Six Feet Under
Written by TwistedSnakes
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Help me, please!
I'm stuck here. They've trapped me in this box and buried me deep into this hole. Please, help. I'm scared. I don't want to die here. My mum, my dad, they're gonna be worried. They're gonna be looking for me. Please!
Okay. I...I need to calm down. Shit, I'm crying now. Please... Okay, okay. Get it together. It's dark, so I'll need to feel around me. It's a narrow box made out of cheap plywood. It's rough to the touch and covered with splinters. Ugh. I'm stuck lying down on my back, with not a lot of space to work with. There's just enough of a gap to bring my hand up to my chest with a bit of difficulty, but other than that, there's not much space to move.
Gotta control my breathing. My panting breaths are extra loud in my ears, trapped in the wooden confines of this death box. Okay. Okay. Stop crying. Stop crying. I've got this. I've got this. I've got this. I need to calm down.
I'm fine now. My breathing is fine. I just need to take my time, figure things out. I'm stuck in a box. They nailed the lid on, then they lowered me into this grave before piling the dirt on. How deep down am I?
Crap, don't think about it, don't think about it. I'm knocking on the wooden lid now. The sound is thick. There's a lot of dirt. Shit. I'm knocking on it now. "Hello?" I call. Hopefully, someone out there hears me. "Hello?!" I call, louder this time.
"Please! Somebody!" Someone out there has gotta hear me. "Help! I'm stuck here! Can anyone hear me?" I take a breath and continue. "Hey! Hey! I'm buried here! Can someone get me out? Please! Anyone?"
Okay, okay. I can't keep doing this. I need to save oxygen. Dammit, I'm crying again. But I'm not dying here. Not in this stupid box. Shit. If only there's someone I can call. Call...call...wait! I can just about reach my hand into my jeans' pocket and...YES! My phone! My phone is still here. There's not enough space to look at my screen, so I have to turn my head to the side and face my phone. Twenty percent of battery. I'm fine. Police. Police. Nine-one-one.
There's a dial tone. It rings again. And again. PICK UP DAMMIT. Okay, it's up, it's up. Someone's there.
"Hello, nine-one-one, what is your emergency?"
"Help! I'm buried in a coffin and I can't get out. Can you send someone to save me?"
"Okay sir, take deep breaths. Where are you now?"
"I...I don't know. Can you do like, tracking or something?"
"Are you calling on your mobile phone?"
"Yes. Why does that even matter? Can you just send someone here? I don't have a lot of time left."
"I'm sorry, we can only track the address of landlines, but not mobile phones. Can you give us an estimate of your location?"
"I have no fucking idea where I am!"
"Calm down, sir. Okay, do you have a connection to your data network? Can you open your GPS?"
GPS. Right. Okay, I can do this. "I'm at Ritcher's Forest." Ritcher's Forest. That's five hours away from where I was when I was abducted. Fuck, that's far. Don't think about it.
"Which part of it, sir?"
"I...uh..." There are no roads around. No hiking trails. No visible landmarks.
"Sir? Are you still with—"
"Yes! I mean, yes. Give me a moment, alright?" Fuck, it's just an empty splotch of green on my map. How the heck am I going to tell her where I am? "Okay, the closest road I can see is Remington."
"Where along the road, sir?"
"There's this...weird bending part, then I'm about one mile north, into the forest if you go straight off the road."
"Do you have something more specific?"
"I don't know! If I knew, I'd tell you, alright?" I'm almost shouting at the operator already. Just fucking send someone. I almost tell her that.
"I understand. I will dispatch a search team to your general location."
"How many people is that?"
"That will be ten people."
"Only ten? Can't you send more?" I'm almost spluttering into the phone, feeling a mixture of angst, frustration, fear, and impatience. My clothes are drenched in cold sweat and my skin is sticky. My sweat and tears leave my face feeling mucky in the humid air. Particles of dirt cling to my hands and neck, grinding against my skin as I shift in the tiny box I'm in. I'm scared. I'm tired. I'm desperate.
"I'm sorry, sir, but we don't have the manpower—" I hang up the call. Fifteen percent of battery left. Ugh! I'll be fine. I'll be fine. I just need to wait. They'll be here. They'll be here.
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I jerk awake. For a brief moment, my mind entertained the thought that it was all a dream. But as I try to move in the darkness, the hard, wooden walls of reality encase me in their harsh confines.
I feel in the dark for my phone. I've dropped it somewhere here...ah. Found it. I pick it up and turned it on. The battery is at three percent. Three hours had passed since I called the police. Surely they'd be here by now?
But there's no sound coming from the outside. Or maybe I'm just too deep.
"I'm here!" I knock loudly on the lid above me, "Is anyone there?"
Nothing. Nobody's digging me out.
But the air is getting heavy and it's harder and harder to breathe. I'm running out of oxygen.
I don't think they'll find me.
Or if they do, they'll find my corpse.
I need to call my family.
I take out my phone. There's still a signal. I dial my mum's phone number and put it on speaker mode. The dial tone rings a few times until it was interrupted with a click.
"Hello?" comes the familiar and comforting voice.
"Mum? Mum! I'm stuck and I don't think I can make it home. But I just want—" the phone's screen went dark. Shit. I try to turn it on again, but it's not responding.
