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A Night in the Cemetery by Dr. Mohammad Hossein Hariri Asl

Last updated on September 18, 2023 by in English Short Stories Category with 8 Comments on A Night in the Cemetery by Dr. Mohammad Hossein Hariri Asl, 168 Views and Reading Time: 39 minutes

A Night in the Cemetery is a short story written by Dr. Mohammad Hossein Hariri Asl on the theme of materialism and greed.

Written by Dr. Mohammad Hossein Hariri Asl

Video of A Night in the Cemetery

A Night in the Cemetery

Bill Green and Alan Wilson were two intimate and old friends who used to spend much of their time with each other. They were living in New York and going to the same school for a long time. Although they had hardly anything in common, there was a deep affinity between them. In fact, Bill was a foolhardy, stubborn and obstinate boy who invariably used to act and then think about the aftermath of what he had already done. He was excessively audacious and didn’t fear anybody or anything. He had also made all of his classmates, even Alan Wilson, be obedient to him and since none of them dared oppose his commands, they all had to acquiesce in what Bill was saying. He was a robust and overbearing boy who had a scar with a special shape on his left cheek that had made him conspicuous among other students at school.

On the contrary, Alan Wilson was a thoughtful and smart boy. As a result of being very studious and polite, he was regarded as one of the best students not only in his own class but also at school. However, he was a weak and puny boy who was scarcely blessed with adequate physical strength. Therefore, Alan, like other students, was always trying to stay submissive and obedient to Bill. Yet, Bill was much more warm-hearted to his old friend, Alan, in comparison to his other peers.

Finally, their friendship ended and the hand of fate separated them from each other after their simultaneous graduation from high school in 1948. Bill carried on living in New York, but Alan and his family moved from New York to another state.

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A Night in the Cemetery by Dr. Mohammad Hossein Hariri Asl

At present, a long time around thirty-four years has passed from their separation. On one of the hot Sundays of July in 1982, Bill was sitting on a bench in a park near his house. Suddenly, he noticed a stranger gazing at him and his scar on his left cheek in amazement.

“Is that you, Bill?” the stranger said.

That the stranger had called him Bill caused him to get transfixed with shock.

“Excuse me, but who are you and how do you know my name?” said Bill.

“Hey boy, you mean you’ve really forgotten your own close and old friend, Bill?” the stranger replied.

Impulsively, the faint tone of the stranger’s voice and his frail body reminded Bill of Alan Wilson.

“Oh my God!. I can’t believe it. Alan, is that you?” Bill said.

“Yes Bill.” Alan said with a big smile on his face.

Then they cuddled each other very warmly like two intimate brothers. Afterward, Bill said:

“Alan, you’ve changed a lot from the last time that I saw you. That’s why I couldn’t recognize you at first. Have you ever realized it yourself? You seem to have become very affluent. What do you do Alan, to earn your living?”

Alan said, “I’m the administrator of a company in which some special car components are manufactured. My job has got a very close relationship to my studies that I continued after my graduation from high school. I put up with too many difficulties from that time until now, yet it was really worth tolerating all those predicaments because I have a comfortable life right now.”

“Is your company in New York, Alan?” Bill asked.

“No, I’ve come here just to sign an industrial contract with another company to provide it with some car components and I’ll leave New York in a couple of days.” Alan answered. Then he himself continued:

“Okay Bill, I think the explanation of my life is enough. Now, it is your turn, Bill.”

“All right, I’m a butcher and have a small butchery nearby, but it seems that there is a deep cleavage between the financial status of our lives. Not only is my life comfortable, but I’ve also given it my best shot to be able to cope with my problems invariably.” Bill said. Then he continued:

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Making ends meet in LELB Society’s visual dictionary

“To be perfectly honest, I’ve gone bankrupt and gone in the hole. I do need some money to be able to pay off my debts and come back to my normal life, yet it is totally impossible for me to obtain that sum of money.”

“Oh, that’s really awful. I’m very sorry to hear that, Bill.” Alan said.

Then Alan stayed motionless contemplating in silence for a while. Suddenly, he turned to Bill and said:

“Dear Bill, we are old friends like two brothers, aren’t we? So I would really be glad to give you a hand if you would like me. Now, just tell me how much money you need.”

