The cover of the story "Grave Digger"

Why I Wrote: Grave Digger

This post contains spoilers for my story “Grave Digger”, so if you haven’t read it yet head on over and give it a read. It’s short and it’s free! What are you waiting for? Here’s a link.

So you’ve read the story by now, right? Great.

So one day I’m driving and listening to the song Mellow Marmalade by Tash Sultana and I hear the lyrics “Grave digger, why don’t we slow it down?”. Although I’ve listened to this song hundreds of times and know she’s really saying “Baby girl, why don’t we slow it down?” I couldn’t help but hear it as “Grave digger” once.

1:04 for the line I’m talking about, if you’re curious

That’s all it takes, once you mishear that lyric one time it’s over. You’ll never hear it the same again. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. If you don’t, well, you’re lucky I guess.

The words Grave Digger stuck with me. The second I heard them (or thought I did) I knew it was the title of my next story. It’s always hard for me when I get the title first. There’s so many things that a title can be. I mention this in my “Why I Wrote: I’m All Alone and It’s Getting Dark” post as well.

When I already have the idea for a story; when I have a plot or a scenario worked out in my head the title comes naturally. It just makes sense.

Take “Lab Zero” for example. I have the idea for a story about a basement laboratory that’s off limits and the room number for that lab is zero.

Lab Zero seems like an obvious choice.

But when I have the title “Grave Digger” sitting in my head, there’s a lot of options.

So I thought about those words every day. I listened to that song multiple times a day hoping it would give me the inspiration I need (also it’s a damn good song). One day while I was driving, yet again, it came to me. Actually, my girlfriend was driving this time. I was just the passenger. Anyway, we were listening to music (unfortunately it was not Mellow Marmalade) and the story was just there.

I don’t think I was even thinking about Grave Digger for once; it just happened. It was probably the only moment I wasn’t thinking about it since I had that title stuck in my head (when I have a story idea I become obsessed and think about it a little too much).

I was so excited I finally had the plot for this story. The first thing that came to me was the graves. How something was digging them up. I knew there had to be some type of monster or mysterious figure as the culprit but I wasn’t entirely sure of what this being/figure would be.

It was time to sit down and write it; I did it in one sitting.

Not all that surprising, it’s really short. There was a lot of editing though. Weeks worth of it. I read “Grave Digger” so many times. I entirely rewrote the part with Beverly. I know her mentioning is still very brief but it’s much more than it used to be, trust me. Previously she was just mentioned in one line.

I feel I should mention that part with the sleep paralysis/not being able to move or talk is actually very real for me. I suffer from sleep paralysis from time to time and it’s not fun. Seeing shapes and human figures, which are sometimes incredibly vivid, is terrifying. Not being able to move a muscle or speak. You can’t ask the person lying next to you to snap you out of it. It’s such an awful feeling.

The end got rewritten too. I notice after having a few stories under my belt that I do that. I think I have changed the ending to every one of my stories so far besides Lab Zero. I even have a story that is still being worked on that has went through an ending change. The story I’m currently working on is actually the first short story I ever wrote, it’s just going through a lot of editing and will most likely be the next story I put out.

Originally the ending for “Grave Digger” was just that the main character died. That’s it. He was thrown in the grave, as usual. He had his memories sucked out just like how it ends now but that was it. He was just gone.

I really liked the idea of him becoming a part of the monster though, so I changed it and worked it in. Having his eyes become one with many others; having to live as a part of it for all eternity without even having his memories. He knows he existed at some point but to what extent? At this point all he knows is digging graves.

The irony.

Some amazing fan art based around Grave Digger!

If you liked Grave Digger (or this blog post), please check out my other stories here!

Creepy Eyes with the title "Grave Digger" across one of them

Grave Digger

If you enjoy the story please consider purchasing it on Amazon or looking into my other stories. This is the full “Grave Digger” story. Purchasing it on Amazon would solely be to support me as an author.

