Still of the Night

January 24, 2011
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Digging sucks. Not just digging graves, but digging in general. Why do I have to turn over earth in order to bury a body? It’s back-breaking work and it takes forever. But, it’s not like there are any lakes or rivers nearby. No bodies of water whatsoever. Not too many people die around here either, so it’s pretty rare for there to be a ready-made grave. Luckily for me, a nice gent had the decency to die a couple days ago. Just got to dig ‘til I hit the coffin and no one will be the wiser. The grass hasn’t grown over yet. No incinerators nearby. They really ought to sponsor something for one of those. Maybe the PTA could get together and raise funding for a kiln. A really big kiln. A big kiln for the high school with easy access, easy excuse. Wow, nice idea Lilly.
I drag his limp body across the damp cemetery grass. His head lolls to the side and his dead weight is such a chore. You’d think they’d come up with some sort of spell by now. Need a quick grave? Abracadabra- six feet of lovely ground open for the body you need to deposit. Roll the sucker in and pow! All the dirt fills in automatically. No digging required.
“I should market that someday...” I remark to myself.
I set his body at the edge of the grave. His dark hair is matted with dew and his eyes stare blankly into the night. Closing his eyes, I shove him into the earth’s chasm. Light is still hours away. Sounds of the empty graveyard shake the earth in their silence. The soft rustle of leaves, hoot of a stray owl, and choppy strikes of the shovel against overturned earth disturb the stillness of the night.
There’s no other good time to bury a body around here. Around 3 am is perfect. 2 am is last call. By three everyone’s home and 4 am people star getting up for work. The cemetery’s not exactly out in the open but it pays to be over-cautious in this business. A sigh drifts slowly from my mouth, caught on the open night breeze. Tossing my dark hair out of my face, I pat down the last of the dirt covering the impromptu grave.
Wiping sweat from my brow, the first hint of light graces the tops of the trees. Time to split. Hands cramped from digging and reburying, I still hurry out of that cemetery. Tossing the dirty shovel into the trunk, I hop into the front seat and start the engine. A soft rattle answers.
“Start for me baby… Come on… Please! Do it for mommy…” I coax my baby into starting. A growl answers, purring to my encouragement. “I love you! Let’s bust this hot dog stand baby.”
Shifting into first, I slowly leave the scene of the after-crime. No sense in drawing attention to myself now. Especially since the hard work is over. The soft outlines of trees sneak by in the early light. Several minutes later, I pull into my driveway and enter my home. Jumping into the shower immediately, I wash away all the grime of fly-away dirt and sweat.
Toweling off, I slip into my soft pink pajamas and slip into the light blue sheets next to my sweety Mack. He moans in his sleep and curls around me. His blonde flyways tickle my neck and his early morning shadow scratches my cheek. A sleepy greeting returns from me, although I have to be up soon to get into the bakery early.
The price we pay to protect the ones we love. It makes me pretend to sleep, dig a grave, and return to my unsuspecting Mack. And this is a good day.

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