Dirt and bone were all death could offer: 2 feet of skulls, worms, and ashen ground. A heart thumped within a coffin where a man slept once forgotten. Darkness Incarnate hadn’t received this man, and those not received by the world are pushed into darkness, like mice to a sewage drain. This particular man was among them, a boxed foul. The essence of him trapped within the confines of his body and the frail wooden casing that surrounded that body that was constructed to seal his ambition, his passion, the chaos he once brought to the land; and a villainous excuse of a case it was: moldy oak drenched in kerosene.
The man in a box fought with exasperated breaths until at once his eyes were open to feel an intense burning sensation; the skin of his palms sensed what he now recognized as a flat hard surface above him. The ceiling was nailed shut and slowly collapsed in from the weakest structural point, the center. Droplets of soil seeped through the cracks, hitting his bare chest, as if to bury him again, but even a determined death must contend with some resistance. Had nature called to bury another condemned soul, or did the land once again need to have received this man’s influence? This question was a choice question; Stag was a man of choice. To live or to die, what is the question? These were the thoughts of Stag, his mind had swam due to having inhaled kerosene fumes.
When from beneath the ground there was a tapping,
as if someone gently cracking,
pushing his back against the trapping:
of a coffin meant for 2.
His body coiled, shoulders pressed against where the foliage entered. The topsoil dispersed throughout the compartment, and the trapped man took his last inner breath from within the tomb. The lid busted into splintered slabs of debris, and the man erected his head above land. This earth was slightly lower than he’d imagined it would be. Usually, graves had a depth beneath ground of 6ft or more, but the loose soil at his feet did little more then press against his ankles: more than a soil though, there were bones of several victims this man, Stag, had slaughtered.
He inhaled a breath of oxygen, and his thoughts had begun to become clear. The skulls at his feet were all smiling as they had always done: bearing white canines, molars, and thinly girthed incisors. Death had received the once fleshed creatures with a laughing gest, and though their expression once moved to frown, eventually they always seemed to get the joke. The joke was Stag, the man standing above ground. He was smiling on the inside too as all folk had always smiled, if only with their skulls. In a world such as this, who could be lonely?
“This grave situation was hilarious.” He managed to gasp between breaths. “Why don’t you show yourself, fowl, and I’ll help you get the joke too.”
Stag’s hand instinctively touched the rim of his waist, fingering the handle of a sharply polished throwing knife.
He was not amused.
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