“The graves are dug up again. I guess that’s no surprise. I always have to do my job twice. Bury the dead, then bury them again. Don’t worry. They aren’t coming back. This isn’t a story where the undead claw their way back to the land of the living. You don’t have to go running to your friends crying that the grave digger has an army of the dead at his command. I know what they say about me. The whole town has rumors about my family.”

The boy looked at me bewildered. Frightened. He couldn’t be more than fourteen.

“Let me rewind” I told him. “So you can understand what I want”

When I was a young boy my father took care of this graveyard, like his father and the ones before him. My ancestors found that the graves of the dead were always dug up the same night they were buried. After being buried for the second time they were never touched again.

Grave robbers they thought, yet no valuables were ever taken. The bodies were never tampered with. Curiosity filled some, fear filled the others. The ones that were stricken with fear decided to seal the graves with cement. They thought the dead were trying to walk again. The cement would be bored clean through; the graves would be dug up either way.

A party formed one night. They were to put an end to this.

Fog rolled in as my ancestors waited. They’d been delivered a corpse; they delivered it to the dirt. Most expected to come across a group of people playing some sick joke. Maybe grave robbers looking for something in particular. Others thought they would come across the dead.

They weren’t so wrong.

What they found as far as anyone knows isn’t living or dead, it just is. Something came in the night and dug up the grave. It was described to me by my father as a shadowy mist drifting ever so slightly above the ground, a dark widow’s veil swirled and twisted around it. A shovel chained to nothing, dragging along as it skulked towards the grave.

They watched as this figure dug up the grave and went in. Time passed slowly. It returned from the hole and drifted away back through the fog. From that point on it was not spoken of.

A silent agreement between us. It digs up the dead, we bury them again.

I first saw it as a young man. Ironically, at fourteen. Chills shook my entire being as I saw it wading past tombstones to a fresh grave. It looked like a blur to me. Like someone’s face censored on a TV, but it had a shovel and a widow’s veil.

I thought my father was simply trying to scare me with ghost stories at the time. I copped some beers from my dad’s mini fridge in the garage. Brought a cute girl named Beverly to the graveyard. She was older. I felt so cool.

It was a stupid idea. I told her about how my family owns the graveyard. I told her about the stupid stories that my dad told me. The ones about the graves being dug up. She loved it, wanted to go and see for herself. It was all a joke of course, banter. Neither of us thought we were really going to see a ghost dig up some graves.

A funeral was scheduled and I let her know. We’d be going out the night of the burial.

Oh how we laughed in the days leading up to it.

“A romantic date with the dead.” We’d joke when we saw each other at school.

I’m not sure what I expected to happen that night. A kiss, maybe. Maybe we’d fall in love in a graveyard. Maybe someone wouldn’t think my family and I were the weirdos of the town.

No one kissed. No one fell in love.

We ended up sitting next to one another awkwardly sipping warm beers. It was hard to talk. It felt weird being alone with her outside of school. Before we knew it the fog came.

I saw it.

We both saw it.

The thing is, anyone who sees it doesn’t live very long. She was dead in two days.

This doesn’t apply to my family of course. Whatever this thing does with these corpses, I’m not sure. It needs us. That’s what I think. That’s why we don’t die. We put the bodies in the ground for it.

I’ll never forget Beverly’s funeral. Seeing her grave filled knowing I would finish the job later that night. I owed her that much.

I did a lot of research after I buried her. I wanted to know what it was. I had to know what it was doing with the bodies. I believe what we have here is a Psychopomp. A being that guides the dead’s souls to the afterlife.

I watch it a lot these days. The feeling of terror left me after the first few times. It doesn’t even seem to register my existence. It does its work and leaves. A job well done.

No one in my family is left. I never found anyone after Beverly. I can’t after what happened to her. That memory haunts me nearly every night as I watch what I now call “The Pomp” dig up the dead.

My mother and father died the next summer, the one after Beverly. My mother got sick and it all went downhill fast. My father killed himself a few weeks later.  You think burying your loved ones once is hard? The second time is even harder.

