A ghost can't give up his love. The Weird Tales contest. 1000 word limit.
Kelly woke, mouth parched, and tongue swollen in darkness and silence.
He wanted to rub he eyes, but lead seemed to have filled his arms. He tried to flex his muscles, yet his body ignored him. Scared, he tilted his body to one side. Rocking himself, an arm was freed. It was then that he realized he was in some kind of box. He tilted to the other side and got his other arm free. He raised his hands and rubbed his eyes. They were so dry they seemed glued. Finally, he was able to open his eyes. Yet, despite opening them as wide as he could, vision hid. His hands explored the walls to find they were soft and padded. He brought his legs up, and something banged his knees hard. Raising his arms, he felted the top was much like the walls except it was curved. He pushed against it as hard as he was able, but nothing gave.
Panic began. Taking deep breaths, he fought to keep calm. Adrenaline sharpened his senses. He smelt the odor of damp earth. Knowledge plunged a knife into his chest. The hilt read: Buried in a Coffin. His throat burned as he screamed and screamed into the blackness.
Time no longer existed for Kelly. Only pain from torn nails and broken fingers told him he was alive. His lungs, unwilling to abandon hope, struggled for air. His mind, in an attempt to block insanity, played back memories: times he shared with his parents, his sister, his schoolmates. At the end, the night he met Sharon conquered the darkness. How beautiful she was in the soft moonlight. Their first date, how lucky he felt to hold her hand as they walked under the trees. Their wedding, how wonderful he felt as he kissed her, and how, later, she had laughed as she shoved the cake into his mouth. The final scene that played was sharing the pictures from their honeymoon as they sat on the sofa with his arm around her. Finally, his heart stopped.
Sharon dreamed. Her eyes were wet and her heart broken. Denial and ruin still ruled within her.
Her mind went over the events seeking some way to alter the past. The sun seemed as happy as they were when they set out to enjoy the summer day at the lake. But, early in the afternoon dark clouds began to form and when thunder growled they decided to get out of the water and head home. It was when Kelly leaned against their SUV that the lightning bolt struck. Again, for a frozen instant, she saw him silhouetted against that white beam of light. Something shut it out.
Kelly was floating above her. He was saying something, yet she couldn’t hear the words. He gestured for her to get up, and as she did he came nearer and held her hand. The hand was cold, so she bought it to her face to warm it. It was then that she felt the words I will always love you.
Pedro drove his pickup truck through the nearly deserted streets. His job started at six, but he liked to arrive early and enjoy his simple breakfast of coffee and a pastry under the leafy trees of the cemetery where he worked as a gardener. Arriving at the gate, he got out to unlock it, then slowly drove inside. His fingers switched on the radio. He always waited until he was inside, for he didn’t want to disturb anyone and no one would be disturbed here. As he approached his favorite place, he saw a freshly dug grave with messy mounds of earth and a shovel beside it. That was odd. Always, everything was neat in this last resting place.
With a shake of his head and a grunt of disgust he pulled over, got out, and went to look things over. Not expecting to see anything inside, he was shocked to see a coffin. It was covered in mud and handprints, not spotless like it should be. Alarmed he took out his cell phone and called his boss.
Despite the shrill ringing of his phone, it took some time before Pedro heard anyone answer his call. After the seventh ring, “Hello, who’s this?”
“I’m sorry for calling so early, Mr. Young. It’s Pedro, I’m at the cemetery.”
“What time is it. What! It’s still 5:30.”
“Yes, I’m sorry, but I think you should be here. I think someone’s dug up a grave.”
“Crap! What sector?”
“B-7. Near the big oak tree.”
“Have you opened it?”
“Good. Don’t let anyone open it till I get there. What’s your name, again?”
“Good job, Pedro. Stay there. I’ll come over as soon as I can.”
Pedro went back to his truck, took out his breakfast, and walked over to the big oak tree. He sat down and wondered if the body was still there.
Three quarters of an hour later, a dark blue Camry stopped in front of a small group of employees near the grave. A man got out. “Pedro.”
“Sir, I had these men go to the tool shed and get these picks to open the casket cleanly.”
“Good thinking. Okay, go to it.”
Two men hooked their picks under the lid and pulled up. Inside the coffin a naked couple lay smeared in mud and clay. Their shouts of shock awoke the naked woman inside. Sharon’s eyes squinted as she raised her hand to block the sun. Slowly her eyes focused on the men above her. They were clearly agitated as they shook their hands downward.
She turned her head. Her dead husband was beside her. She screamed and screamed as she looked in horror at his smile.