“Oh Alan, that’s very nice of you. I appreciate it. Honestly, I need around $1000 to pay off all my debts.” Bill said.

Having pondered over the matter again, Alan said, “Bill, I can lend you a hand in two ways.”

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“Okay, and what are they?” Bill asked.

“The first one is that I can give you not only $1000 but also $2000 without asking you to pay me back the money.” Alan said.

“And what is the second way?” asked Bill.

“The second one is that I will give you four times more money, I mean $8000 and again I won’t want you to pay that back to me, of course, on one condition. Yet, I myself recommend you to choose the first way and forget about the second one.” Alan replied.

“I’m eagerly looking forward to hearing about the condition, so don’t keep me waiting anymore.” said Bill.

Alain said, “Actually, this sum of money is nothing for me and I can earn it in several days. On the other hand, this risky condition requires great courage. Remember Bill that this is not duck soup.”

“Are you trying to frighten me, Alan? Don’t hesitate anymore. What is the condition?” Bill said.

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“All right, there is an ancient cemetery around 500 miles far from here on the outskirts, a deserted place where nobody lives nearby. I’m familiar with this graveyard because my grandfather, Nick Wilson, was buried there many years ago. You are supposed to stay one night in the cemetery from the sunset to the sunrise all alone without anything and anybody. You see what I mean, Bill? From dusk to dawn. The only things that you are allowed to have are something for your dinner and half of the money that I will give you in advance.” said Alan. Then he continued:

“This cemetery is surrounded by four walls. These walls are so high and smooth that it is impossible for you to climb up the walls and run away; however, if you succeed in climbing up the walls and intend to escape from the cemetery as chance would have it, you will be shot by four armed people that I will hire to be the night-watchmen who will be responsible for watching the walls vigilantly. Each of them is in charge of one of the four walls of the graveyard.”

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“And what about the other half of the money?” asked Bill.

“Oh, yes. I’ll give it to you in the sunrise of the following day after you will successfully have stayed the whole night in the cemetery.” Alan replied.

Then Alan continued, “All right, I think I explained my condition clearly enough. Now everything depends on your own decision and since this is a dangerous condition that may redound to your death, I will give you enough time to think about it as logically as possible.”

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Bill, who was filled with extreme avarice, got covetous of the money proposed by Alan. On the other hand, he was such a plucky and venturesome man that he always liked to take risks and get involved in perilous activities, so without hesitating or reflecting upon the matter, Bill turned to Alan and said:

“There is no need to waste time thinking about this obvious and vivid subject. Alan, do you really expect me to be frightened of those dead and benign people, while I don’t even fear alive ones? I’ve already made up my mind, Alan. I choose the second way and assume all its responsibilities.”

“Are you sure of that? Don’t you want to think more about it?” said Alan.

“I have no doubt about it, Alan. When I can gain this sum of money just in one night, I must be very lunatic to lose this golden opportunity. Honestly, there is nothing to it for me and I intend to do it as soon as possible.” Bill said. Afterward, he continued:

“Let me think. It’s Sunday today. What’s your idea about this coming Tuesday, the day after tomorrow?”

“No problem. Whatever you say is okay by me.” Alan replied.

“But there is still something unsolved, Alan.” Bill said.

“Unsolved, what do you mean by that?” Alan asked.

“You are a good friend of mine, Alan. I do trust you; however, can you assure me that you don’t promise the moon about the other half of the money?” said Bill.

“Certainly, Bill. Now that you are so determined that you can’t wait any longer, I explain it to you quite frankly. We will go to the nearest registry office tomorrow to witness and register a document letting you have the other $4000 only on Wednesday. I mean three days later, after that specified night. If you survive, you will certainly have the other half of the money. Nevertheless, provided that you want to escape from the graveyard and get killed by my people, regretfully there will be nothing that I can do for you.” Alan said.

Bill agreed to all the conditions and they went to a registry office the following day.
After registering the document, Alan turned to Bill and said:

“Now let’s make a date. Those four armed people and I will be just beside the bench in the same park that I saw you yesterday, tomorrow morning at nine o’clock sharp. Do you agree to it?”

“No problem. That’s all right.” said Bill.

Having said goodbye, Bill and Alan separated from each other. On the night of the day, Bill informed his wife and two children that he wouldn’t come home the following night as a result of having something very important to do. Then he went to bed, but he couldn’t sleep for two and a half hours at all since he was totally elated and preoccupied with the golden opportunity by which he could easily gain $8000 the following night.

