“Stop or I’ll shoot!” Herron shrieked, and when the man continued on, Herron fired twice. Nothing happened. He looked at his weapon in hopeless confusion. The man, still approaching, was only fifty feet away from us. And then he stopped.
He looked around, almost as if he were sniffing for something. “Lucas!” I cried out, hoping to reach him. It was as though he didn’t hear me.
“That’s not Lucas,” came Anna’s feeble voice from behind me. I turned toward her, but her eyes were focused on the stone she’d been unearthing. “It’s—“
“ARIAN!!” The voice rang out through the cemetery, angry and fierce. All at once, the approaching man seemed to shrink a bit. Lucas’s features weren’t as apparent in his face anymore. He was staring at us—no, directly behind us—at Alex. “Let him go,” Alex ordered.
“Who is that? Where did he come from?” Herron demanded. Nobody answered him.
Alex walked briskly past us in the direction of the man who was somehow, apparently, unbelievably, Arian Crowley. Arian stumbled backwards. “You know this won’t work,” Alex said. “I won’t let it happen. Let him go. Now.”
Arian looked at Alex with a mixture of anguish and hatred. Lucas was all but gone from his face. “Fuck you!” he spat. But he was still retreating, still pedaling back from Alex, who seemed to grow larger and more intimidating with every step. “What does it matter?” Arian’s tone became pleading. “He won’t survive.”
At that, Alex stopped and looked at the ground. “I know.” Then he sprinted at Arian and tackled him, and Arian didn’t even bother to run, and they both disappeared as they fell.
The police backup arrived shortly thereafter to Anna, Officer Herron and I sitting on the ground near Arian Crowley’s grave. “Those men,” one officer said. “Where did they go?” We just shook our heads in a stunned silence, wondering the same thing ourselves.
About five minutes later, I had come back to my senses somewhat, and all I could think of were Arian’s final words. “He won’t survive.” With a pit in my stomach, I called home, hoping that Lucas was alright but knowing he wasn’t. My mother answered on the first ring, and she was already crying.
“I was just about to call you,” she said. “He’s gone. Lucas is gone.”