Shovel of the Gravedigger


Meticulously, the shovel of the gravedigger buries deep in the mud, searching for dry soil, the dead deserve the best. Moving in a hypnotic motion of bringing shovelful after shovelful to the coffin, dumping the sludge onto the wood, the gravedigger jams the shovel into the muck. With a small oil lantern hanging from the branch of a tree nearby, illuminating the flooding burial ground, the gravedigger takes a soil-sodden glove off of one hand, pulls his ball cap from atop his head and tucks it into the armpit of his jacket. Down at the coffin he looks, scratching his soaking wet beard that has matted down to his face by the rain.


“Hello down there!” he yelled over the downpour “still alive?”


Noise had ceased to come from the coffin an hour after the storm started, but with a voice calling out, the body inside began thrashing and screaming again, more forcefully this time. Lightning flashed off somewhere in the distance, the gravedigger counting the short seconds until the boom. Another flash light up the night sky, closer the count.


“Ah, soon...” said the gravedigger glancing at his watch. “Soon I can see my friends again, and you will meet them too”


Pulling on his cap and glove, the gravedigger tried to grab the shovel, the air pockets from the soil escaping in the form of sucking sounds, but it wouldn't budge, the ground had solidified around it. A long streak of lightning shot from the clouds, striking the lantern on the branch, shattering the glass, spilling the oil, engulfing the tree in flames despite the rain. The light from the fire cast a beacon over the entire graveyard.


“Here they are” grinned the gravedigger, speaking to the body in the coffin. “Right on time, and I bet they're hungry”


In a circle, around the gravedigger and the semi-buried coffin, they stood. Hands clasped together holding their arms above their heads, they began walking towards them, closing the circle slowly.


“Glad to see you could make it” joked the gravedigger to no one in particular. “He's all yours, enjoy”


They stopped, two hands release from each other, creating an entrance from the circle for the digger to pass. Once through, the hands locked together and the circle continued to inch closer towards the coffin. Hiking up his pants, the gravedigger turned around and walked away, away from the shovel, away from the mud, away from the burning tree, and away from the soon to be screams.

The End

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