8-8-8

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Someone was jostling me. Someone was urgent to wake me up. I opened my eyes, and took a deep breath. No one was there. The musty old car smell flew up my nose, and I looked around. I was bumping around in a car trunk. The car rattled and shock as we whirled down a dirt road. We hit one really big pothole, and I went flying against the back of the trunk, and hit my head. Everything went dark.

It wasn't always like this. I wasn't some weird girl who enjoyed being bumped around in the back of the car. I did enjoy adventure though, although not this kind. I was very fond of adventure and mystery books. But besides my weird taste of books, I was pretty normal. I went to a middle school, and had a bunch of friends.

It was the last day of school. Everyone was hugging each other goodbye, handing out our addresses, making plans for the summer. I got called to the office, and had to leave my crying teacher and bewildered friends behind. They said my uncle was here, although I guess my “uncle” forgot to tell them he has been dead since 1983. So with dried tears on my cheeks, I confusedly walked to the office. And that’s where I first met my kidnappers.

I heard a faint click, and a light screech. The trunk door flew open, and I flipped onto the ground, and lifted up my head only to see eyes staring down at me.

“This way, miss Priss,” he said chuckling, “Your old mans gonna laugh when he hears this.” He lifted me up and shoved me forward. They crossed over the highway into the darkness of the night. In black clothes, they kept shoving me forward. My last day of school outfit, hardly keeping me warm, was tattered and torn. I brushed the dirt off myself, and shivered as the cool breeze ran down my back. A glimmer of light twinkled in my eye, and the leaves shone in the light. We were walking towards a cemetery.

We stopped walking at Charlie Smith's grave. “Sit,” he commanded. I hated getting treated like a dog, but I obeyed. They pulled the heavy bag off my back, and pulled out three shovels. That would explain the weight. “Dig,” he said in a garble voice. I grabbed the shovel, and dragged it off the floor, and with a shaky breath started to push the shovel into the dirt. Hours past and the sandy dirt piled tirelessly on the side of the grave. The winds picked up, and the powered dirt, rose and fell back where it came from. The howls and shrieks of restless ghosts rang in our ear, and we continued to shovel. What were we doing here, and why did they need me!? But the determination in my abductors' eye, and the way he shoved the shovel into the dirt, told me it was for a reason.

With every ounce of strength I had left, I jammed my shovel into the ground. Screech! The shrill sounds of scraping metal, made all of us cringe. I let go of my shovel and dropped to the ground. Chills bolted down my back. My goose bumps had goose bumps, and my purple lips guarded my chattering teeth. My captor picked up my shovel and scraped the remaining dirt off the coffin. “Here it is,” he said, “we did it.” He chuckled, and wiped his sweaty brow on his filthy hands, leaving a black smudge across his face. I couldn't help but laugh, and I wasn't sure whether it was about finishing, or my captor's new unibrow. I dangled my legs into the pit, and looked down at the unveiled coffin. I brushed the rest of the dirt off the coffin, and there was written: CHARLES DENWER. “Umm...” I said scrunching up my forehead, “that wasn't the name on the grave,” I stared up at my captor. “Was it?” He gave me the ugliest stare.

“Course not. You think he would put his real name when there are smart crims like us?” He chuckled. “I guess it wouldn't really matter right?” He laughed again.

“What's inside his coffin? Why do you want to dig it up so badly?” I asked, trying to make sense of all this behavior. Although I knew that everyone claims he was buried with lots of treasure.

He only looked down at me like I was mad. “What!? Do you think we're stupid?” He looked at me, raising one half of his unibrow.

“No! I umm... Well it said- but then I thought- but it wasn't-” he stared at me as I kept on rambling on, “I just thought... maybe-”

“Come again?” he said. I closed my eyes.

“I just didn't know why the name on the coffin didn't match the name on the grave stone. That's all,” and I looked down at my feet. He turned to face his partner pointing at me, and they both started chuckling. I started to laugh too. I didn't really know why I was laughing; it was more of a nervous laugh. But as soon as I started laughing, he whipped around his head and glared at me. I looked at my feet again. “Okay not funny,” I said, and shriveled up into a tiny ball as he stared me down.

He said, “That's funny that you say that, because you were laughing too. And usually, not always...” he started to glare at me again, “It means you think it's funny!” His face gradually turned back to a normal skin color. “Now,” he said calming himself down, “stop playing dumb, and just tell us the code.”

I cocked my head. “Uhhh. I- Ummm. What?” I sputtered.

He growled.

“Just tell me the code,” He said glaring at me. Yea, like glaring at me will suddenly make me get what you’re talking about!

“I really, don't what you’re talking about,” I said nervously, hoping that would be the end of that. Although, unfortunately, I couldn't picture it.

His sweaty face balled up into a knot, and turned bright red. “Damn, girl! We can stay here all night. I just need...” He wiped the sweat off his face, and the unibrow disappeared. “...the code.” And with that he picked me and dropped me into the pit. I let out a whimper. “It was your own fault you didn't tell us the code from the beginning. Now I'm gonna make this easy for you, mute girl. Just put in the code, and we'll be outta here. K?” He pointed at the lock combination. I started to sweat, as my shaky hands led me towards the lock. My heart was beating and a few tears trickled down my cheek. Mystified, not for the first time, I looked at the lock. Then I let go, “But why,” I said, “would I know the combination.” I looked up at him.

