Burial Mound

Flash fiction piece.

Lara held her dress bunched in one fist as she ascended the steep grade of the massive burial mound. On her way to the beach, the head anthropologist, Tom, had summoned Lara to meet him at a new dig site. It was seventy miles out of the way of her beach trip, but she needed the opportunity. Her graduate research wouldn’t finish itself.


“Not the best attire for the occasion,” a familiar voice sounded from the top of the mound.


“I was on my way to the beach, not a dig site,” Lara retorted.


“The beach can wait. These bones cannot, I’m afraid. We need to get them documented before the storm hits,” Tom returned.


Lara glanced skyward. Heavy clouds were blowing in from the West.  She could hear a frog croaking nearby, announcing the coming deluge.


“Well, lets get to work,” Lara sighed, grabbing the scattered equipment necessary to document the ancient bones buried in rectangular graves throughout the mound. 


An hour into the project, the forceful wind halted the operation. Lara and Tom gathered up their equipment, covering the grave pits with tarps.


“So much for finishing before the storm,” Tom grunted, wiping his face with the back of his hand.


Lara raised her head, listening to a sound that was being carried with the wind.


“Do you hear that?” she asked Tom, who crouched over a tarp nearby.


“Yeah,” Tom answered, his head cocked to one side, “It almost sounds like drums.”


“How far are we from the nearest town?”


“Too far.”


As the two huddled against the wind, the sound of drums grew louder.


A wind gust dislodged the tarp, uncovering a burial pit. Lara ran to recover it, pausing over the grave.


“Tom, the bones….”


“What about them?” he shouted over the wind.


“They’re gone.”

The End

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