I don’t blame my father. Being the keeper of this place will tear anyone’s mind apart. The nightmares of the dead calling out and begging you to help them come every night. You wake up, sheets drenched in sweat. For the slightest moment you can see The Pomp in the corner of your eye. It’s impossible to move. You’re paralyzed. You try to speak or cry for help. There’s nothing in your lungs. No matter how hard you try to scream nothing comes out of your open mouth. It stands in your room holding a shovel commanding you to bury more dead.

Finally, you break free from your paralysis, eyes darting across the room, looking to see if something is actually there. It’s gone. You’re left questioning yourself. Does it visit me every night, or am I dreaming?

“Do you understand?” I asked the boy

“Pl- please just let me go home” He’s stuttering. Almost crying.

“Do you understand what I want?” I ask again.

“No. I just want to leave. Please I didn’t do anything”

Gazing out of the small hut that I call a home, looking at hollow ground. A burial waiting to happen.

“You should have thought of that before you decided to impress your friends by running through ‘The Lunatics’ graveyard.” I said.

“It was just a dumb joke. A dare!” He sobbed.

A dumb joke. Look where that got me.

“I just want to understand what it wants. The Pomp. What does it do? What is it here for?” I said to him. More of a question to myself.

“I need you to do something for me. I am going to take you to a grave that I dug earlier today. I want you to bury me alive. I will never know what it is until I do that. I have thought about this for most of my life. I’m tired of doing this. I don’t want to do as my father did. If I’m going to kill myself, I’d rather die with questions answered.”

I could make no sense of the boy’s face. There was no response he could muster other than a low “No.”

“If you don’t do it I will take this pickaxe and shove it through your skull.” My hand found the pick. Scraping it across the wooden floor and up into my hands.

Blood ran away from his cheeks. “Show me the grave.” He said, still hesitating.

I didn’t think it would be that easy. I wouldn’t kill the kid of course. I need him alive. I can’t go through with the plan if I don’t have him. Still, I have to give the boy some respect, still thinking of right and wrong after being kidnapped by a man who clearly has no sanity left.

The grave wasn’t quite six-feet deep but it was close enough. An empty casket lay there, open, beckoning a new soul to be swallowed.

“Sorry kid” I said, picking up the shovel.

He fell hard. Didn’t even see it coming. The boy landed right in the casket, unconscious. I jumped into the ditch. Blood ran down the back of his head, splitting like a river at his neck. My fingers felt for a pulse. Still pumping, still alive. Slamming the casket shut and locking it I climbed out of the hole. Slowly, I filled it back in. The sun was setting; I didn’t have much time.

I was almost done when I heard muffled banging and crying from the casket. Looks like he’ll be awake for it after all, good. If it doesn’t kill him he can tell me what he saw. If it kills him, well, graveyards are for the dead.

So I waited, my heart racing. What would it do when it came across the living in a place for the dead? I was afraid it wouldn’t come at all. That it knew the game I was playing.

I was dozing off when the fog came. I looked at my watch. Two and a half hours had passed. The boy probably had enough air for another hour or two.

I heard a chain rattling. It was getting closer. Then it came from the fog and stopped at the grave, examining it. The Pomp, for the first time, looked at me.

“It knows” I thought to myself. I could feel my hand getting jittery, slowly arriving at full blown shakes.

It stared at me. Everything about it seemed so vivid, it wanted me to see it. Nothing about The Pomp was a blur. I saw the tattered black robes. A dark mist drifted out from its veil and sucked back in. Yellowish green eyes opened seemingly from everywhere inside that veil. My skin burned and itched from the gaze of thousands of eyes.

It was going to kill me.

Then it turned back toward the grave. A hand of mist swirled out of the veil and took hold of the shovel. The Pomp started digging and digging as it always did. When it got to the casket it couldn’t open it. It slammed at the lock as muffled screams came from inside. It could hear the screaming and pounding. It looked at me again, only the top of the veil visible from the grave. I could feel that it was furious. The thousands of eyes telling me I was dead if it found life in that casket. I prayed that the boy had suffocated in there. That he was actually dead by now. The urge to know what The Pomp does in those graves was completely gone.

