Here's my entry for Kaitlyn Sanchez's Kidlit Fall Writing Frenzy:
The cold numbed Jeremiah’s fingers. Agitated, he fumbled with the rope.
Darkness was coming.
He had to hurry, or he’d be in danger. Once the last sliver of sunlight slipped behind the hills, the fresh earth in the cemetery surrounding him would shift and shiver, awakening.
The dead that Jeremiah’s community had recently buried would claw their way out of the shallow graves. They’d be looking for food, looking for an offering.
His breath came in heavy gasps. Muffled cries for help were blocked by a dirty rag.
‘Why are there so many knots in this rope?’ he wondered, frantic. His fingers were cut and bleeding.
At last, done! And not a moment too soon--he could hear moaning and scratching behind him. Jeremiah didn’t look back as he ran on shaking legs to his village.
At the barricade, Jeremiah’s mother waited with a mug of cocoa.
“You’re safe,” she told him, pushing the thick wooden door shut.
Jeremiah nodded, shivering. He took a sip of the sweet, rich drink.
“And your father?” she asked.
Jeremiah drank again, catching a softened marshmallow in his mouth and biting it before answering, “I tied him to the offering posts like you said.”
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