For Whom the Bell Tolls

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Just one of four frightening tales to enjoy! For Whom the Bell Tolls- Join Rose as she tells the warm hearted and sincere tale of love, life, lost- and death from beyond.

William Schumpert
Age Rating:

1 of 4 ghastly stories in Vault of the Ghouls Volume 1

So you’ve come to hear my story then? Well- won’t you gather around? And please don’t be shy for I can be a very generous host. But it should be warned that my story is not of ghastly tales of ghosts and ghouls- mine is a tale of tragedy and prevalence, of a broken heart and of redemption. So if you came for one of those “horror stories” I’m afraid you’re all out of luck. But you are still more than welcome to join the rest of us in our merry tune. But my goodness- what kind of a host would I be if I did not properly introduce myself? Please forgive my rudeness for I must have gotten carried away in my storytelling elements. Well without further delay my name is Rose- not just any rose pray tell but I am indeed a tombstone, one that belongs to the late Edward Kellings who once lived a few miles away from where he rests, in that old retirement home- oh what was the name of it? Well whatever the name was Mr. Kellings soon found his new home in my sweetly fertilized dirt- finely aged and cared for by the finest groundskeepers that I have ever been acquainted with. But as rich as my fertile is and as exquisite my resting place can be I cannot help but feel unfortunate for the poor Edward and his ultimate demise.

A story all too common among the living and the deceased Edward Kellings was born into a wealthy family and who in turn inherited the vast amount of riches from his heirs after attending the most admirable schools and universities money could buy. He graduated with the highest of honors and took over the family company that led the industrial march of wealth and power. That wealth as one would presume would lead to a life of self-happiness, luxury, lust and betrayal when he lost all of his shares after his fifth wife divorced him. Perhaps three times was not a charm for the poor man and his quench for true love, and a pity as well that he never considered that his jealous and greedy grandchildren would lock him away in the confined prisons of retirement unknowing they were too busy investing his hard earned fortune and business on the very elements that led him to the shackles- the unfortunate circumstances of such a tragic demise. But fortunately for Mr. Kellings his torture was shortly lived when he died of heart failure one cold night in September. I could remember it like it was yesterday- his extravagant coffin was laid to rest in my freshly prepared burial site as I could feel the anticipation of being host to one of the wealthiest men in the graveyard- and such a handsome man at that, even at the final age of 78. Yes one hostess could never be as fortunate or lucky as I, for I laid host to the bell of the ball, the duke of the land.

How lucky could one say? To start the funeral was extravagant- hundreds flocked from thousands of miles to see Mr. Kellings be laid to rest; such an amount I would dare say that I nearly blushed by the number that I saw on that beautiful autumn day. The leaves gently danced its harmonic rhythm for all to see as it gave wake to the magnificence of nature unfold for the final time before the piercing darkness of winter’s chill. And as the preacher gave his testimony and the people shuddered over their loss I could feel the warm comfort of the glorious sun bask upon my finely crafted stone, just polished the morning before. The chiseling of Mr. Kellings’ name along with the dates and attributes came with their pains but they were all worth it to be where I am at this moment. Following the ceremony was indeed my favorite moment of this wondrous occasion as those hundreds who gathered slowly came to my side and bestowed the most glorious roses and penny winkles to decorate my elaborate resting place. Oh it was surely the most wonderful day that I will always treasure for as long as I stand.

Following the funeral service I thought all would go downhill now that Mr. Kellings has been put to eternal rest but to my delight dozens would come by each day with more flowers to lay at my feet as my atmosphere seemed to give them a comfort knowing that the departed are now in peace for all time. It was always every once in a while that a naughty child or adult would come and steal a bouquet or two in broad daylight- for if I had the legs I would chase after them- but others would come on later days to lie more flowers where the others were absent. Others would gather to remember the other residents of the gravesite but they would always be struck in awe at the size and magnificence of my resting place- the kind hearted Edward Kellings can truly rest in peace knowing that he shall be remembered and adored in my ground as cars would slowly drive by to have a look at the tombs and the names engraved, but Mr. Kellings always stood out above the others as I glistened in the sun light and sparkled in the rain drops. Oh life is just so glorious for a gal like me- who ever said diamonds are a girl’s best friend never knew compassion or appreciation. To be host to Mr. Kellings has given me so much meaning and satisfaction in my lonely days in the graveyard.

Before I was Mr. Kellings’ permanent residence I was a lump of shagged gravel about to be scraped for some deserted highway, never to be adored or taken care of by human hands- just a dull piece of a giant stretch into nothingness. This nightmare would have come true if it weren’t for the brilliant tactic of the crewmembers of that concrete industry. My creator decided instead to expand into creating tomb stones for the dearly departed, or rather the richly departed and only the finest in quality would be used. How fortunate for a gal with such looks as I- one of the first to be shipped into creation and my expectations were far greater than expected. It was during my proud chiseling that I swore to an oath for my creator and the one who I would care for as they depart from this world- I would do anything and everything to assure the highest of quality. Not one person or thing would come in my way in providing the richest satisfaction in my presentation to the deceased. It was an oath I swore to after I was offered my salvation from being more than just a mere scrap of highway and it has been since that time that I am glad to say the oath has not been broken.

