Danny Breslin

How it is…

Fright Night

Do you want to hear a scary story? Not just scary but true! Dare you read this while you are alone in the house?

I’ve always been a fan of the zombie genre. I’ve seen countless horror films but many of them have either made me laugh or have left me unmoved – which is worse?

Zombies push my button though, they always have. I maintain that there could be nothing worse than being eaten by something with blunt teeth! This is a little story about the first time I ever watched a zombie film and the terrifying aftermath in a graveyard.

Me and my mate Taff were probably about 14 or 15, we went down to the youth club in town, a bigger nest of ne’erdowells and apprentice hooligans you never did see. They were showing a film and we decided we would take a look having little better to do that evening. It was George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead. You know the one where the news woman, her helicopter pilot boyfriend and two SWAT boys are holed up in a shopping mall while the apocalypse rages outside? It was the first time I saw anyone bitten by another (ex)human being and it shook me up, although you don’t dare admit it.

After the (very poor quality) video had run its course, we went outside and set off towards home. As if fate had decreed it the world had disappeared in the thickest pea-souper fog ever. Brilliant, just brilliant.

We walked through this white world as if cut off from reality, both of us probably scared from the film we just seen and the chances of a shambling undead predator emerging from the fog, hungry for our young flesh. I was hoping Taff was more scared than me. We talked about the film as we walked and how we would dispatch such a creature, not having access to guns. He said he’d head for the local army barracks. I thought that was a bad idea, even if they weren’t overrun, they’d probably be jumpy enough to pepper us as we approached. No, I’d head for Tamworth Castle – strong doors and thick walls atop a steep hill, the only approach forming a bottleneck that you could barricade easily and there were swords on display, just the thing for decapitating a zombie.

To get home I would have to pass a cemetery, I joked to Taff how I wasn’t looking forward to that. He offered to walk up as far as there and then double back to his own place. I argued that there was no need but I was glad when he insisted.

When we got there he said that he wasn’t scared and he would walk through the cemetery on his own but would I have the guts to do it too? Would I have the guts? I could do anything he could do, silently wishing he would shut up and just go home. The cemetery has a long spiked iron railing fence with two iron gates at either end, linked by a semi circular path that the hearses use. He would go through the first gate and walk slowly along the path and out the far gate, whereupon he would shout to let me know he was there and it was my turn.

He set off and was swallowed by the greedy fog within a second. I stood there on my own, a victim of sensory deprivation. I hoped the little shiver I felt run through me was from the cold and not a manifestation of the fear I was struggling to contain. A couple of minutes later I heard a shout, “Your turn!” I walked through the gate and set off, my boots sounding so loud as they crunched the gravel beneath them. My hands were flexing and unflexing, flexing and unflexing. This was a really stupid idea. A line from the film ran through my head: “When there’s no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth.” I wished my boots weren’t making so much noise as my ears strained for the sound of a shuffling approach; my nose trying to detect the smell of decay; my eyes, nearly useless to me in this white world, looking for shadows that might suddenly loom out of the fog. Stupid, stupid. The dead can’t walk, they can’t rise from beyond the grave. Then… What is that? Something huge was emerging from the fog, and I do mean huge! Probably ten feet tall, arms outstretched, my God it…it’s got wings!!! The statue of the archangel made no move to grab me.

I tried to regain control of my breathing. My heart was hammering in my chest like the  kettle drums in the theme music to 2001: A Space Odyssey. It sounded loud in this world of nothing around me. I chuckled to myself as I continued on; stupid, stupid!

A bush next to the path just to my right rustled ever so slightly, I didn’t check my stride. It’s just a bird or a mouse or something, nothing to be scared of. There’s nothing that can hurt me here. The shadow that lurched out of the bush moved fast, this was no animal it was human and whoever it was moved way too fast for a zombie. I didn’t have time to call out for my mate before the wind was taken from my lungs by the force of the tackle. I was knocked off my feet and off the path onto the damp grass, my attacker landing on top of me. I struggled to push him off but he was strong I  could hear myself panting as I tried to get my breath back and tried to sweep him onto his back. I could hear him laughing: oh great, a bloody maniac!

This was it, the fight of my life had begun, I knew I was in a very bad position and if he had a knife, which I supected he had – tools of the trade for crazies – this visit to the graveyard might last a whole lot longer than I intended. I moved my hips to the side to try and sweep him again, grabbing the first thing I could get purchase on, it just happened to be his ear: “Owwww, let go Danny, that hurts!” Taff cried out trying to get back to his feet and stepping away from my kick that if it had connected would have ended any hope for having a family he might have entertained.

The sod had shouted to me to take my turn then ran back in through the gate and, keeping to the grass to hide his footfalls, he sat in the bush waiting for this sucker to walk past. He seemed to find it the funniest thing ever but I was yet to be convinced.

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March 13, 2013 - Posted by | Short Stories | , , , , , ,

12 Comments »

  1. I would have fixed him good. I would have shit all over him.. Involuntarily of course.

    Comment by richardmax22 | March 13, 2013 | Reply

    • Now there’s an image that just won’t fade!

      Comment by Danny Breslin | March 14, 2013 | Reply

  2. Proof that you’ve ended up on the receiving end of a prank at least once. 🙂 This was hilarious! Lucky for Taff that your kick missed, he might not have thought his joke was so funny after that.

    Comment by Audrey | March 13, 2013 | Reply

    • I’ve been the butt of a quite a few pranks but I’d like to think I’ve taken more eyebrows than I’ve lost over the years.

      Comment by Danny Breslin | March 14, 2013 | Reply

  3. What had happened to your sense of humour? It’s hilarious!!

    Comment by Clowie | March 13, 2013 | Reply

  4. Cemeteries are a bad idea, always… and in a fog too… what were you thinking?! You survived… I might have died of a heart attack. 🙂

    Comment by mj | March 14, 2013 | Reply

    • Thankfully my old ticker was alot stronger back then. It’s not something I would entertain now.

      Comment by Danny Breslin | March 15, 2013 | Reply

  5. Ugggghhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!! Lol….I REALLY want to read this but Im a chicken and afraid of scary stories, but its sounds soooooo interesting and I just KNOW it’s gonna make me laugh lol!

    Comment by Beauty of Freedom | March 20, 2013 | Reply

    • You don’t have to be scared, I’ll always back you up.

      Comment by Danny Breslin | April 1, 2013 | Reply

  6. Great scary story!

    Comment by Aarti | March 21, 2013 | Reply


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