The swamp all looked the same when you were terrified and running, and Lily just had to hope that she wasn’t heading toward deeper water, where gators had to live. She pushed vines and moss out of the way, scrambled over logs, and tripped over roots. Her shorts were soaked with mud, and she lost a flip-flop somewhere in the muck. She reached for the pocket where she usually kept her phone, but it wasn’t there. Her mom had taken it last night. All she could do was keep going. Finally, she heard laughter somewhere ahead and stumbled toward it.
The graveyard was still and deathly quiet. Only the hoot of a solitary owl could be heard in the distance. The moon was full, its light casting a milky glow over the ancient gravestones and magnificent mausoleums.
It came from below, a grey insipid wisp that grew in stature with every second, until finally its form settle into the shape of a tall man wearing a black cloak and top hat. The spectre floated off the ground, as if walking on air. His face was dark and menacing, eyes red with fury. From his open mouth thousands of insects took flight. He was looking for something; his next victim.