Gah! I didn't even get to say goodbye. I can't stop myself as tears roll uncontrollably down my face. My lips are trembling. If anyone could see me now, they'd see a grimy mess of tears, sweat, and emotional trauma huddled in the confines of one tiny box.
The police aren't coming.
I don't want to die here. I don't want to die here. I don't want to die here. I just need to calm down.
And figure this out. People have done it before, I think. I've read an article a few years back where a man got out from being buried alive due to some horrible mistake. It used to feel so far away. Like it happened in another world. Like it would never have happened to me. But now, I know what it feels like to be stuck under tons of dirt like that.
I remember he got out with his belt buckle. Used to punch a hole in the lid and crawl out. No such luck: I didn't wear one out this morning. I check around my waist just in case. Still nothing.
I push against the lid. Nailed shut. And who knows how much dirt on top of that, weighing the cover down. And even if I broke through, all that soil is just going to come crashing over me. Not a good way to go.
I'm going to try the bottom. I press my hands against the side to give myself some hold as I edge my way to the foot of the coffin. I pull my legs in as far as I can bring them, and then I stomp hard on the wood. There's a loud thud, but the wood isn't giving. I try again, feeling the shock of the impact through the wooden panel beneath me. One more, but still, nothing happens. I think the dirt is keeping it in place.
Shit, shit, shit.
I'm getting light-headed. There's not a lot of time left. I need to escape. Don't panic. Don't panic. I'll try the sides. I tilt my hips to the left and bring my knees up. My kneecaps press against the left wall as I press my heels against the right wall.
I strain the muscles in my legs as I push hard. There's the sound of wood creaking. And then...
The wood shudders as it comes free of the nails. Dirt falls over my sneakers, caking my socks and soles with fresh, damp earth. It's heavy on my feet, but that means freedom.
I turn to face the new opening. The nails at the top of the plank of wood are now exposed, and loose ground has slid down its surface. It's a start, but I'm not out of the woods yet.
Using what little space I have, I take off my shirt and wrap it around the lower half of my face. That's another tactic I remember from buried survivors: tie the shirt around your head to stop yourself from swallowing or breathing in the soil. But I still need to see, so just covering my mouth and nose will do.
I dig at the dirt with my hands, using my forearms to slide the earth into the bottom of the coffin. Slowly but surely, I'm making a hollow space in the ground beside me. I start excavating the earth upwards, still pushing it into the coffin. The hole is taking shape: it's just wide enough for me to squeeze my shoulders through the gap in the earth. I'm running out of space in the coffin anyway, so I gotta move.
I kick off the mound of dirt that has already gathered at the bottom of my wooden prison, pushing myself out the side of the coffin and through the gap. The hollow is just about large enough to fit my shoulders, with a bit more to dig up. It's uncomfortable as skin touches the bare earth, but the shirt over my nostrils are helping to filter out the falling soil.
I'm now half-kneeling in the dirt. If I keep displacing it, pushing it down as I make my way up, I'll be able to reach the surface and escape. I'll be free!
I reach up to feel the ground above me. It's damp, sticking together in chunks as I burrow into it. My fingers dig into a huge slab of clumped dirt. I'll need to move it to the side, carefully. Just need to...
The dirt above me comes crashing over me, trapping my hands. I...I can't move! Fuck, fuck, fuck. Dirt is getting into my eyes. I can't fucking see. And each time I try to move my hands, my fingers, more dirt fills in the gap, making it harder to move. Fuck, help me, someone.
I'm trying to control my breathing. I can feel the loose soil around me shift as my chest rises and falls, slowly getting packed around it as gravity compacts the debris together. Don't panic. Don't panic. I can't move. Help. Don't cry. Stop. Stop.
If...if I can free my hands, I still have a chance. I can still move my head somewhat, to push the soil around my shoulders away. Just...
The shirt around my face loosens with my movement and more soil falls around me. It's getting in my nostrils! My mouth! Fuck. I can taste it in my mouth. A disgusting mouthful filled with an overwhelming sting of salty and sour tastes. Dirt. Probably the remains of hundreds of dead bugs. The waste of fauna. Fuck. My gag reflex kicks in and I choke on the soil, trying to expel it from my mouth. But that only just makes it worse. Fucking gravity is shovelling the death-particles down my damn throat! I can't do this!
Dirt sticks to my sweaty skin as I take a sharp breath, but more soil enters through my nose and into my windpipe this time. FUCK! I hold my breath.
But I need to breathe. My lungs. They...they are fighting back. Please, don't. It's burning. Oxygen. Air. Anything.
I allow myself a slow, slow, inhale. Gah! More dirt is getting in! I need to hold my breath. Please. Please.
But my lungs betray me and I gasp for air, sucking more soil up my nose, clogging it up with grains of dirt. Small, but the moment it's in your nose, it feels like pebbles being forced down your nasal passage. That's how it feels.
But the sensation is nothing; my eyes widen when I realize I can no longer breathe.
I'm going to die, aren't I?
Please tell me I'm not going to die.
Please! Please! I'm too young to die. My parents will be looking for me.
The police! The police should come soon too, right?
But my lungs are burning. I need to hold on. Argh!
I'm crying. Fuck. I have nothing left.
Someone out there.
If you're here.
If you're listening to me.
I don't want to die here.
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~ End ~