Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, The Missing Chapter.

[a parody.... spoiler alert -- do not read if you plan to read the book]

Final Chapter

Nobody Owens left the graveyard, left his home and left his family, and made his way out into the great big world. He did not know what lay before him on his new journey, but he was confident that Silas and his mother and father, Miss Lupescu, and Liza Hempstock had taught him all he would need to know to survive in this world of the living.

As Nobody walked down the sidewalk, he spotted a familiar face staring back at him from a poster taped to the window of a small shop with the word, "BEWARE" printed below the image in large, bold letters.

Nobody recognized the face because it was Silas. The poster made him feel angry. And he entered the shop and tore down the paper poster with Silas' face on it. "What's this?" Nobody asked the man who was standing behind the shop's counter. "Why does the poster say 'BEWARE' on it?"

"That's the vampire who's been terrorizing the town," the man answered bluntly.

"What do you mean, 'vampire'?" Nobody shouted, the anger rising in his blood like a fever. "What's a vampire?"

The man pointed at the poster. "That's a vampire. That tall, pale creature. With razor-sharp finger nails. He fears the daylight, but comes at night to drain the blood of his victims by biting their necks. He's been a plague on this town for many years. He's killed many people."

Nobody thought about Silas, how he looked, how he did not eat meals with him. How he would be gone for days and weeks at a time. Was Silas really a vampire? A monster? Then he thought of Scarlett and how Silas had told him she had gone with her mother back to Scotland, and now he wondered if that was true.

"Is there a list of victims?" Nobody asked the shopkeeper.

"Yes. There's a list in the local paper every week." Nobody grabbed the paper and scanned the list of names and dates. He remembered the last time Silas was away from the graveyard for several days, and during that same time there were several attacks in town. He searched the list for the name Perkins and saw the name, Perkins, Scarlett Amber.

And then the horror of it all was so great that Nobody's throat could not contain it. "No!" he cried out loud enough to wake the dead. "No!"