Hari’s prize-winning story

7 07 2011

An Unlikely Burial

Mesmerised, they stared at the waves.

Ragged, white curls of water threw themselves onto the beach. Then, in desperate attempts to avoid being hauled back into the ocean, they flung claws of hissing foam up the shingle. Each new wave managed to reach just a little further than its predecessor before it was sucked back into the churning mess behind.

“I don’t think we have very long left,” announced someone.

“A couple of minutes,” agreed another, not taking her eyes off the waves. Both still mesmerised by the curling waves, they were trying to not look down at the red patterned rug that lay on the damp sand.

“Is it deep enough? W…W…Will they find they body?” said one voice becoming slightly more nervous and turning to face towards the top of the beach. This now revealed a black 4X4 and in front of it a hole in the wet sand, with the bottom of the hole not in view. The 4X4 had its boot open and running alongside the hole was a disturbance in the sand, a disturbance the width of the rolled up rug that now lay in between the pair. The women also turned and stared down at what looked like an endless pit into eternity.

“Now, what we don’t want to do is panic; we’ve both got this far, it’s just the final step,” replied the woman also becoming slightly nervous. The sea breeze was blowing her hair into what looked like a spiralling hurricane, its next move unpredictable.

“Why did you do it Mother? Why did you have to kill him?” questioned the male of the pair, now bending down to pull the patterned rug tighter. “Won’t they notice that someone’s been digging here?”

“No they won’t. This is why we have dug the hole here: by the time the police get here the tide would have come in and washed away the digging and tyre marks,” answered the woman, slowly regaining her confidence.  She took a step forward gingerly as if trying to investigate the hole without alerting her accomplice.

Their plan was starting to take place as the breaking waves were only a few metres away from them now. The woman turned her head to face the shore trying to hide the fact that her nervousness was slowly creeping back.

“Must I do this Mother?” asked the man, sounding reluctant to complete the task that he knew he was faced with.

“Ohh, come on, they’ll be here soon, just do it,” said the woman, her anger and irritation that what she thought was an easy task had not been completed became more and more apparent as she spoke. A huge sigh came from the male as he started to bend down again and put his hands on the red rug. He pulled the rolled up rug back along the line it had come along, the sand, now damper then before, made the already strenuous process of pulling the weighed down rug into the hole even harder to complete. Eventually he reached the hole, behind him lay a trial of footprints in the damp and murky sand, these were the only evidence to show that moving the object had been a difficult task to fulfil.

By now the woman had strolled past the struggling man, only looking down on him and sighing in frustration as he struggled on the unstable surface. She went and sat in the driver seat of the 4X4 and watched as the man tipped the rolled up rug into the hole, the bottom of it now visible from the perch of the driver’s seat. She watched as he used the back of a shovel to push the old contents of the hole back into its original resting place, flattening it as he went.

Standing up in triumph, the man sighed. As he looked over at the woman in the driver’s seat, he started to pace towards the open boot. Looking into the rear view mirror, the woman saw the man throw the shovel into the boot and slam it shut with what seemed to be a little power withheld as the reality of what had happened slowly closed in on him. He climbed into the passenger seat avoiding any eye contacting with his mother and again became mesmerised by the curling and clawing waves. These waves were now touching the edge of filled in hole and the atmosphere suddenly lifted a little inside of the car as the feeling of light relief occurred. The woman, keeping to her plan, drove in a straight line towards the slipway at the far end of the beach, ensuring that she didn’t stray onto the sand that she knew would not be covered by the ever advancing curling waves. As the black 4X4 disappeared at the top of the beach, the last bit of evidence of the pair’s presence there was washed away into the clawing water.

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