When grandpa died, everyone cried.
When grandma died, everyone smiled.
“Grandma’s a goddamn bitch,” dad used to curse about her. No one ever said anything against his words that so defiled his mother.
He was right though, grandma was a mean, old woman. That’s something everyone agreed on, even her husband, my late grandpa. I still don’t know how he ended up with her, considering that he was the nicest and jolliest man I ever knew.
Grandma was his total opposite. She wasn’t just a stern old lady, but a sadistic one. She enjoyed beating her children and her grandchildren. That’s why I could never visit her and grandpa.
I remember going there on my own one day. Grandpa led me inside but told me I couldn’t stay for long. I still remember her, how she looked at me that day. The enormous grin on her face, the vile words she whispered my way and the way her hands opened and closed in anticipation.
Grandpa pushed me back towards the front door, telling me it wasn’t a good time. When I protested he told me he’d get me a little present.
The moment he left to return to his living room, grandma rushed towards me.
“Oh, little Mark, how nice of you to visit. Why don’t you come in and spend some time with your grandma?” she laughed at me. With that, she started to pull my arm, pulled it so hard I thought she’d rip it off.
I struggled, but one slap was enough to break all the resistance I could muster. Thankfully, I never found out what she’d planned for me. Grandpa stormed back into the hallway when he heard my cries.
At that moment grandma grinned at both me and her husband before she let go of me. As I hid behind my grandpa I was prepared for him to yell at her, but he didn’t say a single thing. Grandpa was a huge man, a hard man, but in front of his wife, he seemed to be as scared as I was. He didn’t move, didn’t say a word until she was gone, vanished down the hallway.
He handed me my little present and told me to never come back to their home.
The moment I was outside I looked back once and there she was again. At the back of the hallway, staring at me with her wide, reddish eyes, grinning.
Even back then, even at only nine years old, I knew there was something different about her, something evil.
Grandpa died a year ago. His funeral had been big. He was well known in town and well-liked by everyone.
Grandma’s funeral on the other hand had been small, nothing more than a family affair. There’d been only me, mom, dad and Uncle Thomas. It was no surprise that we were the only ones there.
When I left the house, dad and Uncle Thomas were already talking, cursing at one another for having to go through this entire ordeal.
“We might as well burn her here and now and be done with it?” Uncle Thomas cursed and spat on the ground.
“And what about the neighbors? What if it,” he broke up when he noticed me and mom.
Uncle Thomas spat again. “All right, you have something in mind?”
Dad nodded and entered the car.
Even as a boy I knew something was wrong when I saw the dirty old coffin in the back of Uncle Thomas’ giant pickup truck.
Mom pushed me into the back row, gently but determined.
Once we’d all taken our seats, Uncle Thomas started the truck, and we went on our way. When I noticed that we didn’t drive towards the church, I was confused.
“Aren’t we going to the church?” I asked in an quiet voice.
“No, son,” dad answered in a hard voice, “your grandma doesn’t long there anymore!”
“But, Dad,” I started but was quiet when mom grasped my shoulder.
As I sat in the back of the car, I thought back to the last time I’d seen grandma and shuddered.
It had been a few nights ago. I woke up by some noise outside and when I looked towards the window I saw her out there. She held onto the window frame with her long spidery fingers, grinning at me as she pressed her face against the glass.
I screamed in terror, but when mom and dad came into the room, she was already gone. Not for long though because the night after she was back, sneaking around the house and scratching against the walls before she vanished again.
As I sat in my seat, I listened, afraid I’d hear her scratch against the wood of the coffin in the back of the truck.
The drive was no longer than half an hour, but it felt much, much longer. Everyone was strained; everyone was afraid. Dad held onto the steering wheel so hard, his knuckles were white. Uncle Thomas next to him smoked one cigarette after another.
When we finally stopped, it was in the middle of nowhere, far out of town and on an old dirt road.
Dad and Uncle Thomas were the first to leave the car. They both went to the back and got a shovel each.
“Right here?” Uncle Thomas asked to which dad nodded.
The two of them started to dig, panting and wheezing as they worked on the hole. It took them more than an hour before they were done with it. All the while mom next to me holding onto my hand while eying the dirty, old coffin behind us.
Finally, the two of them got a hold of it and carried it towards the hole.
They’d only made it half the way when the coffin in their hands started shaking and rattling. Mom next to me screamed and cringed.
“Quick son, the hammer, the nails!” dad screamed at me and I hurried back to the truck to get them.
They threw the coffin to the ground, pushed themselves onto the top and held onto it for dear life while the vile curses of grandma sounded from below.
When I handed them the hammer, they hammered the nails into the top of the coffin, sealing it shut.
It was still rattling and shaking when they pushed it into the hole, and still when they closed it up.
“You think this will work?” Uncle Thomas asked.
Dad nodded, and I did too, but no one was sure.
Mom stood next to me and prayed, and soon everyone else joined her. Not for grandma, but to whatever God was out there.
Because this wasn’t grandma’s first funeral. And we all prayed that this time, she wouldn’t come back.