The Enforcer

Frank walked past St. Mary’s Cemetery on his way home from the vendor every night, carrying his usual two-four for later, and king can for the road. It’d never stood out to him more than any other boneyard but tonight something prickled at the edges of his vision.

The shadows were wrong.

Frank squinted closer, wondering if some drunks had kicked over headstones for shits and giggles. No, headstones weren’t knocked over, they were gone. Frank didn’t like mysteries, Especially when his boss—Winnipeg’s local necromancer—was away on a job.

He muttered, “Well, shit,” took the gate lock in a meaty, dead hand, snapped it and headed in.

There was no sound other than wind rustling through leaves, and distant traffic. A shadow rose behind Frank in the moonlight. He spun around. A huge shape made of dirt with patches of grass-like hair, and wearing tombstones like hockey pads reared back to drive him into the ground.

He dropped his beer and rolled away. An earthen hand, bigger than Frank’s entire body, slammed down on the case, shattering the contents.

“Aw, fuck.”

The vendor was closed now.

He kicked a marble stone, dead centre, cracking it in half. The thing howled like a cement mixer starting up. Frank didn’t know if he’d hurt it. Or if it could be hurt.

Tombstones covered its earthy body like hockey pads. Obelisk-shaped grave markers slid from the dirt where its hands should’ve been. Another swing. Frank caught the first obelisk, braced his feet and wrenched. There was a sucking sound, like pulling a fence post from wet clay, and it came free.

Frank slammed his makeshift club through the dirt, severing the thing’s other wrist. The second obelisk dropped and the thing swelled, absorbing more graves, replacing the cracked tombstones. Frank slugged it again, but it swallowed him like a mudslide. The earth flowed around him, but still felt like it’d been packed hard.

He had no leverage but he dug and scratched. The thing’s form shifted around him, keeping him trapped. Nothing to punch. Nothing to kick. He didn’t need to breathe, or he’d have already suffocated. He hit something solid. It wasn’t dirt. Had to be important. A coffin, or casket. Frank knew the feel. He doubted it was empty.

Frank clenched tight to a pallbearer’s handle and tore it free with a grunt. Dirt poured into the coffin and Frank plunged his hand inside with it. There was a body inside. Frank fumbled for the skull and crushed it in a meaty hand. It felt wet. Fresh. The dirt parted around him, and the golem dissipated, like it’d been dumped by a truck, leaving an unembalmed body among scattered tombstones, earth, and coffin remnants.

He glimpsed someone in a wide-brimmed hat and long duster getting into a big, dark car. Only a necromancer thought that look rocked. He dug himself out from his shallow grave of loose earth as red taillights grew fainter in the dark, and disappeared.

Read more in Earth: Giants, Golems, & Gargoyles.