a graveyard of any sort here; EVER. My aunt and I went back as far back as we could go, which was about two hundred years. Then, we stumbled upon this investigative report on the dark web. Don’t give me those looks, my aunt does this all the time. A journalist came here looking for the same thing we are; kept sending home daily email reports to her family and her boss.

One day they just stopped. No one could reach her by phone or tablet and when they tried tracing her equipment, nothing. It was like she disappeared. Finallly, when the state troopers came to investigate, the city police chief DENIED SHE HAD EVER BEEN HERE.” Chet stopped and took a huge gulp of air. I didn’t think my jaw could drop any farther. Until Chet said his next statement, “The last place any of her documents put her is near the water treatment plant.”

I froze in my seat and felt the room begin to spin. Why would my parents flat out lie to me and be so deceptive? Where did this reporter go? All I knew is we had to get to the treatment plant to find our answers. I looked at my friends and said with much more courage than I felt, “Let’s get started.” We changed into our all black outfits and put on our night vision goggles. We had packs with flashlights, basic first aid kits, and headset radios so we could stay in contact. We snuck out the back window in the kitchen since we greased it to make no noise and faced a line of hedges. We slowly crept along the shrubs until we got to the back alleyway and we headed straight for the dam.

Using the dark and shadows as cover, I noticed the streetlights were oddly dim or altogether out. I shook it off as nerves and continued noiselessly with my friends until we could hear the rhythmic hisses of the plant sounding against the ancient stone of the dam. I motioned for them to follow me through a small back entrance I had discovered long ago as a child. We squeezed between two large pipes and slowly tiptoed down a concrete tunnel. I could hear voices far off and we followed them to see from whom they were coming. As we got closer, I began to hear some of the conversation “…not sure how they expected us to hide this for much longer. She almost discovered it the other day at the library! We need to get these two finished and head on over to the house to check on the youngin’s like the boss asked.”

I realized they were talking about US! I peered around the corner to get a better look and gasped out loud. Two burly men, in nasty coveralls, were dumping what looked like dust and sand into an open pipeline. I gagged when I realized the filament was coming from the urns. No, dear god no, that’s not right! I slowly turned my head to the far side of the room and saw a row of gleaming incinerators. Bile rose in my throat when the truth came crashing down. WE RECYCLED OUR DEAD IN OUR WATER SUPPLY! Suddenly, a shadow fell across me and a familiar voice spoke, though now it was cold as ice, “Well you couldn’t leave well enough alone could you Flit?” My dad whipped me around and his once caring face was empty and cruel. I noticed he had gagged my friends and placed them on the concrete beside him. “Now I have to get rid of you like that nosy reporter. Your mother will be heartbroken; she has lost more than one child this way.”

Suddenly I felt myself being lifted through the air and the only sound that mixed with the hissing of the pipes was our screams of terror as we met our fiery end.

fiction

About the author

Laura Carlozzi

Budding writer looking for a good home platform. Hi!

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