He clenched his teeth, and let out a long, deep, heavy sigh. “Well, I would think, your twin brother would have his family make the code!” He sat down, “I didn't want to do this, but if I have to,” he raised his eyebrows, “I will get it out of you, one way or another. You'll wish you had told me.” His and his partner's sly looking faces gleamed on the two metal shovels they were holding.

I stepped back to the wall of the grave “I don't mean to pop your bubbles, but I don't really... have a brother, let alone a twin.”

He crossed his fingers and dropped the shovel, “So you're telling me, Mandy Denwer, you have no idea what I'm talking about?” He closed his eyes and prayed.

“I'm Mindy Denthik. Not Mandy Denwer,” I closed my eyes.

“And you're not Charles Denwer's sister?” His ugly face wrinkled up.

“No,” I replied with a sigh. Although I didn't tell them that I might not have been his twin sister, but I knew the Denwers. Charlie was my crush. It was the day that he was going to ask me to the dance. The gossip had spread and finally found me. Then the attack happened at the school, and he never got a chance to ask me. That was 5 years ago.

He threw his hands in the air, and he started laughing. He laughed until his ugly laugh turned into an ugly sob. He fell to the ground, and buried his face into his dirty hands. So this guy is trying to tell me I'm not the girl he's looking for? Yes! Wait... what happens to me. They're not going to just let me go... they'd have to take me hostage! “Wait,” I started laughing, “I am Mandy Denwer! I was just pulling your legs!” I laughed this unnatural laugh, which I can only do when I'm about to get in trouble. “Funny huh?” I said as I wiped my also unnatural laughing tears from my eyes, and looked up at them. They seemed relieved that I was Mandy Denwer but mad that I had played that trick. They eyed each other. I didn't know exactly what that meant but I jumped in the hole before the glimmering shovels would come out to play again.

“We're going to let this one slide, Mandy, but for the future, Victor and I don't like pranks,”

“Okay.” They stared at me, they didn't have to say anything, and I knew to unlock the code. I crouched there shivering. The brisk wind tousled my hair and my almost numb fingers played with the lock. My mind blank with tricks concentrated hard at the task at hand. I fiddled and fumbled with the lock but nothing came to me. I started putting in random number; none or which had popped the lock open. I heard the tapping of the feet of my captors, and smelt the sighs too. I could feel there anxiousness and I could taste the victory in the air. A bolt of lightning shot through the sky, followed by the trickling of rain. The rain grew heavier and mud started covering the coffin.

“Come on! We don't have all day!” They shuffled around in the rain. “Goodnight! Come in the car when you’re done.” And with that they left me shivering in the rain with a code that I had no clues to solve with. I hated how they just assumed I wouldn’t runaway, the truth: I wouldn't. There's nowhere to run in a creepy graveyard, and they would eventually catch up with me. Tired, defeated, and lonely I hobbled over to the car. I tried ringing out my shirt, but the water just fell onto my feet. I quietly opened up the car door so the two sleeping men wouldn't wake up, and slowly the car scent filled my nose. My shoes squeaked on the rubber mats. I tried lying down but my wet clothes filled the seats with dirt and grime. The rain sang its song on the car, and danced on the windows. I lied back; glad to be out of the rain and not in the trunk. I closed my eyes, and suddenly the world faded to a black endless pit.

I cried into my mothers arm. I don’t know what it was about sad things in newspapers, but it always stuck in my mind. Poor Charlie, I wailed in my mom’s lap, as she stroked my hair. He had died on his 8th birthday on 8/8/08. I started to cry harder not only for him, but also for how grateful I was. I looked at my sweet, comforting mother. She smiled, and sat me upright. I looked at her; she had tears running down her cheeks. Why was she crying? I thought. Her tears ran down her face faster, and a pool formed at the bottom of her feet. The pool grew, and became a river on the floor. I looked around, this wasn’t my house, this was the cafeteria at my school! My mom came over and tried to kiss me. Everyone started laughing and pointing. I started running towards the exit, but I couldn’t. Something was slowing me down. Something pulled and tugged on my clothes. I looked around, and I slowly melted to the floor. My clothes suffocated me, and I looked at me mom for help. I tried to scream but the laughter and the crying drowned me out. I grabbed onto my mom’s leg, sobbing, hoping she would untangle my clothes. I looked up, but it wasn’t my mom, it was my kidnapper. He ran towards me, and I fell into the same dark pit I came in.

A bolt of lighting flashed into the corners of the sky. The car shook with anger and both men grunted. My eyes popped open, and I gasped for breath. I shook in the corner, cold, hungry, scared, and alone. The car shook violently again and Victor rolled onto the gas. The car jerked and started rolling into the pouring darkness. The station wagon bumped and swerved, and Victor woke up from his deep sleep. He sat up and yelled to his partner. Victor stopped the car and the other guy got out and directed him to the road. They stepped back into the car, and looked each other like they had been blessed by not running into the graves. Victor’s face turned from thankful to a panicked plead, “The girl!” They shouted.

