Thriller by Phyllis Taylor

In North Philadelphia where we used to live on Sydenham Street there was a graveyard that had been purchased along with several blocks of other condemned buildings by Temple University. From Sydenham Street there was a group of us kids – all approximately the same age, give or take a few years – that got into trouble together. When you saw one, the others weren’t far behind. We used to play in the condemned houses that were being torn down and in the graveyard that was being torn up – even though we weren’t supposed to be any where near that property!

One Saturday afternoon we had all been out roamin’ and rompin’ around and one of us had the brilliant notion to go play hide and seek in the graveyard! It wasn’t quite dusk yet so we all went. It was me, Rodney, Dakota, Barry, Linda, and Willie – the gang. We tore through the empty houses, climbed onto the barely there roof tops, swung down dilapidated brick walls, scooted around pulled up tree trunks and threw dirt pods at each other all the while not noticing it was getting darker. Just dark enough not to be able to see all that needed to be seen especially in a mostly dug up grave yard that was a field of open ditches – uh, graves! Rodney was “IT” and had to come find the rest of us before we made it back to the “base”! Every body was tearing out from their hiding places, charging back towards the half wall that was “base” when Rodney took out after me! I thought he was still behind me when I slowed to turn and see where he’d gone. I saw no one. Nothing. Rodney was gone. I didn’t see the others and it was getting darker! I saw movement coming from the ground and screamed when I saw a hand come up. I took off across the graveyard screaming to any body that bodies were coming out of the ground!! I didn’t stay around to see that Rodney had fallen into one of the open grave pits! It was his hand sticking up out of the grave!!


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