What Did You Do?

2dk2rrm2dz8gkjxsrozapsd83fxl3xbyyi5lfttahrxxr16mce4arfljskqb79jcbn2nkzqe4admhrp2nstvsxuotjk3nxavk46qwcacsdpu2qsng4zd48va7hqedqvdagauupd3wyx3hjwyakv4pusbhklmru4okfjlsvnkbl.jpeg

"Lewis! Don't leave that shovel behind. You're going to need it again."

"I wasn't going to leave it, Fred. I just wanted to make sure we didn't leave any evidence."

"Well if you're finished, grab it and let's get out of here before we get caught."

The two men left the empty grave behind. Fred had come into Lewis's life five days ago. The timing had fit his needs so perfectly, it felt like fate.

Lewis had lost his job. The small family store where he had worked since he had graduated from high school was closing. As he was standing in front of his former workplace, staring at his pink slip, a young man approached him.

The stranger was strong yet lean. Dressed in dirty blue jeans and a grey t-shirt, he looked like he had been used to manual labor.

"Say, you look like you're used to doing some heavy lifting. Want to earn a few bucks? You sort of look like you could use a job about now."

"Do I? You bet. My rent is due in a week, and Proxers couldn't give me any severance pay. I've never been homeless, and don't want to start now. What's the job?"

"The job" turned out to be stealing bodies from newly dug graves. Had he known, Lewis would have declined.

"What could you possibly want with dead bodies?"

"Do you really want to know?"

"Good point... Probably not. So when is the next job?"

"It's the day after tomorrow. We will take Saturday off. Be ready at the usual time. Oh, and Lewis? Enjoy yourself, do some living!"

Lewis was momentarily speechless. The stranger had never been unkind exactly, but he had never made any effort to be friendly.

"Uh, thanks, I'll do that. My rent is due the day after tomorrow too."

Lewis hadn't seen a cent yet, he was working on good faith. Not that there was any choice, jobs were as scarce as gold bricks for paving stones.

He went into his apartment building, and was soon turning the key to his door. The only greeting he received was from his microwave and coffeepot. Both came to life, and provided him with the comfort which he craved. Comfort in the form of macaroni and cheese, and strong black coffee.

Lewis had never been very social, and television bored him. Books were even less appealing. His only real pleasures were classical music and building model planes.

"Music and fine food, a perfect evening. Mozart or Beethoven... Ah, why not both." He sat down to eat. The rich music was turned up loud enough that he could literally feel it.

COUGH COUGH COUGH COUGH

"That went down the wrong way!" He sputtered. Drinking his coffee, he began to relax. He would go to bed early, it had been a hard day.

The next day was spent exactly the same way as every other he'd had off since moving out of his parents house. He listened to his favorite music, while putting together a model plane. Today it would be The Spirit Of St. Louis. Another reminder that there was indeed adventure out there in the world.

"Time for work... I think after this I'll ask around more, maybe there's an opening at Beembeem's Cafe. I can't keep doing this." he thought as he put on old work clothes.

"Lewis. I trust you made the most of your time?"

"Oh, hello Fred. Yes, I had a good day, thanks. How about you?"

"I went home, it never fails to refresh me. Let's go."

After they finished digging , Fred leaned on his shovel. "So tell me, what did you do?"

"Huh? I helped you dig up this coffin. Shouldn't we be getting it loaded?"

"Oh, I meant with your day. Not the work."

"Why do you care? I spent it at home, listening to music and relaxing. I even built a model of The Spirit Of St. Louis."

"I'm disappointed in you. I thought you would have wanted to get out and do some living."

Indignant, Lewis put down his shovel. "What business is it of yours how I spend my free time?"

"None really, except that Saturday was my gift to you. You see, your time was up on Friday."

"What are you going on about?!?!" he asked, beginning to realize that he was standing in a graveyard, alone with a grave-robber. Maybe this wasn't the best time or place to argue.

Fred's clothes changed before his eyes. First they became gradually darker until they were black. Then a black mist enshrouded him, becoming a cape. The shovel blade twisted, as flexible as molten steel. Soon Fred was holding a wicked looking scythe.

"What are you..."

"You already know the answer. You can say it if you want."

"Death..."

"That's one of many names I go by. But you can call me Fred if you want to. I was sent to take you home. I really hoped you would put my gift to better use. Oh well, at least I tried."

"Can I ask... Why were we digging up bodies?"

"It was to give them a proper sendoff. All of the people you helped me to dig up were homeless, without any identification. They asked me to get their bodies."

"Why would they want that?"

"They were war veterans, and their last wish was to be buried in StoneBrook Memorial. I cremated them, then buried the urns in the wooded area. Their tombstones are oak trees."

"Wow... I never suspected. I'm glad I was able to help."

"It was probably the most useful thing you've ever done. What a waste, you could have been so much more."

Lewis looked down. He saw his own body in the now open coffin. "If it was empty, why was it buried?"

"Look at the date."

"I died on Friday? But how..."

