Posted Oct 31 2011 - 07:05 PM
The moon shone overhead as Macku made her way home from the party. She slowly trudged down the sidewalk. The wind blew through the branches, making an eerie rustling noise. As she continued she happened to pass by the graveyard. She looked out over the dark, shadowy maze of headstones and tombs. She let out a small shudder. Even when she passed by it in the full light of day, it still gave her shivers. This particular cemetery was home to a number of criminals who had been executed when the Matoran first came to Spherus Magna. That had been long ago. Macku shook her head to clear away the fear. She was about to start walking again when a sharp, jagged noise broke through the night. It was the horrible squeal of a rusted hinge. The Ga-Matoran’s head swiveled to look at a large and crumbling tomb. Macku watched in wide-eyed fear as the tomb door began to move. Slowly it began to swing open, and its rusted hinges shrieked like banshees. Pieces of cement crumbled out of the doorway. Then Macku saw it. A skeletal hand reaching around the door. Little bits of dry, stringy flesh still clung to what was mostly bone. Slowly, whatever was inside began to emerge. It was little more than a skeleton, its bones rattled with every step. The massive, silvery skull glinted dully in the moonlight. The teeth were huge and pearly, and formed a grin on the ghoul’s face. Macku was able to identify him as a Skakdi because of it. A ragged, moth-eaten cape clung to his shoulders. He looked out at the world with a set of empty, cobwebbed eye-sockets. The creature casually looked around the graveyard. He started moving forward, and Macku watched as he stretched his limbs as though he were waking up from a long sleep. Then, a second figure emerged from the tomb. She was a Vortixx, and she looked as though she had once been beautiful. She was much taller than the skeleton, and still retained most of her flesh, though it was grayed with rot and her figure was emaciated. Her hair was a tangled mess, and Macku could see little worms writhing in it. She still had her eyes, but they were horribly bloodshot and slightly sunken into their sockets. Dust fell off of her long eyelashes as they blinked. Her skeletal companion turned and looked at her. “Good evening, Roodaka. You look great, especially for a dead woman.” To Macku’s surprise, his voice was not as deteriorated as his body. In fact, it sounded quite lively and lyrical. The tall Vortixx stuck her crumbling nose contemptibly in the air. “I know what you want, and I’m still not going to do it,” she said. Her voice also sounded as though it came from a live person as opposed to a corpse. It was actually quite soft and beautiful, but the words cut like a jagged knife. “Please,” the Skakdi asked in an almost groveling manner, “We only get to come up here once a year. Won’t you please do it?” The Vortixx walked away from him and sat down on a nearby stump. The Skakdi slumped his shoulders sadly, then shrugged. Suddenly he looked up. He turned his head to look at a nearby grave. What happened next astounded Macku. Something began to crawl out of the ground. It was wasn’t digging out of the ground, but coming out as one would emerge from water. It was another corpse, belonging to a Po-Matoran. Macku’s body tensed up with fear. She recognized who it was. The stone carver who made gravestones. He had died a year ago. “Good evening Ahkmou,” said the Skakdi, “How are you feeling on this bright autumn night?” The stone carver’s face, though rotted, still retained the same bitter, melancholy expression it has worn in life. “Dead,” he replied in his cold voice. He finished crawling from the ground and sat down on his headstone. Moments later, all the other denizens of the cemetery began to emerge in a similar fashion. They crawled forth from their resting places and stood up. Some of the rotted corpses began to mingle with each other as though they were at a party.Suddenly the loud screeches of a violin echoed throughout the graveyard. It played solo for a moment, but was then joined in by several more violins, as well as the rest of a phantom band. It was a waltz-like tune, both eerie and beautiful at the same time. Macku looked around frantically, but never spotted its source. She watched as the cadavers began to dance in time with the rhythm. All the while, more rose up from the ground to join in. A few, such as the Vortixx, did not. Currently she was sitting on the stump and looking bored. Macku watched as the Skakdi once again began to approach her, his maniacal grin shining in the moonlight. He bowed in a gentlemanly fashion. “Pardon me madam,” he said, “May I have this dance?” The Vortixx turned away from him, but he hardly seemed to notice. “You know I’m going to keep on asking until you do it,” he said cheerfully. The Vortixx still ignored him. Macku then saw a deteriorating Steltian make his way over to the two of them. The Ga-Matoran saw a look of disgust come across the face of the Vortixx. It seemed even more hateful than the glare she gave to the Skakdi. “Hello Roodaka,” the Steltian said in a deep voice, “I was wondering if you would care to join me for a dance?” The Vortixx’s decaying features sneered. Her clawed fingers suddenly shot out and wrapped around the Skakdi’s arm. “Come, Vezon,” she said as she stood up from the stump. They walked away from the Steltian, and Macku saw the Skakdi grin triumphantly at his opponent. The Vortixx and the Skakdi took up dancing positions, and began to waltz throughout the graveyard. Their joints creaked and groaned as they spun about, and dust flew off of the Skakdi’s cape and drifted in the rays of moonlight. The Skakdi grinned warmly at his companion, but the Vortixx never returned his friendly manner. She didn’t even look at him as they danced through the night. Still, more and more corpses were rising out of the ground. They danced either alone or in pairs, but they all eventually joined in. There were far more than the cemetery was capable of holding, leaving Macku to wonder where they were coming from. She was both frightened and amazed by the ghoulish sight. They leapt about in the pale light of the moon, laughing and singing with delight. Macku noticed that the music became louder and more dark the longer it played. And as it did so, the dancing became more wild and sporadic. The corpses whirled about so fast and so erratically that Macku saw several limbs fly across the graveyard. The creatures leapt about from tombstone to tombstone, and even tried to clime the dead, twisted trees that grew between them. Macku then saw the Skakdi and the Vortixx dancing upon the roof of their tomb. She watched as their loose, bony forms teetered unsteadily on the cracked shingles. The tarnished bits of their armor glinted dully in the moonlight. Macku held her breath as she watched. It seemed that at any moment, the wildly spinning pair would fall off. But they never did. A wild shriek suddenly pierced the chilly air. Macku looked to see a decomposing Matoran pointing to the east. A faint light was emerging from beyond the horizon. The others instantly froze, becoming so still that Macku found herself wondering if they had ever been moving at all. She felt an unnatural stillness in the air. Then, all Karzahni broke loose. The corpses began to scramble around the graveyard, diving back into the earth. Macku spotted some scooping up their detached limbs as they darted around each other. The dancing looked as though it had become a chaotic war. But as the sun continued to creep over the horizon, there were less and less cadavers in the graveyard. Eventually it came down to two, the Vortixx and the Skakdi. “That was fun,” said the Skakdi as he opened the tomb’s door for the Vortixx. The morbidly elegant creature sighed at the grinning skeleton. “I suppose so,” she said begrudgingly. Macku watched as the two went back into their tomb. With another shriek, the door closed, leaving Macku to live the rest of her life with something she would never be certain as to whether or not it was a dream or a memory.