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Preoccupied in LELB Society’s visual dictionary

When he finally fell asleep, he dreamt about his mother who had died eighteen years before. Bill’s mother, who seemed pretty young and sprightly, approached Bill. Then she gazed at him and said:

“I’ve noticed that you have intended to select the second way. Is that right, Bill?”

Bill, who was totally shocked, said, “Oh mom…! What are you talking about?”

His mother said, “I know everything about it, Bill. So don’t try to conceal it from me.”

“But how…!?” Bill asked.

“Bill, don’t forget that I’ve always been beside you taking care of you.” his mother replied.

“Mom, have you ever considered what I will gain?” said Bill.

“Oh dear, have you ever considered what you will lose, Bill? It is too dangerous, Bill. I’m not kidding and it can cost you your life, so be careful of what you are doing.” said his mother.

After Bill heard his mother uttering those words, he was suddenly startled and got up with a jerk and couldn’t sleep again.

The next morning, Bill was sitting on the bench at 8:30. However, Alan and his people didn’t turn up until nine o’clock sharp. Then all six of them got into Alan’s car and set off for the graveyard. After driving for such a long time, they eventually got to the place. It was a deserted spot with dense and ancient trees, an uninhabited and peculiar place where nobody seemed to live. In the far corner of that forested area, several high walls could easily be seen. There was a large and high portal locked with a thick chain just in the middle of one of the walls. Alan Wilson pointed to that spot and said, “This is the same cemetery that you are supposed to stay in tonight.”

A Night in the Cemetery by Dr. Mohammad Hossein Hariri Asl

However, it was around five o’clock and Bill had a long time till the sunset. So he started wandering around the place thinking about the fortune that he would have made by the end of that night. Then all of them congregated in a spot beside the graveyard shooting the breeze and enjoying themselves. After a while, they noticed that the sun was very close to the horizon and nearly sinking in that. Alan Wilson gave Bill a backpack and said:

“I’ve put $4000 and something to eat in it exactly in accordance with the condition.”

The sun was disappearing completely. After saying goodbye, those four armed people started their mission. Bill took the backpack and commenced climbing up a ladder so as to get on the top of the wall. Suddenly, he noticed Alan pulling his hand and precluding him from climbing up the ladder.

“What’s the matter, Alan?” said Bill.

“Dear Bill, let’s forget about this damned condition because it is so terrible and dangerous that may cost you your life. Now I’m thoroughly convinced that you are extremely audacious and dare carry out your promise, yet can I ask you for the last time to get satisfied with the proposed $2000 and forget about this condition?” Alan said.

A silent and strong appeal could easily be seen in Alan’s eyes while he was trying to deter Bill from the condition, but Bill recoiled Alan and got on the top of the wall and said:

“Have no fear, Alan and don’t worry about me. I will surely see you tomorrow morning. So till that time, good-bye my friend.”

Alan, who couldn’t convince Bill, looked up and said, “Ok Bill, now that you are so strong-willed, I sincerely wish you luck. So take care and good luck, dear Bill.”

From the top of the wall, Bill took a short look at the cemetery and said to himself, “Wow…! Hey boy, look. What a fantastic view! I’m sure I will enjoy staying here tonight.”

Then Bill descended the other side of the wall with the help of a thick rope and when his feet reached the ground, he coiled the rope into a loop and threw it to Alan, who was right behind the wall. Then Alan and his four hired people got into the car and left the place because in Alan’s opinion, Bill could never climb up the high walls and get away from the graveyard. In fact, Alan had merely intended to threaten Bill and assure him that it was totally impossible for him to escape from the graveyard; therefore, it was futile for those four people to squander one complete night on staying there and watching the walls.

As soon as Bill turned to look at the scenery of the cemetery, the atmosphere engendered a peculiar feeling in him. It was a very mysterious and silent place with dense and old trees. Nearly all of the tombstones, which were under the trees, were cracked or broken and illegible. The sky was still light and there was an afterglow in it. Bill found the place engrossing and wonderful, so he set about roaming in the cemetery with a big smile on his face expressing his satisfaction. Then he became enthusiastic about reading the words engraved on the tombstones painstakingly. Suddenly, he noticed the words NICK WILSON, who was Alan’s grandfather, on one of the headstones and his eyes rested upon them for a while. Nick’s portrait looked very ordinary, although it couldn’t be seen very well.