The lock broke and the casket opened. The screaming stopped, The Pomp stared into the casket. The boy lay there, unfortunately still living. It left the grave and came right at me. I saw the boy climbing from the dirt and running for the graveyards exit.

Good luck kid, you saw it already. Tell your friends that the crazy grave digger buried you alive, if you live long enough to get it out of your mouth.

I pushed myself out of my chair and fell flat on my stomach. I couldn’t move or speak. I felt like I did every night, paralyzed, wondering if it was watching me from the darkness. Through the corner of my eye I could see a mist growing larger, closer. I gave every ounce of energy I had to moving my fingers. If I could get them working. If I could start crawling away…

They wouldn’t move. My mouth opened to yell for help and nothing would come out.

A shovel stabbed deep into my back. I couldn’t even scream in pain. I was dragged by it to the empty grave. A dark mist swallowed me and threw me in. The casket was warm. The Pomp climbed into the grave, hovering above me. My skin felt like it was melting away. Mist seeped through my eyes, flowed up my nose, through my ears and mouth. It seeped into every pore I had.

Every memory of my life flashed by in seconds. It was living them in my shoes. It wasn’t a Psychopomp. It didn’t bring the souls of the dead to the afterlife. It feasted on their souls. It waited until your body was dead and defenseless before it took you. It lived by consuming every memory you have, every memory I have, until there’s nothing left.

I felt myself fade away until I was nothing more than another pair of eyes.

Cover of I'm All Alone and It's Getting Dark

Why I Wrote: I’m All Alone and It’s Getting Dark

This post will contain spoilers for the story “I’m All Alone and It’s Getting Dark”. Please consider reading the story before continuing. If spoilers don’t bother you then feel free to read on!


I’m All Alone and It’s getting Dark was a very different story for me. Almost every single one of my story ideas comes from envisioning a character in a situation and watching how it plays out in my mind.

After I have the story worked out it comes to writing it. Generally, partway into writing the story or even after i’m finished with it is when I come up with the title for the story.

I’m All Alone was different in this regard. The story title just popped into my head one day. I loved the title so much but couldn’t place what the plot was. I had a lot of trouble placing a character into a situation for this title. I never had the title first and it felt like I was starting in the wrong spot.

For the first time I had to sit down and think “what is this about?” rather than letting it flow out of me.

It wasn’t working. I had to let the story sit for awhile and focus on other things.

After a week or so had passed I sat back down and asked myself “when is it scary to be alone?”.

That’s when the idea first came to me.

Being alone as a child has to be one of the most terrifying things. You don’t understand a lot of what’s going on around you so you rely on adults to fill in the blanks. But what happens when there’s no one there to fill in the blanks?

I knew the story had to focus around a child as the main character. I had a lot of trouble deciding if the story should be third or first person. I eventually went with first person. I really liked the idea of being able to get deep into the mind of a child and what they would be thinking in terrifying situations.

Also, I liked the idea of it being first person because this gave me a lot of room to work with the idea of the story being vague when it comes to the intruder. Is this a child’s imagination making the intruder seem like a monster or is there really a monster in the house?

I also wrote the entire story in past tense but felt that it was less scary that way, so I went back and rewrote the entire thing in the present tense.

After I had the idea of the story set up it was easy to envision what this little boy’s plan of action would be. I wanted every move to feel childlike and I wanted the story to unfold quickly. A lot of the time things play out much faster than you’d expect.

Maybe a little bit of my childhood leaked into this story too. I was a little too young to remember this event very well but when I was a child armed robbers broke into my house, pistol whipped my dad and tied him up. My mom wasn’t home but my older brother was and he remembers it much better than I do. They threw the phone down the stairs into the basement and my brother had to go get it when they left.

All of this seemed to happen incredibly fast.

It’s a connection I haven’t really thought much about but i’m sure there’s some significance between my story and this. Honestly, I haven’t thought about the connection until I started writing this section of “Why I Wrote”. There are a lot of similarities that I’m only now realizing.

