Unhappily James Phantom walked through the cemetery past tombstones decorated with flowers, from tea roses for a lovely lady near the chapel, to a bunch of puffy yellow chrysanthemums for old Mr. Jeffreys.
In life he’d been inured to the unpleasantness of being an outsider, but felt it was unjust to have to be the brunt of illegitimate xenophobic insults even in death.
There was not a scintilla of truth in the string of slanderous conjectures that Mistress Mercy had spread around stating that he was “different”, that he was in fact, a zombie. What was at first a brontide coming from two old gossips had now become a palavar of virtuous outcry by the older generations.
In life, he’d been hounded, arrested and accused of practicing witchcraft. The accusations, based on the simple fact that his father being a voodoo man,could talk to the dead.
The exorcists insisted that DNA had determined that he must have the power not only to speak to the dead but, ironically, to turn people into zombies as well. He suspected that he’d just been a pawn. What they’d really wanted to do was embarrass the upper crust of the Jamaican community branding him a lowly warlock
He’d denied the accusations vigorously, reminding them that he was a man of culture, a professor of philosophy, but to no avail. They imprisoned him and in prison one night he’d met his fate. A huge bat had flown into his cell, attached itself to his jugular vein and grazed upon his blood until he’d died.
When they’d found him they quietly placed his poor body in, what they thought was, an abandoned crypt and said he’d escaped from his cell and had probably gone back to Jamaica.
He’d awakened in that tomb three days later but realized he wasn’t a ghost. He wasn’t alone either … Mistress Mercy stood there glowering at him because he’d invaded her home. That was when the old hag had started her hate campaign. She reasoned just like the exorcists too. She said that he had to be a zombie because his father was a voodoo man!
It was bad enough raising hungry from the tomb every night … but hey, he was under nobodies spell and he certainly didn’t drool walking around like an empty eyed, inelegant goon. He was completely articulate too.
“Anyone with any sense should realize that I’m a vampire!” he shouted to no one.
The exorcists had been right about one thing though. Unfortunately, he could talk to the dead like his father had, it was in his DNA.