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A Night in the Cemetery by Dr. Mohammad Hossein Hariri Asl

At one of the sides of the cemetery, several small rooms had been constructed as the exclusive sepulchers for some people interred in them. The view of the shacks seemed extremely arresting and rather mysterious to Bill, so in order not to get affected by the delusions, he reclined on the ground next to the roots of an old tree protruding from the ground and tried to sleep.

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After a couple of hours, he awoke from sleep to the chirping of crickets hidden in the undergrowth. He opened his eyes but couldn’t see anything inasmuch as the fact that the sky had gone dark completely. He got up and started fumbling around in the dark to find his position. Suddenly, he heard a dreadful and outrageous sound coming from the top of the same tree beside which he had fallen asleep a couple of hours before. He looked up curiously to know where the sound was coming from and saw a night owl in the treetops. He said to himself:

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“Bill, shame on you. What’s the matter with you? Are you frightened of a little benign owl?”

Little by little, his eyes became habituated to the darkness of the atmosphere. He looked at the sky which was actually a very clear and starry one. The moon was also shining; consequently, Bill could see the whole cemetery very well. Notwithstanding, he wished it hadn’t taken place at all because the more he could see, the more he became terrified. He looked at his wristwatch. It was around 10:30. Suddenly, he found himself in a horrifying position that was totally different from the place that he had already seen in daylight. Not only did that lovely place seem engrossing to Bill anymore, but it also generated great trepidation in him. He commenced wandering in the graveyard involuntarily. Again he said to himself:

“Bill, don’t let these things frighten such a valiant person like you.”

Then he carried on roaming with a pretended smile. The only sounds that could be heard were the chirping of the crickets, the owl’s singing and the rustle of his footsteps in the dry leaves. In fact, there wasn’t any trace of the twentieth century civilization and it seemed that he didn’t pertain to that era anymore.

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In the moonlight, he started looking at the tombstones and the words carved on them unconsciously. He noticed that all of them were very ancient and belonged to many years ago. Nobody had been buried there after the year 1948. Impulsively among the tombs, Nick Wilson’s portrait attracted all his attention, yet, Bill noticed that he didn’t look ordinary at all as he did a couple of hours ago. Actually, he seemed to be grinning a welcome at him from ear to ear and this matter itself redounded to amplifying his trepidation, so he got away from that spot. He had never been so persecuted by desolation and solitude up to that time.

He couldn’t tolerate that case any longer and approached one of the four walls and called out to one of the night-watchmen for talking and getting in touch with them, but nobody responded to him. For the second time, he screamed out in terror, yet again no reply was made. The echo of his own voice in the burial ground terrified him very much. He got desperate and strongly wished there had been just another living person to be his companion in that intolerable hell, although he was not the only person in that place because in fact, he was the guest of hundreds of people who had been alive like him many many years before. Actually, he was feeling lonely and desolate, although there were many people around him.

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He tried to motivate and spur himself to be audacious enough to cope with the fear by reminding himself of his great courage and also the imminent fortune that he would have gained by the sunrise of the next morning. However, it was very difficult for him to put his words and thoughts into action. Suddenly, he noticed the branches of the trees swaying in the wind. Those branches, which were as pretty as a picture, had lost all their beauty and attraction. At that time, they seemed to him to be something like the Devil’s rough and horrifying claws pursuing him with their sway in the wind to catch him. The thick and protruding roots of the ancient trees had clasped the tombs very tightly and plunged into them exactly like the tentacles of an octopus with which the creature holds onto its prey tenaciously.

Bill had a strange feeling. He was always thinking that somebody kept eyeing and pursuing him stealthily. He was terrified of each of the tombs and even feared to approach them, yet he was surrounded by the tombs and there were plenty of them in that burial ground. He was afraid lest the corpses that had been buried should catch and pull him toward themselves inside the sepulchers. He didn’t dare look at the shacks and the tombs; however, to satisfy his curiosity and also to prevent the assumed menace, he was thatching the tombs and the shacks, which were the trepidation sources, continually.