Obviously intruders in a house is the elephant in the room. A further example would be my brother having to go get the phone from the basement so my father could call the police. This is very reminiscent of the boy in my story having to go to the cellar to get Amanda’s cell phone to call for help.

Speaking of the cellar, the cellar scene is my absolute favorite part of the story. I had a lot of trouble deciding if I should write the cellar in or not but I really wanted it to be there. I did a lot of thinking about if someone would have a cellar in their kitchen or not and eventually I said “fuck it! I want a cellar scene.”.

It ended up being, in my opinion, the creepiest thing I have written in any of my stories so far. I can’t wait to top this scene.

The idea of him using a dead girls finger to access her phone was really fucked up to me. My google search history definitely looked a little crazy after doing some research on if this would work or not.

The boy calling the babysitters mom felt like something a child would do on accident. Seeing an entry for “Mom” and calling them thinking it would be their mother.

This also holds my favorite Roosevelt scene. The part where you really are thinking “is this all his imagination or is there more to this?”.

Speaking of Roosevelt, Roosevelt as a character just felt right. When I first started writing the story I imagined the child getting scared and going back to grab a toy to feel safer. I couldn’t help but make him a character that acts as a guide to fill in the blanks for him.

Roosevelt was a placeholder name that I ended up really liking so I kept it. Obviously it’s a bit of a joke. A teddy-bear named Roosevelt… Teddy Roosevelt. But i’m sure you picked that up by now.

Anyway. He ended up being much larger of a character (especially in the cellar) than I initially intended. I almost wrote him out at one point too.

When I first finished writing “I’m All Alone” I hated it. I almost deleted the file and moved on. After writing other stories I went back to edit it, and man did I edit.

I edited the story so much it was ridiculous. This was the point that I decided to make it present tense rather than past tense. I almost removed Roosevelt but decided against it. I changed the dialogue and how they interact with each other quite a bit. I took every single scene that is creepy or scary and made it creepier and scarier. I changed the ending.

Originally the intruder gets shot and falls out of the window and gets away. A kind of Michael Myers from the first Halloween thing going on. Then I changed it to the boy climbing out of the window to get further away from the intruder.

I fell in love with the story while editing. It was really strange to me because it was my least favorite story I had written up to that point but it quickly became my favorite with a little work. I loved editing this story.

This story taught me that something doesn’t have to be perfect right from the start. It taught me how powerful editing is and how much I can make something really shine with a little bit of polish.


If you liked I’m All Alone and It’s Getting Dark please check out my other stories on Amazon!

How Fiction Found Me: Why I Started Reading and Writing

You would think someone with a passion for writing, a passion so strong you want your whole life to revolve around it, is something that had always been there. You would think they always loved reading and writing. That every day they’d wake up and start jotting down story ideas. They’d be woken up late at night from the sound of their book slipping our of their hand and slapping the floor.

That’s not how it was for me. I never thought about writing a novel until I was about 20. I didn’t get into reading until that age either.

I found it hard to get into the books they made us read in school. Whatever we wrote in school was mind numbing. School itself was mind numbing. I hated everything about school and reading and writing.

So how did I find myself writing suspense and horror stories? Why did I start publishing them for the world to read? Well, it started with reading. Stephen King specifically. But not horror or suspense.

I was working a dead end job. The people I worked with were great. The job was not. A co-worker recommended me The Dark Tower by Stephen King one day. I’m not even sure why.

He gave me a quick rundown of the plot for The Gunslinger. The first of a series of 7 (8 if you count Wind Through the Keyhole). I went out and picked it up from a Barnes & Noble that day when my shift ended. I nearly finished the first book that night.

From that moment on I was hooked. I read all 8 of The Dark Tower books. Then I branched out in to King’s horror. IT, Carrie, The Shining (granted I’d seen the movie. Who hasn’t?), Salem’s Lot and my personal favorite, Pet Sematary.

Then I tried Dean Koontz’s Watchers. I started branching out in to other authors and genres. I’d found a whole new world at the age of 20 because of the single recommendation of someone at work. If it weren’t for them, I might have never started reading.

