Pizza Stories, Deliveries from Beyond
Dennis drove along the dark stone wall of the cemetery and pulled his boxy Scandihoovian through the gate. Ivan's car was nowhere to be seen. He shut his engine and got out. Memorial stones stood silent in the creeping mist.
"Hey Ivan." he whispered.
The only reply, a sigh from a faint breeze. He thought he saw something white under a low, old tree.
"Egad, is that an hericum abietis?" he said, as he stooped under the branches for a closer look. "Yuck! Just a condom."
Dennis walked on. The ground rose before him. Monuments grew larger as he climbed toward the dark trees at the top of the hill, where stood the mausoleums. There was movement to his left. Dennis looked; Nothing. Then a twig snapped to his right. He turned to see two dark forms reveal themselves from behind a shadowy obelisk. They held bludgeons. Their masked faces glowed from the night vision goggles. Dennis turned and ran back to his car. The Backgammon drivers followed. He made it to the car. He moved to open the door. A black glove slammed it shut. Arms pinioned him from behind and spun him until he faced the other spandex villain who brandished his club.
"Give us the check." Came the crackled voice.
"I don't have it," Dennis said.
The Bomber goon lifted his truncheon and smashed the windows on one side of Dennis's car; then said again, "Give us the check!"
Dennis choked out, "I tell you, I don't have it"
He let out a yelp of pain as the one who held his arms gave them a yank.
The driver shattered the rest of the windows and said, "One last time. Give us the check."
Dennis just shook his head and looked down. The bludgeon went up. Then came a call from the top of the hill.
"I have it, why don't you come get it!" It was Ivan.
The drivers left Dennis collapsed by his wreck and ran up the hill. Ivan slipped into the trees. The thugs neared the summit, breathing hard through their masks. They stopped at a granite sepulcher and adjusted their goggles. The trees swayed above them, whispering dancers in the darkness. Then a faint laughter rang from one of the tombs; a laughter too musical to be from a man. One driver pointed and they started to move. The laughter chimed again from farther away. They followed and found themselves in a small clearing surrounded by crypts. Laughter echoed all around them. And from the trees, one at each direction, glided four beautiful women. The most stunning of them approached. She was tall and pale. Her gauzy gown revealed alluring lines. Her jet hair glimmered with dew. She smiled.
"There are four of us and two of you," she said.
The thugs lowered their bludgeons. The ladies laughed. The drivers pulled off their goggles and masks. The four creatures moved in, hands outstretched to caress.
Dennis jumped when he heard the screams. "Ivan! Are you OK?"
There was no answer. Then, "Thank God!"
Ivan strode slowly down the hill. His black cloak billowed behind him.
"God had nothing to do with it," Ivan said.
"Do you have the check?" Dennis asked.
"Yes. I think you can still read it," said Ivan as he proffered the paper. It was spattered with blood.
Dennis blurted, "What..."
"…Let's go to the ATM," Ivan cut him off."
"Look at my car. It's ruined."
"Don't worry about it. It doesn't matter. Mine is over there."
"I told you I didn't want to be the decoy."
"Here." said Ivan, and tossed him a pair of night vision goggles.
"You have insurance of course, don't you?" Ivan continued.
"Yeah but how am I gonna explain this to them?"
Their bickering voices trailed off, faded echoes on the lonely graves.
A chapter from my novel about a troubled driver at a haunted pizza parlor besieged by corporate greed and a curse.