Yes naughty children will come during the day and steal some of my precious bouquets as I watch in devastation but they don’t always get away with it- that mischievous young boy about a week ago sought to make a get away with over a dozen red roses that were laid in honor of Mr. Kellings donations to find a cure for spinal damage but he never intended that a slight thrust of the tree’s root would cause him to trip on his back- it would seem cruel but I almost jeered at the irony of how the lower part of his spinal cord snapped like the pedals of the bouquet as they both fell plummeting to the hard ground; the squeal of pain and the touch of agony came from both as I found myself satisfied that his harmful actions have been put to rest. Now every time someone comes to see him in that shallow grave site a few yards away they’ll remember to heed caution on committing such a devious scheme- next time be careful what you wish for because you just might get it.

But even a sin such as stealing flowers from a grave can easily look like child’s play compared to the monstrosities I’ve encountered. It was on a casually cold and dark night that I found myself illuminated once more by the magnificence of the moon’s reflection as I began to hear footsteps and the crackling of leaves. It was slow and uncertain at first but the sound soon became louder as it began to approach, step-by-step and moment-by-moment. And the closer the noise came the better I was able to see those no good hoodlums who were up and about at this wearisome time of night. But much to my surprise I did not catch the view of grave robbers from the beam of moonlight but rather it was Susan and Derek, the daughter and son of Edward Kellings. What on earth would they be doing here at this time of night wearing nothing but black- unless they’re intention was to… Oh dear no. Did they truly wish to deprive the poor old man of his last belongings? A man who has known nothing of tenderness and love throughout his unfortunate advancements to achieve the foundation of success through hard and endured labor cannot, must not let his only family of flesh and blood rob of his final resting place. I simply wouldn’t allow such a cowardly fate be attempted, not on my soil! For it was the other night that a fellow grave robber attempted to steal Mr. Kelling’s hard earned achievements but justice prevailed as I swept the mighty branches of the nearby oak tree into the inner skull of the thief as the rain poured from the heavens and the blood soaked from his skull- the taste of it was sweetly accepted into the soil as the water mixed within, creating a rich concoction to help enrich the ground’s structure. Funny that he came to steal from my crop but instead helped to improve its strength- and that robber who attempted to chisel my very foundation for fast money a few days before? Instead of getting his fast money he received a fast thrust through his spine, not expecting a chunk of rock could be harmful to his health. They all made others paid the price for their sins and I’ll be damned if they don’t pay for their own!

And it would appear that they came prepared for their excavation- hard hats, flashlights, rope, backpacks and even guns. Just how deprive are the children of an unfortunate soul? That they would stoop so low to do away with all of his earnings and achievements in life? I partly blame Mr. Kellings for not showing discipline to those miserable children- those egotistical, self centered, heartless beasts. How dare they assume the throne of God, to make the choice of life and death for a man who gave you the gift of life itself; such miserable cowards- greed is all that controls their heartless soul and if greed is all they want then greed is all that they will ever know.

Here they come- thinking they were ever so clever sneaking around the tombs and shadows not realizing they would pause every now and then, cautious to not be caught. The soil was trough upon and that foul stench of the spoiled fertile rose in the air as I saw them creep further. But what could I do to stop them? If I were to kill them off they would be sent to Hell not learning their lesson- oh no I couldn’t do that, not for the kind hearted Mr. Kellings and is fine resting place. I could never do such a horrible thing, and so I decided to let the dear Father do the teaching.

How surprised Susan and Derek were that night as they were thrusting their shovels into the grave and found they didn’t have to go very far- Mr. Kellings was very glad to rise up for them. His degraded corpse rose to join the world of the living once more, though not as handsome as he was- his skin dead pale and melting like wax heating on the candle, his eyes beginning to fall from his bare sockets as his once extravagant funeral suit collected the dust of the departed and lay waste to holes and cobwebs. Perhaps the children screamed from his horrifying appearance but it was echoed once more as he reached out to grab their greedy little arms and thrust them towards his resting place. They screamed and they struggled but like children they soon learned their lesson as they were forced into the ground. As I saw them lowered head deep into the grave and heard the suffocation as their lungs could not succumb the soil that entered their horrified mouths I could not help but notice the irony that the rain fall brought a few moments later. The rain is always such a wonderful miracle- it brings strength to the ground and renewal to life. How rejuvenating it was to feel the sensation of the water falling on my surface- and much more satisfying knowing that I am now the proud owner and protector to the deceased Kellings family. No other tomb in the entire world could say that they give host to three people at once!

So now that you’ve heard my story and our joyous party do be sure to stop by and be amazed at the magnificence that waits. But do be warned- I am a stubborn girl but I can also be a protective one. If you do wish to harm the Kellings or myself you will have to match wits with a gal who will be more than willing to invite you to join my company, so how you wish to enjoy the view is entirely your choice. Either way you shouldn’t hesitate to observe a sight I guarantee will be an event you will never forget…

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