As I found myself bored at work I could only think of the book I had been reading. The book I was going to read next. The books I’d already read.

Then my own ideas started coming to me. I had created an exercise to make my work days go faster. When I’d have down time I’d make up a story from nothing.

First I’d make up a character in my mind. Just visual, no names. Then I’d put them in a scene. A house for example. I’d visualize them walking through the house. Maybe the basement door would open a few inches. Hissing noises working it’s way up the stairs. Would they go down? What would they find when they made the basements rotting steps creak and moan?

I started to do this every day. Stories would come and go so quickly that I never gave them much thought after the day was gone. That is until one day I got stuck on a story.

Not in the sense that I didn’t know what the character was doing. It was the first story that I went back to the next day. And the next day… and the next week. Then the next month. I thought about it for years. I worked out an entire plot in my mind.

I thought that I should write it. I never found the inspiration to do it. I always told myself that I can’t do it. That I’d ruin it if I did. That no one would read it. If I’m honest. I still haven’t written it. I’ve written parts of it. I will finish it one day.

The thing is. I’m not afraid of any of those things anymore. The reason I haven’t written it is I met someone. I met someone who encouraged me so much to follow my dreams. My girlfriend inspires me to be the best I can every single day and supports me so much.

She’s the reason I haven’t written that story yet. But she’s also the reason I’ve written so many others. Why I have a few published on Amazon right now. If it weren’t for her inspiration those stories would not exist. When she first really encouraged me to write I found that I had so many other ideas that really stuck like that first one.

I had to get a notebook to carry everywhere I go just in case one pops into my head. I feel like I could see a train go by and have a story idea explode in my skull.

I could hardly sleep at night because I couldn’t wait to write more. I didn’t even want to edit my stories because I just wanted to write the next ones.

I went from someone who never saw themselves sitting down and reading a book, to someone who can’t stop. I can’t stop writing. I can’t stop reading. These ideas just work their way in constantly and I feel like I have to get them out.

I’m so happy that people want to read my stories, and one of my favorite things is hearing what people think of them. Yet I still just write for me. I love having an idea and figuring out how it ends.

When I have an idea for a story it generally has no end. I have an idea for a theme or plot and I just start hammering away at it. It’s almost like watching a movie. Envisioning what the characters are doing. What they’d do next.

Writing a story for me is much like reading one. I feel like it hardly makes sense to say it, but it makes so much sense at the same time. It’s thrilling to learn what my characters will do.

At 25 I’ve finally found a passion. Five years of dreaming about writing until I finally started doing it and I couldn’t be happier.

You can find my writing here on Amazon.

A thermos of tea on one side, a journal of notes on the other, all tied together with a story waiting to be edited on the computers monitor.

Why I Wrote: An Explanation of my Stories

“Why I wrote” is going to be a section where I write about each of my published works (which can be found here on Amazon) and the ideas behind them. I will cover topics like how I came up with the plot of my stories and even what made me pick the names of them.

I find that I encounter something new with each of my stories when it comes to the writing process and it’s very exciting for me, so i’d like to share it with you as well. Some stories have just a name and absolutely no plot points worked out. Some stories seem to be completely fleshed out in my mind while they don’t even have a title.

Others I just sit down and start writing with no ideas and it all comes out. Writing is such a fantastic process that is unique to each and every one of us. For example, I love listening to music while writing and editing, while for many that would be incredibly distracting.

I have a ton of short story and novel ideas that I can’t wait to get out there. I will say now that these blogs will have spoilers for the stories they cover. I will touch on major plot points throughout these entries. At the top of each new blog post I will put a spoiler warning to remind you that you should read the story before reading the blog. Unless you like spoilers that is, or want an idea of what type of story it is. It’s your choice!

Reading and writing is such a wonderful thing and I love talking and connecting with others when it comes to these topics. I’m excited to expand my library so I can keep putting out blogs about my writing, the process of it and how my ideas came to fruition.