The Graveyard Project is a suspense thriller set in Iraq during the year 2009....
|David Webber was one of the few Americans who still believed in George Bush, three years after he had brought down Saddam Hussein's statue in Baghdad. Which must have been why the 26 year old enlisted in the Army.
David was an ambitious man, who dreamed of becoming a top Army brass by the end of his military career. That military career ended six days after he landed in Iraq. Multiple bullet wounds did the job. Private David Webber of the Sixth Infantry Division was killed in action. His file was closed.
Dying wasnt the only bad luck David had that week. His corpse was buried in the Baghdad Army Memorial Cemetry, since he had no proper relatives back home who could give him a hero's welcome. His parents had died a few years ago, he was an only child, and he had no proper family ties to talk about.
Within half an hour of burying his coffin, David Webber was effectively forgotten as yet another statistic that would be counted in the evening CNN news bulletin. Which would have been fine. If only David hadnt opened his eyes.
Lying in a six foot long, three foot wide mahogany coffin with cushioned interiors did very little to reduce David's panic. It was pitch dark, and the air was wavery thin. David could hear his own suffocated breathing. He couldnt think. He couldnt figure out what he had to do. His throat was dry, and the lack of oxygen supply was making him dizzy.
Using his weakened arms, David tried to push the coffin door. It didnt budge. Just as he was about to black out, he felt as though the coffin's base had given way. He could feel himself falling...
A minute later, David Webber slammed onto a cushioned bed, gasping for breath.
"Dammit, I told you we should've pulled him out earlier," Someone next to him screamed.
"Hey, forty minutes, that's basic procedure. Now stop whining and give the fellow the mask, will you?"
David's body was turned over, and as his eyes opened slowly, a mask was placed over his face. Fresh oxygen quickly cleared his dizziness, and he could see the darkened room around him better. There were three men standing next to him, two of them with their hands folded, as though watching a car being repaired.
His heart still beating fast, David managed to pull off the mask. "Where the hell am I?" He managed to gasp.
"Relax mate, let the fresh air clear you up a little. You'll be fine within a minute," the short, bald man said, as he gently placed the mask back on.
David pushed off the mask, and looked at the man closely. "Who are you people? Where the hell am I?"
"C'mon kid, stop panicking now. Just straighten up and come with us. We dont have the whole day here, alright," said the man standing farthest away. The bald man caught hold of David's arm, trying to help him stand up.
Terrorized, David pushed the man away, and stood up quickly. "I'm not going anywhere, unless you tell me what's going on."
"You mean you don't know?" The bald man asked. There was an unmistakable sense of surprise in his tone. Though he was sure he couldn't be thinking straight, David was beginning to think that they were, somehow, expecting him.
"Honestly, I don't know where the hell I am. I don't know who you are. I cant figure out what's going on. Last thing I know was blacking out after getting hit. What's going on?"
The third man, who had until now merely observed him, turned towards the other two. "I think we have a problem. We might have got the wrong guy."
"Wrong guy?" the bald man asked incredulously. The prospect frightened him. "What does that mean?"
The silent man merely shrugged his shoulders. "We'll have to call Mr. Henry."
As the three men looked at each other with uncertainty, David's mind was racing. He edged forward, and placed a finger on the bald man's shoulder, tentatively. Thank god, he thought to himself as he felt the touch of the man's shirt. What ever they were, they most probably couldn't be ghosts...
To Be Continued...