Chapter Seventeen: Me, you and a dead body

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                                                                                Annalise

Apprehensively, Eugene led Annalise behind the church past the array of broken down gravestones, and towards the newer more modern ones. Annalise's eyes skimmed over the rows and rows of stones, as she bit her lip. Which one was hers?

She noticed Eugene watching her speculatively and she wished she could just wave away his concern for her. But she couldn't. Her hands were shaking, yet she continued to follow him down, making sure not to step directly on any of the graves. Without words, Eugene finally slowed to a stop in front of a white marble gravestone in the shape of a heart.

There were a few flowers dotted around it, and weeds had begun to grow into the grave stone itself. Her lips trembled as she knelt down to read what was on it.

                                                                   Annalise Redwood

                                                   Beloved Daughter, Sister and Friend

                                                               Taken From Us Too Early

                                                                 25/2/1994-26/8/2015

Her hands skimmed over the black letters, gently caressing each one. She wondered how many times her mum had been in this exact same position. How many times her brother had to comfort her, and dry her tears.

Annalise looked down at the ground, she couldn't look at it any longer. Her lips pursed tight together, in an attempt to stop a sob from breaking free. Detached, she noted the sound of Eugene shuffling behind her, and felt more than saw him kneel beside her.

She looked up at him, scrunching up her face to stop the tears from coming.

"Are you sure you want to be here when I...." he asked, the 'dig up your grave' left completely unsaid. But she knew what he meant anyways. Jerkily, she nodded her head, standing up and backing away from her gravestone.

Eugene watched her for a few moments, still on his knees before he too, nodded in affirmation. He faced the headstone itself, and muttered a few words under his breath. His hand ghosted over the stone for a moment, with a gentleness that seemed beyond him. 

Before he viciously tore into the ground with his bare hands. His hands ripped up the mud with such a speed they were only blurs to Annalise. She watched with morbid curiosity, as within moments Eugene had dug a six foot hole.

It would be impressive, if he wasn't digging up her own grave, she would be in awe of him and his vampiric powers. The situation definitely put a damper on things. Curiosity overcame her, as she unintentionally stepped forward, dodging the clumps of mud and grass Eugene was flinging over his shoulder.

There was a muted 'thud' of his nails hitting wood, and Annalise gulped. There was a pause as Eugene glanced over his shoulder at her, looking towards her for confirmation. She nodded, licking her lips anxiously.

He waited another moment before jumping out of the hole. She peered over his shoulder to see a plain wooden coffin. It was beginning to rot at the edges, and mould had started to form over the top. It was almost surreal. Here she was, staring at her own coffin. Inside it was her own dead body.

Eugene leaned down on the ground, stretching as hard as he could without falling back into the hole, to open the coffin. With a gentle tug, it wouldn't open. So Eugene grabbed the side nearest him and heaved, the muscles in his arm straining.

It opened with a loud 'pop' releasing a stagnant smell of damp wood, mixed with mould and fresh mud. She crumpled her nose from it, turning her head away as if she could avoid it. Even being dead didn't stop the stench from making her wince. Annalise had to wonder how Eugene was dealing with it so well. She expected him to say something, anything really. There he was looking at her dead body, not saying a word.

Widening her eyes, she turned her head back to the hole slowly, peering into it to see.. Nothing. There was nothing.

There was absolutely nothing in the coffin. No trace of her body even having been there. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Nothing. "Eugene?" Annalise called, her voice shaking as she knelt down beside him.

"Where's my body?" Eugene was staring into the space where her body should have been, impossibly paler than he had been before. He blinked hard for a moment, and reopened his eyes.

"What the fuck." He uttered to himself, he seemed almost more affected by this than she herself was. Which just isn't fair, because this was her own dead body. And where was it? Annalise began to giggle, her voice verging on the edge of hysteria. She placed her hands over her mouth to stop the laughter from growing into sobs.

"This is insane! What the hell even happened," she cried. She felt the cool ice of Eugene's hand against her shoulder as he patted it, awkwardly.

"We'll find out what happened Anna, okay. Let me put this-" he said, gesturing with his over hand to the dirt piled all around them, "away and we can go home," Home. That sounded nice to Annalise, right about now. The faster they could get there, the better. Almost as if in a trance, she stepped away from her empty grave and allowed Eugene to get on with it.

With dizzily fast speed, he placed the mud and dirt back where it was, even placing the clumps of mud with grass on it, on the top. So it still looked relatively untouched. With a few final pats on the ground, to make sure it was properly packed, Eugene stood up.

Dirt covered his hands like a glove, and stuck under his fingernails. It coated his worn joggers, grey top and tattered trainers. To put it simply, he looked like a mess. But, with no words, he placed the back of his hand at the small of Annalise's back and led her back to the car. The silence was almost nauseating as they sat back in the car.

Eugene fiddled with the radio. It was obviously something he had fitted himself, as the car was so old, it most likely didn't even come with a radio when he first got it. Through the buzzing of the static, a song popped up and he left it on.

The happy tune of the song was a stark contrast to the atmosphere that was filling the car, like water flooding through the windows. It was awkward to say the least. Annalise stared at the road in front of her unblinkingly, as Eugene pulled away from the church. 

The silence followed them all the way home. 

Authors Note-

Hi all! Thank you so much for reading this <3 It really means so much to me. The song i linked above, btw, is the song that is playing in the car at the end of this chapter. I highly recommend  you listen to it! I hope you liked this chapter. Leave a like or comment if you did. 

I love you all <3

Sam.E


Word count: 1149

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