Buried Within

“Are you sure you want to do this,” Rick began, anxiously. “No one even knows he’s gone.”

Mark just stood there, his hand outstretched and holding a shovel.

“Okay,” Rick said, taking the shovel. “Okay. I said I’d help. So I’m helping,” he said, still talking himself into his decision.

Mark reached into the trunk for a second shovel. He slammed the trunk shut and the men began to walk into the woods.

“How far is it?” asked Rick, turning back to see the car fade from view.

“A ways.”

“At least I have my comfortable boots on,” Rick said, trying to make the best of it. “Aw shit,” he said, stepping calf deep into an unexpected puddle.

Mark just rolled his eyes.

Shaking his leg, Rick hurriedly returned to Mark’s side, more worried about the setting sun than a wet boot. He looked around them and noticed the trees were thinning out. About to comment on this, he bumped into Mark who had stopped.

Unaffected, Mark said, “It’s here.”

“Here? Right here? How do you know?”

“I know.”

“Whelp, I guess it’s time to dig,” Rick said as his shovel slid into the earth.

“I guess it is.”

Sweating and feeling like they were making no progress, Rick said, “Jesus, Mark. How deep did you bury him? Are you sure we’re in the right spot?”

Just then Mark struck an object.

“Finally,” said Rick. Without Mark’s cool exterior, Rick would have been terrified to be this deep into the woods at night. “Are you sure you want to go through with this?” he asked.

“I’m sure.”

It took everything the two men had to lift the box from the hole, but they did.

As Mark pulled up on his handle, Rick asked, “Aren’t we going to fill in the hole?”

“Nope. They’re going to want to see where he was for themselves.”

“Oh, right.”

Mark began, “Rick-”

“Yeah, buddy?”

“Thanks again for doing this. All the others refused. You’re the only one who understood.”

“You’re welcome. But really, it’s nothing. Everyone can see that you’re a different man since Rebecca was-” Rick stopped himself.

“Please don’t.”

“Sorry. I won’t. But yes, you’re welcome.”

Rick struggled to square the box alongside the car as Mark called the police.

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