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Some of the wooden and broken doors of the exclusive sepulchers were opening and shutting automatically in the wind making a horrifying sound. Bill could hear the sound of his own heartbeat very clearly. He was even frightened of his own shadow in the moonlight.

Impulsively in the privacy of that night, Bill heard somebody shrieking loudly. A faint gleam of hope got engendered in him and he became happy because he fantasized about seeing another living person in that dead place. He concentrated all his attention and pushed forward to draw nigh to the source of the voice. Suddenly, he saw a woman, who was dressed in black robes, sobbing her heart out and mourning for someone just beside a tomb. Bill, who was very scared, turned back and goggled at her over his shoulder for a while. Then he made up his mind and ventured to get closer to her. He called out to her, yet she didn’t respond to him while she was weeping without any interruption.

Bill got closer and closer on shaky feet. However, she gradually faded away as soon as Bill wanted to ask her who she was. Bill, who had become totally frightened, stood rooted to the spot with fear for a short time. Then he ran away from that site. As he was escaping, he heard the same woman again wailing in the same place. Nevertheless, when he was approaching her for the second time, the same thing happened to him and she disappeared again. Suddenly, the tomb beside which the woman was mourning caught all Bill’s attention. It was rather different from the other tombs in the cemetery.

Bill peered at the words engraved on the tombstone very scrupulously, but he got transfixed and couldn’t believe what he had seen because his last picture, which had been taken several days before, had been carved on that. Right below his portrait, these words had carefully been inscribed:

A Night in the Cemetery by Dr. Mohammad Hossein Hariri Asl - tombstone carving
The epitaph on Bill’s tombstone
  • Name: Bill Green
  • Date of Birth: Saturday, March 7th, 1931
  • Place of Birth: New York
  • Date of Death: Wednesday, July 14th, 1982
  • Place of Death: New York

Bill got so astonished and bewildered that he doubted whether he was alive or not. He suddenly burst into tears and cried over his wretchedness. Then unconsciously he covered his face with his hands and screamed, “Help, help!…” But again the only answer that could be heard was the reverberation of his own voice. He fled from that scene with tearful eyes. Impulsively, he found himself in front of a wooden shanty whose door had been left open. Suddenly, something like an apparition appeared through the door at the far end of the room. Though he was dead horrified, he got closer to find out what that mysterious thing really was.

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When he got close enough, he saw Alan’s face smiling at him very broadly. Bill became very elated to see Alan in that fearful cemetery. He said:

“I’m very happy to see you here, Alan. I don’t really know how to express my gratitude to you.”

Then he entered the shanty and approached Alan with his arms open to embrace him tightly, but as soon as he wanted to hug him, Alan disappeared suddenly and right behind him, Bill saw himself with a pale face stretching out his hand and pointing to a particular spot outside the shanty. Then he turned to Bill and said:

“Bill, that tomb that you saw is really yours. Do not try to escape from your destiny because it is too late.”

Bill couldn’t believe what was happening to him. He was so perplexed that he didn’t know what to do for a short time. He saw himself, who was still pointing to the tomb on which his name had been inscribed. Bill couldn’t put up with that situation any longer and fled from himself involuntarily. He couldn’t even remind himself of the money because it was not important to him anymore. He broke out in a cold sweat. Bill, who had an overwhelming sense of despair and strong lassitude, was not sanguine about the future at all since he had a sense of foreboding that something unpleasant would happen to him.

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Suddenly, Bill heard the sound of some wolves howling from the other side of the walls in the privacy of the night. It seemed that the wolves had noticed Bill’s presence in the cemetery by sniffing and engulfed him completely. However, as Bill couldn’t get out of the cemetery, those wolves, which were very close, couldn’t enter the graveyard either, yet he had been dead horrified by them. They continued surrounding him for a while and finally left him desperately when they realized that they couldn’t have any access to him.

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Bill set about wandering in the cemetery because he couldn’t stand motionless in a particular place. As he was walking, he saw many phantoms behind the trees that had surrounded him thoroughly. When he became more careful, he realized that those alien faces didn’t seem foreign and unknown to him anymore. In fact, all of them sounded familiar to him and he had seen them many times before. He could see the faces of his father, his relatives and his close friends, who had died many years before. Each of them was standing by a tree and welcoming him to his own home with a wide and unpleasant grin on their faces. Among those cheerful and happy faces, Bill saw a person in black who was totally distinct from the others. Not only was she happy, but she was also moaning very sadly.

