Haunted Hide and Seek

The fences around churchyards were iron for a reason. Time wore on, though, as it always does, and that reason was forgotten. People erected chain fences and used padlocks to keep other people out. They forgot about the things that needed to be kept in.
Jack stood by the gate with her hood up, watching the people as they moved about among the tombstones to visit ancestors and loved ones. With any luck, none of them would see her. It was rare but possible. After all, those who were close to needing her services were likely to have death on the mind. She glanced at the sky. The sun would be setting soon, and then it would be time to get to work. Once the living were gone, then she could look for that which they had set free.
A long, low moan echoed through the now empty burying ground and Jack winced. It was the sound of metal grinding somewhere. Probably a crypt door, if she knew anything about her line of work. Now came the first of many unpleasant parts of the evening: crossing the boundary line into the sanctified part of the grounds. Jack stretched and pulled her hood down as she walked towards the fence. Then she passed through it. That was never a fun time, but she had made it through. That meant it was hunting time. Extending her hand, she called her scythe forth and spun it idly as she walked.
“Come out, come out, wherever you are.”
She singsonged her words as she scanned the area around her. There was the open crypt. Time to investigate. She stepped up to the door and stuck her head inside.
“Olly olly oxen free!”
But there was nothing undead in there. Nothing moving.
“Well, that’s bad. That means it’s out there somewhere.”
Turning, she scanned the horizon again. It would be here still, somewhere. Then she gritted her teeth. No, it had a way out, dammit.
“Stupid humans forgetting the rules!”
Scythe in hand, Jack sprinted for the main gate of the cemetery. Iron would have kept the thing in. Iron would have kept the humans safe. Iron would have made her job a world of easier. Instead, she found herself getting there just too slow as the undead creature wrenched the gates open and crossed the barrier. The land of the living had been breached. Jack swung her scythe up into an attack position. She still had time, before something else noticed what had happened. She could still reap this lost soul and keep the world in balance. Then something slammed into her from behind. When she stood again, her prey was gone and a human teenager sat on the ground behind her, blinking up with wide confused eyes from behind his too-large glasses.
“Well, shit. This day just keeps getting better and better…”

The Grave

They didn’t give her the luxury of a headstone. There was nothing to mark the grave that held the woman who had enslaved the people of that valley for generations and the people liked it that way. They built monument after monument to commemorate the heroes, but nothing of the woman they had slain. So when the flowers began to appear in that precise spot in the forest, people began to talk. At first, they wondered if it was a coincidence. Quietly, some of the town guards removed the flowers and said nothing about the incident. A month later, though, there were flowers there once again. That was when people truly began to worry. What if this was a sign? What if her reign wasn’t truly over?
Every time the flowers were taken away, new ones returned. Finally, one day the town agreed to post guards, certain they would find who had the audacity to leave flowers for the villain that still stalked the nightmares of many. It was that first night that after that the guards find the culprits. A small child and a man they all knew well had walked out into the forest with a bouquet in their hands. Staring in horror, the two guards knelt before the paladin, the hero of old who had slain the wicked woman. With a sigh, he looked them over and then set the flowers on the grave before lifting his son onto his hip.
“I don’t suppose these ones could last more than a day? I’d rather my son not have to come out here to honor his mother more often than necessary for him to keep her memory alive.”