Prequel to a Prequel
The lady slipped through the ornate iron cemetery gates. After looking down at the rust accumulated on her black gloves she daintily brushed the residue off against a stone pillar supporting the gate at its hinges. With grace the soles of her leather boots met the cobblestone path flooded with streams of rainwater rushing through the gaps in between the stones. The widow in mourning collected the skirt of her raven black dress and pursued on up the path. A bouquet of flowers bound together with a smooth black ribbon would soon collect enough water to drink. The lady grasped the flowers in her right hand along with that side of her skirt. Barely anybody from the road heard or even noticed her while she continued along towards a certain grave underneath a grand willow tree, elderly as she.
Solemnly the visiting mourner parted the willow tree’s branches and approached a simply decorated tombstone approximately the height of her knee. A chilly wind picked up and sent her skirts and black veil fluttering around her. She decided it was best to quickly complete her task and head for home. She took the flowers and laid them on the ground, aligned with the tombstone’s center. After giving a small nod of approval she turned from the grave, passed through the willow branches once more, and stepped onto the cobblestone path facing the opposite direction from which she came.
Naturally, since completing the purpose of her visit, the lady’s mind no longer lingered within the confines of the cemetery gates. Instead she conjured images of the warm soup with tea she hoped to enjoy upon barricading herself inside her home from the dismal outside weather. Unfortunately she should have paid at least a meager sum of attention to her current surroundings, no matter how dreary they felt to her. For if she chose to glance down, even for a mere second, she could have died on a far less dismal day and location.
This was not the case, however, and the black clad lady failed to notice the most gruesome arm protruding across the path before her approaching feet. Suddenly a boney arm with scraps of flesh, decaying tissue, and long beyond tattered shirt remnants clutched at the widow’s left ankle. This caused her to fall and strike the cold, dense cobblestone at a quite unforgiving rate.
“Oh!” she uttered for a split second and glanced down at the cause of her fatal stumble. Her eyes grew wide with terror as her frantic, feeble attempt to shake the arm free failed her.
From behind an old marble monument with its inscription long eroded away by the elements and surrounding growth of moss the arm emerged to reveal its connecting shoulder and chest. From above the stone rose a dirty, scar covered head with its eyes glazed over and rolling about. Twigs and earth were intertwined in the corpse’s knotted hair. It was the most ghoulish spectacle the lady saw, and would ever see, in her life. Swiftly the petrifying creature’s grimly jaws creaked open to reveal its stained teeth. At last, the black clad lady met her fate.