Bill got closer to see whether he knew her or not. Although her face had been covered with a black veil, Bill could recognize her by her voice and also her black robes. She was the same woman, who had vanished twice before. The same woman, who was mourning just beside the tomb on which Bill’s name had been inscribed. As soon as Bill wanted to turn back and leave her, he heard the woman addressing him:

“Bill, don’t go. Come closer.”

Her voice was very familiar to Bill. He approached her on his shaky feet. When he got close enough, the woman revealed her face by unveiling her covering. What Bill saw behind the veil was extremely bizarre and incredible. He saw the face of his mother, who had died eighteen years before, gazing at him steadily; however, her appearance was not similar to the one that Bill had seen in his dream the previous night. She looked very upset and unhappy. For a short time, Bill froze with surprise and couldn’t utter a word. Then he burst into tears and ran to his mother to clasp her tightly in his arms, but he was prevented from doing that by his mother’s saying:

“No Bill. Stop.”

“Oh mom…! But how can this be possible? You… you… you…!?” said Bill.

“Bill, I had deterred you, hadn’t I?” his mother said.

“Yes, yes mom, but… but…!” Bill replied.

“But you didn’t give serious consideration to the matter and that’s why you can’t now escape from your destiny.” said his mother.

Destiny, what do you mean by destiny? Mom, what are you talking about?” asked Bill.

But Bill couldn’t have any answer since his mother vanished in a haze of dust and fog while she was still gazing at him.

Bill seemed genuinely remorseful for the decision that he had made. He looked anxiously at his wristwatch, but it was still 1:46. Bill couldn’t tolerate that situation any longer. He threw away the backpack and decided to climb one of those four high and smooth walls. He preferred dying to staying in that hell even for another minute. So he tried to climb up one of the walls, although he knew he would be shot by one of those four hired night-watchmen.

However, he couldn’t succeed because of the height of the walls and slipped and dropped down from the wall very severely. He didn’t get desperate and climbed the wall again; nevertheless, all his efforts were in vain since the walls were too high and even for him to climb up. On the other hand, his legs and hips had been badly bruised. So he became hopeless completely to make another attempt and forgot about escaping from the graveyard.

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Suddenly as he was lying, he saw something shining on the ground, he became curious and got up and went nearer to see what that weird thing really was. When he got close enough to that place, he noticed the moon shining in the water collected in a hole. Bill, who had become extremely bushed and thirsty, approached the hole and knelt down on the ground right beside the hole to slake his thirst.

He furled his fingers so that his palms could form a bowl. Then he made his face closer to the water. However, before his hands could reach the water, in the moonlight and through his tremulous fingers, he saw the picture of an unearthly and eerie animal’s head instead of his own one in the water. Impulsively, he was filled with extreme trepidation and panic as soon as he saw that spooky scene in the water. Then he experienced a peculiar and weird feeling that affected his whole being. Suddenly, he passed out and collapsed on the ground right beside the hole and didn’t notice the time passing anymore.

Before the sunrise of the following morning, Alan and his four hired people came back to the cemetery as they had promised. Alan got out of the car and approached one of the walls hastily with a coil of rope in his hand. Then he threw the rope to Bill, who was supposed to be in the graveyard and yelled:

“Hey Bill, can you hear me? What’s up there, dear buddy? By the way, congratulations! You have done your duty successfully. Now I’m here to award you what I had sworn.” Then he continued:

“Now climb up the wall with the help of the rope because I’d like to see you as soon as possible.”

However, not only did Bill climb the wall, but he didn’t also say anything in response to Alan. After waiting for a while, Alan repeated his words, but Bill didn’t make any reply again. Alan, who was deeply perplexed and apprehensive, couldn’t wait anymore. So he and one of the four people entered the cemetery exactly as Bill had done and the rest of them stood behind the wall waiting for them. After looking for him awhile, they eventually found Bill lying on the ground right beside a hole.

Alan ran to him and embraced him tightly in his arms and tried to awaken him.

“Bill… Bill, wake up. Come on Bill. It’s me, Alan.” Alan said.