They got back to the car and the wheels squealed as they took off. I silently crept into the trunk and crouched down unnoticeable. I had to get back to his grave. Slowly I walked my fingers along the cold metal. My fingers walked up the metal to the handle. I clutched it and slowly but surely as I opened the trunk door. The trunk squeaked and sighed, as I worked it open. The men didn’t seem to notice as I prepared to jump. I squatted down low and stretched my arms out. In the darkness I couldn’t really see what I was jumping on to, so I wished for good luck. I sprung up out of the darkness and pushed the trunk all the way open. But in the process I hit my head on the metal ring at the top, and I toppled over onto the tarp in the back. The muddy tarp tangled between my legs and around my body. I fought free from the mess. I sat down, and the emptiness was filled with silence as they stopped the car and shut their mouths. “Who’s back there?” Victor whispered into the dingy light. “Who the hell… is in the trunk,” He stuttered. I held my breath and stood as still as the grave in the night air. “Ya’ll better get out!” Said the other man who had already climbed into the back seat, feeling his way to the trunk. I had to get out of there. As the man touched the back of my hair, I jumped out of the trunk, letting the moonlight gleam onto my muddy clothes and my greasy hair. They both jumped out of the car and ran towards me. “Why would you scare us like that?” Said the man.
“Yeah!” Said Victor. “Why would you do that,” He paused and shook his head. Then he stopped, “Is it open? What’s inside? Gold? Jewelry? Money?” I bit my lip and rocked on my heels. He eyed me.
“I guess you'll have to take a look for your selves!” I said, “Follow me, and I'll show you his coffin.” I tied my hair in a ponytail around the nape of my neck. I pulled it tight and said, “This way!” As I took off to the Charles grave.


I swerved in and out of the graves. Panting behind me, I heard Victor muttering under his breath. The other man ran to the car and drove it carefully back to where it was. I ran faster, my legs getting splashed in the mud. My clothes were now brown, and the wet clothe clung to me like a baby to it's mother. I saw the dug out grave and I jumped in getting my shivering hands around the lock. I could hear the foot steps of Victor getting closer, the sloshing of his feet. The dark night air, wasn't as dark as before. And slowly the light crept out from behind the trees. I didn't have much time. The sloshing was getting closer and closer, and the the sound of chirping birds slowly filled my ears. I fiddled with the lock. I had one chance, and the sound of breath was still getting closer. I wiped the mud of it, and punched in three numbers. The date of his death, the age that he died. 8-8-8. The lock popped open, as my regret and sorrow was locked up. Victor coughed and I looked up. HE helped me up, jumped down and threw the lock to the side. I closed one eye, never seeing a corpse in a muddy coffin before. He opened the coffin door and we all peered in. Everything went silent. And we stared into the empty coffin. Nothing was inside. Nothing.

Then out of the silence came a booming voice. “You!” He whipped around and pointed his finger his finger at me, “you thought you could trick us again!” He flared his nostrils and growled through his clenched teeth.

“M-me!” I stuttered. I jumped up, “you think I took the treasure!? You saw me opening the lock just before!”

He smirked and said, “then why did you come in the car if you hadn't opened it?”

“Well-I wanted-but no, I- look if you- I think... ummm I,” I stammered, he'd got me. And I slumped back to the ground.

He kicked the one of the walls and stomped his feet. “Ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!” He grumbled to the sky. He shook his head violently and pulled at his hair. Then suddenly he stopped and gazed up at me, a blank expression cast over his face. But then his eyebrows scrunched and fury filled his eyes. “Where'd you hide it?” He whispered. I opened my mouth to talk but nothing came out. He slapped me across the face. “Where'd is it!?” He thundered.

I held my face in my hands. “I don't have it,” I whimpered.

“Ahhhhhh!” He clawed at the dirt and tried pulling himself up from the dugout grave. I scrambled to my feet, but he grabbed one of my ankles and I fell back to the ground. I fought free from his hold and I stomped on one of his hands. He fell back in, and his conviction grew as he tried to pull himself out of the pit again. I stood up once more and kicked him straight in the face. He moaned and buried his face in his hands. He tried stepping back, but he slipped on the bottom of the coffin and fell flat on his face in the coffin. I kicked the top of the coffin back on the coffin and I grabbed the lock. I jumped in the pit on top of the coffin, locked it all up and pulled myself out. Something grumbled at me, and I looked up. “Where's Victor?” Said the other man. Victor banged in the coffin below. Startled the man looked at the coffin. He looked at me... and then back at the coffin. Victor kicked and screamed. The man looked back at me, and I nodded my head. He flew into the pit and started toying with the lock. “Just get the girl!” Said a muffled voice. By then I was already in the car, keys in hand, doors locked. I started the engine and started towards the old dirt path. The man sprinted towards us but I hit 80 MPH, and as we zoomed through the woods. There was no way they would ever catch up with me... I never even told them the code. Eventually I hit the highway and headed east. I wish there was a code to get home.





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