Grotto Header

Nimue's Grotto


by John Governale

I didn't set out to be a ghoul. If you had asked me, I'm not sure I could have told you what a ghoul is. And I've never been ghoulish. Not into horror films or Goth kind of stuff.

Until this morning, I was a normal high school girl, concerned about her grades, her complexion, and a date to the prom—not necessarily in that order.

Now here I am in a cemetery—a graveyard, eek!—about to enjoy a leg of Anderson. That is, if the newly buried person matches the gravestone. I've seen enough NCIS to know that mix-ups happen. If this is not Anderson's grave, then I'm about to enjoy a leg of I don't know who.

I expect the embalming fluid is going to spoil the taste, but beggars can't be choosers.

Digging this guy up—let's assume it's Frederick Anderson as advertised—digging him up and breaking into his coffin was not a lot of fun. Given my druthers, (what are druthers, anyway?) given my druthers, I'd rather be at the prom, dancing with some kid with sweaty palms and acne like mine.

I didn't set out to be a ghoul. Technically, I'm a ghoulette. Or a ghouline. Or a ghoulenista. Whatever.

If I had to suddenly be undead, why couldn't I have been a vampire. One with skin that sparkles in the sun and the ability to run like the wind. One who gets to bite cute boys in the neck.

Nope. Ghoul. A girl ghoul. Just my luck. A girl ghoul in a prom dress that now has no resale value.

I had the dress on—I'd only just bought it—and decided to wear it home. You know, for a laugh. I'd stepped out of the store and was looking around to see if anyone I knew—or even someone I didn't know—was checking me out, when I walked smack into this lady.

Instead of saying sorry or pardon me or oops, or even nothing at all, I said, "Why don't you watch where you're going, you horrid ghoul."

I'm never like that. Can you believe I called a complete stranger a horrid ghoul?

The lady, who was quite lovely, with the sort of skin I'd die for, had piercing green eyes. She smiled at me. I was about to apologize when she grabbed my hand, raised it to her lips, and bit me.

"Hey!" I said.

"We'll see who's a horrid ghoul," she said, got into a waiting car, and was driven away.

Why couldn't I have said watch where you're going, you goddess. Or watch where you're going, you fairy princess. Or watch where you're going, you vampire with sparkly skin.

No. I called her a horrid ghoul.

Now here I am in the middle of the night in a graveyard, wearing a prom dress, and about to feast on Frederick Anderson's leg.

It's a hairy leg. And it smells of formaldehyde.

But, hey. It's not half bad.

About the Author

John Governale will write anything, given the chance. In addition to songs, poems, and newspaper columns, he's even NaNoWriMo-ed a couple of novels. Flash fiction, like the kind found in Nimue's Grotto, tickles his funny bone.