Suddenly, Alan noticed that he had clasped a pale body that was totally cold and spiritless, a body that was not even breathing. Alan put his thumb on the inside part of Bill’s wrist to take his pulse but felt nothing. Hot tears started rolling down Alan’s face as he was still cuddling the soulless corpse of his intimate friend in his arms.

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Bill had already departed this mundane life. In fact, he was not frightened of the dead people who had been buried in that cemetery any longer because now he himself had joined them.

Alan put back the corpse very gently in the same place that they had found him. Then he hesitantly got up and recoiled in horror at the sight of the corpse. After a short time, Alan approached the backpack, in which the $4000 was, and picked that up. Then while being rather scared of Bill, he turned to his friend’s cadaver and said:

“Farewell, my dear buddy.”

Afterward, both of them climbed up the wall with the help of the thick rope. Then all of them got into the car and left that place.

When they went back to New York, Alan asked one of the four people to call the police and inform them about the location of the corpse without introducing himself or uttering any word that could help the police discover their identities.

The police set off for the cemetery and after entering the graveyard, they found the cadaver exactly as the anonymous person had reported. Even after making a few inquiries, the police couldn’t find any clue or trace of homicide that could prove that the man had been killed. So they put the corpse into a body bag and transferred it from the cemetery to one of the forensic laboratories in New York.

Having performed an autopsy on Bill’s cadaver, the forensic pathologist declared that the man had not been murdered, but he had died of a great, sudden and severe panic. Since the police couldn’t identify the corpse, Bill was kept in the morgue and the specifications of the body with its picture were reported in the local press and on television.

Finally, the police could discover Bill’s identity the following day after his family had introduced themselves to them and since the cause of death had already been declared by the medical examiner, the police and his family made up their minds and agreed to transfer Bill from the morgue to the same cemetery in which he had died and inter him there.

Eventually, Bill was taken to the same graveyard again. The cemetery with which he had been dead familiar. However, this time, he was taken there involuntarily in comparison to the previous time. It seemed that Bill merely belonged to that specific place. A place that he was not frightened of at all anymore.

A simple funeral ceremony that Alan had also attended was held and Bill was buried among his peers, in the same place right beside the hole where he had already died.

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Hariri Asl, M. H. (2023). A Night in the Cemetery. LELB Society, https://lelb.net/a-night-in-the-cemetery-dr-mohammad-hossein-hariri-asl/

About Dr. Mohammad Hossein Hariri Asl

Dr. Mohammad Hossein Hariri Asl is an English and Persian instructor, researcher, inventor, author, blogger, SEO expert, website developer, and the creator of LELB Society. He's got a PhD in TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language). Study our guest posting guidelines for authors.

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8 comments on “A Night in the Cemetery by Dr. Mohammad Hossein Hariri Asl”

    • Fair enough! For this reason, this is not a ghost story grounded on unreal events because anybody in Bill’s situation could experience the same conditions or even worse.
      ‘Panic’ in this context is usually singular and uncountable.

  1. Greed makes people so blind that may not consider their own real benifit and do harm not only to others but even to themselves.
    If Bill was not so greedy he would have accepted the first generous offer of his friend Alen and took 2000 dollars and did not take such a big risk that cost his life and brought him such a bad misfortune.

    • Feedback
      * … blind that they may not consider …
      * consider their own real benifit = realize their own genuine potential or value
      * If Bill had not been so greedy (Conditional Sentences Type III)
      * cost his life = cost him his life

  2. This story teaches us, making sudden decisions and not consulting with others, can cause a bad outcome. For example if Bill would have share the situation with his wife, she wouldn’t let him to choose the second option. And he didn’t also pay attention to his sixth sense.
    on the other hand, I can’t understand Alan. Why would he offer a situation that may get his friend killed? He knew that Bill would choose the second option.
    Over all, it was an interesting story.

    • Feedback
      * This story teaches us that making sudden decisions …
      * if Bill had shared …, she wouldn’t have let him choose … (Conditional Sentences Type III)
      * let someone do something = let him choose

      Alan didn’t really want Bill to opt for the second option, and we could understand this point when Bill ultimately planned to descend the wall. Alan just inadvertently liked to test his friend’s egotism because I believe Alan, like a great deal of people, had some hidden psychological obsessions or complexes, and he was a businessman, thus not risking his money on a nonsensical bet.
      I should also add that I wrote this short story back in 2005, and I admit it is not perfect.

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