The following is another excerpt from my upcoming horror novel, ‘Sweet’. This scene comes immediately after the other excerpt from ‘Sweet’ that I posted two nights ago.
Larry woke up in a hot, confined space, pitch black. He bumped his head, arms, and feet against what felt like wood. He could barely move his limbs more than a a few centimetres; his head no more than a few millimetres. Bits of dirt fell on his face and hands. He spat out the dirt that had fallen on his mouth, then agitatedly reached for a pen light in his pants pocket. His sore back rubbed abrasively against a flat wooden surface.
In such a small space, it was hard to get his hand in and out of the pocket, but he managed. He switched it on with a trembling hand and tried to make out where he was: he had been put in some kind of small, rectangular box, his legs bent uncomfortably so he’d fit. His body was forcibly curled into a tight fetal position; and there were thin slits between the boards of wood that the box was made of, with dirt falling through the slits and onto his body.
He’d been buried alive!
He gasped, then screamed and shuffled in the box, but more dirt fell on his face, silencing him. Not wanting any more dirt to fall on him, he just sat still, and started to sob in despair.
Connie, you crazy bitch, he thought; What have you done to me?
Already, the air was getting thin.
Suddenly, he thought he heard faint digging sounds, which grew louder. Was somebody digging him out?
Soon, he heard the sound of a shovel knocking against the wood and causing more dirt to slip through the cracks and onto his face. No matter: someone was saving his life!
Is it Connie? he wondered; Did she only briefly bury me alive to scare me away? No, that’s ridiculous: she murdered her own son; murdering me would have been all the easier for her conscience, assuming she even has one.
When pretty much all the dirt was dug off, a hand started pulling on the wood to rip it off. Larry tried to kick and punch the wood, but still he could barely move at all. He pushed up with his hands and feet, and with the help of his unknown helper, finally the top board was ripped off.
Larry saw a hoary man, in his sixties, it seemed. The man reached down to help Larry up.
Larry came out of the box, shaking and with trauma beaming from his agape eyes. He spastically walked a few steps toward the old man’s nearby truck.
“You OK?” the old man asked. “Stupid question, I know, but I don’t know what else to say.”
“I-I’m better than a few m-minutes ago, anyway,” Larry stammered. “Thank you.”
“I’m amazed I had the strength to dig you outta there,” the old man said. Then he put out his hand to shake Larry’s. “I’m Joe, Joe Hill.”
“Larry Goodman,” Larry said, not able to tell if his hand was shaking from shaking Joe’s, or from his continued state of shock. “And I am more pleased to meet you…than anyone else ever has been…and ever will be, I can confidently say.”
“Yeah, that was a close call, all right,” Joe said. “I got here right after that woman drove away, down that road.” Joe pointed in the direction he’d seen her car go.
“You know her.”
“Of course,” Larry said, finally beginning to calm down. We had a…disagreement about what our baby’s future sh-should be like.”
“She’s your wife?”
“No, a one-night stand…gone psychotically wrong.”
“I can see that,” Joe said. “How old’s your baby?”
“Not born yet. Connie’s about a month pregnant, and she has plans…for that baby, plans she knows…I won’t ever accept.”
Larry looked Joe hard in the face, took a deep breath, and said, “She wants to wait…till the baby’s about…a month or two old, I suppose.” He leaned closer to Joe. “Then she’ll kill it, cook it, and eat it.”
“Jesus Christ, what a sick bitch.”
‘I’ve gotta stop her. Look, I hate to impose on you after all you’ve done, but can you please drive me to Toronto, to the police?”
“I can drive you there tomorrow,” Joe said. “Right now, I can barely stand, I’m so exhausted.”
“Same here. I understand.”
“Let’s come up to my house, and you can sleep there for the night. I have a spare bedroom with your name on it. You hungry?”
“No, she fed me well at her house earlier tonight. Normal food, of course,” Larry said as they got into the truck. “She drugged my wine, though, then took me here.”
Joe put his key in the ignition switch. “This may take a while,” Joe said as he started the ignition. “This beat-up old truck takes forever…” The truck started immediately. “Well, thank you! Goddamn piece of shit. Why couldn’t you start this quickly before? I could’ve gotten Larry out sooner.”
“Truck’s seen better days, eh?”
“Everything on my damn farm has seen better days. I don’t even have a decently functioning cell-phone or computer.” They started going back to his house.
Larry checked his own phone, for he was eager to call the police. “Oh, dammit. My phone’s battery just ran out. I’ll have to inform the police tomorrow.”
“Let’s just go up to my house and get a good night’s sleep, OK?” Joe said.
“OK, but after what just happened, I’m not sure if I will sleep at all tonight, or any night.”
Larry saw black all around him. He was hot, and cramped in, barely able to move more than fidgeting. Dirt was falling on his face. He spat the dirt out, found the air getting thinner and thinner, his life slowly leaving him…
“Unh!” he gasped, waking up with a jerk. He looked around his dark surroundings nervously: under him, a soft, comfy bed; to his left, white curtains around a large window that let in just a little moonlight; in front, across from the foot of the bed was a mirror over a dresser drawer, allowing him to see the shadow of a reflection of himself; and to his right, a closet with folding doors. Immediately to the right of the head of the bed was a bedside table with an old Mickey Mouse telephone on it. A clock radio was beside the phone: it was about 4:25 am.
Larry remembered: old farmer Joe’s spare bedroom. Larry let out a big sigh of relief, let his head drop down on the pillow, and tried to relax. After an hour or so of fidgeting fearfully, he fell asleep.
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