Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2199994-Buried-with-Efficiency
by Slam
Rated: 18+ · Short Story · Death · #2199994
A labourer mistakenly gets efficiently buried alive after a work accident.
Buried with Efficiency

I got in a little accident at work recently. Little bit of an oopsie whoopsie with the millstone and my legs. It wasn’t particularly painful, felt about as painful as a bear massage. Still, my legs were thoroughly fucked, I couldn’t move them one bit and I think my kneecap caved in. I don’t consider myself a squeamish person, I’ve seen others have similar accidents, but I passed out when I saw my noodle legs. Maybe it was sheer terror, maybe it was shock, either way, I dropped stiff. Getting your legs crushed when your life depends on you pushing a millstone around eighteen hours a day is a bit of a bummer, but at least getting your legs crushed is not a fatal injury. At least I’d think so, whatever doctor took a look at me certainly didn’t agree.

I’ve just woken up and I have no idea where I am. It’s pitch black. I’m fairly certain I actually see a lighter shade of black when I close my eyes. I can’t hear anything except my own breathing. Speaking of, I can feel the gust of my breath reflecting off a suspiciously nearby surface and grazing my face. I’d lift my head up, but no matter how much I contract and extend my muscles, my head or neck won’t move. Neither does my legs, arms, glutes or chest. I’m firmly stuck somewhere, whatever container I’m in it’s been built to my exact measurements. I can wiggle my fingers around, but not my toes. Judging by the sounds I get when I knock my fingers against the walls, it’s a cheap plywood box I’m in. Probably a governmental coffin, efficient as always.

It’s really difficult to breathe. Not only does my own breath taste terrible, I detect a very distinct dry soil smell as well. The top of the coffin is firmly pressed against my chest, so I can’t even properly move my diaphragm. The coffin is practically my exact volume, I don’t think there’s much oxygen I can ration. Not that there was enough in the first place. I’m practically breathing in the same breath I’ve blown out mere seconds ago. I’d hold my breath to save on oxygen, but I quickly get light headed.
I hope I don’t have to take a piss before I die in here. Dying after being buried alive is bad enough, I wouldn’t want to die with piss down my pants. Pants? I’m not wearing pants. I’m not wearing anything. I was buried completely naked. Of course I was. Probably to save on materials. What’s the point in dressing up dead people? What’s the point in giving them extra wiggle room in their coffins? It’s not like they’ll appreciate it after they’re dead.

I guess it makes sense to use a coffin that’s as little as possible, but I wonder why they put us in coffins in the first place. They’re not a standard size, being adjusted to the height and width of each corpse, so it’s not like it’s a stacking thing. If you’re going to lay some dead people side by side, I guess you’d want them to be in an orderly fashion, but I don’t see how that would be possible when all the coffins are different sizes. Surely there’d be little square gaps or something left between some coffins, or near the edges of the yard. They’d have to fill those spaces with a really small grave or something. Some old yards have baby graves, but we don’t get many babies anymore. Maybe they could put some of the graves vertically to fill those gaps, that would probably work.

Then again, they’d have to dig like six feet deep to bury someone vertically. The only reason corpses are buried horizontally is to keep the graves as shallow as possible. No point in digging six feet down to plop if a body is going to take up a sixth of that depth. They just dig as deep as they need to then leave to save on time. Maybe they’d be willing to bury little people or amputees vertically. That’d be less of a waste of time and keep things orderly. Speaking of amputees, do I even have my legs with me? You’d think I’d be able to move my toes around or at least jerk my knee, but I’m getting no movement whatsoever. I think I may have been amputated from the knee down. I don’t really mind at this point. At least a part of me has fed some police officer’s cute little doggie. Being an amputee, I suppose I could be one of those that got buried vertically. With my knees gone, I’d be like 4 feet tall. I’ll try to produce a gob of spit, see which way it flows down my face.


Alright, I certainly didn’t expect that. I thought it’d flow down my chin down to where my stubs are, instead the spit went up my face and into my nostrils. Aside from wrecking my sinuses apart, it also made me realise I was buried vertically, upside down. When you’re this compressed, your sense of gravity goes out the window. I’ve been pointing my feet, or rather where my feet would be, to the sky this whole time. I’d wonder why they would bury me this way down, but there isn’t a reason they’d bury me the other way up either. I’d take up the same height and area anyway, so it wouldn’t really matter.

I guess that’s it. In my final moments, at least I know which way I’m facing. I’ve been stripped naked, stuffed into a wooden box and stuck into the ground like a log. It’s gotten increasingly impossible to breathe now. I’m taking short bursts of desperate gasps, while my heart struggles to keep up. I can hear it pumping in my chest, I hear my blood flowing towards my head. My body instinctively convulses, but it can’t move anywhere. The sensation of bare skin against cheap plywood is terribly uncomfortable. My body heat has made this little box into a furnace. My skin sweats, sticking to the cheap wooden interior. I feel drops climb up my body. I tightly shut my eyes, as if it makes a difference. I feel ready to give in. My lungs take one last desperate breath, and my heart pulses for the last time.
Hey, at least I didn’t piss myself.
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