"You choked on your microwave macaroni and cheese, right after you got home. The stereo was up full blast, and set to loop. When it got late the neighbors knocked to ask you to turn it down. When you didn't answer, they called the police. They found you still sitting in your chair."

He felt the earth begin to shift under his feet, and the coffin snapped shut. Soon it was as if they had never been digging.

"It's time to go."

Cover Image Source



0
0
0.000
50 comments
avatar

This is an amazing story, almost flawless. You drop hints along the way. 'Fred' repeats the suggestion to 'live'. This is a dreadful, wonderful story. It's great that you have shared it with the Ink Well community. Thank you for engaging with other members of the community.

0
0
0.000
avatar

Thanks so much, that means a lot ❤️

We should all make sure that we do some living while we can 🙌

!PIZZA !ALIVE

0
0
0.000
avatar

Hi wrestlingdesires,

This post has been upvoted by the Curie community curation project and associated vote trail as exceptional content (human curated and reviewed). Have a great day :)

Join the Curie Discord community to learn more.

0
0
0.000
avatar

You are awesome, thanks so much for your support ❤️ ❤️❤️

0
0
0.000
avatar

WOW. Now THIS is a story. I knew those coughs were significant, given the times in which we live, but I didn't see THAT coming! Well done!

0
0
0.000
avatar

Thanks so much, I'm glad you enjoyed reading it ❤️ I deliberately stayed away from most of the other entries for this week until it finally came to me. Now it's time to enjoy more Halloween stories 🙌

!PIZZA !ALIVE

0
0
0.000
avatar

What a great story. I couldn't take my eyes off until I read the last line. Trust me I never suspected for a moment that it would be so different from my line of thoughts.

0
0
0.000
avatar

Thanks so much for the compliment :) Where did you think it would go???

!PIZZA !ALIVE

0
0
0.000
avatar

I was thinking in an opposite direction, never thought that man Fred was evil. and never thought Lewis was already dead! Weldone bro!!

0
0
0.000
avatar

Fred isn't exactly evil. He just helps people cross over. If he was evil, he wouldn't have fulfilled the Veteran's last wishes, or given Lewis a gift :) ...

!PIZZA !ALIVE

0
0
0.000
avatar

This is an exceptional story, @wrestlingdesires. Very imaginative, and somehow both tragic and charming. How do you do it?

I loved the details you shared about Fred — classical music and model airplanes. To Death these things may seem superfluous, but they were important to him. It is some small solace that he died after spending his day off exactly as he wished.

0
0
0.000
avatar
(Edited)

Thanks, yes Lewis spent his last day exactly as he wished ❤️ I think sometimes we forget that not everyone is really motivated by the things society deems as important. Who is to say what is right or wrong for someone else's last day or week? Although I would have loved to know what the reaction would have been if he went job hunting 🤣

!PIZZA !ALIVE

0
0
0.000
avatar

It is rare that I read a story and don't make mental edits. However, if I had written this, there is not one thing I would have done differently.

Maybe if I looked at the story with a really sharp eye I would change a word or two. Maybe paragraph arrangement. I haven't looked at it that closely. But the pacing is perfect. The sinister undertone is ever so subtle, but definite.

Take Saturday off.

The rent is due.

Live, Fred suggests.

Even the scene where Lewis chokes is exquisitely subtle, but powerful.

You did a really good job.

0
0
0.000
avatar

Thanks so much again for your kind words and encouragement - as well as the tip ❤️

I'm glad you enjoyed it, and didn't find anything that was wrong 🙌

!PIZZA !ALIVE

0
0
0.000
avatar
(Edited)

PIZZA! PIZZA! PIZZA! PIZZA! PIZZA! PIZZA! PIZZA!

PIZZA Holders sent $PIZZA tips in this post's comments:
wrestlingdesires tipped sunnyag (x2)

Learn more at https://hive.pizza.

0
0
0.000
avatar

THIS WAS SO GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I didn't expect this ending at all hahahahahahaa

oh my gosh - so so so good!!!!!!

ok - one suggestion

When you're changing times - it isn't apparent to the reader until they're 2 sentences in, and then they have to go back and check what just happened.

so when you have a change of scene/location/etc... put in a small line break like this


the code for that in 5 stars in a row, like this:
*****

if you need help - come find me :)

loved this!!! so so good hehehehe

0
0
0.000
avatar

Thanks so much for loving it 💓


I had no idea there was a code for that here :) And I was told my blue one was too distracting, so I mostly stopped using that one 😂

!PIZZA !ALIVE

0
0
0.000
avatar

hehehehe yeah that one is nice and simple and discreet :) i think it will help! hehehe

0
0
0.000
avatar

I just used it in my most recent post ❤️

0
0
0.000
avatar

niiiiiiiiiiiice!!!! I have been working on videos ALL DAY LONG. hahahaha I am trying to get 3 set up so I can spend more time reading/writing tomorrow hehehehe

but my gosh - making videos is so much work. People only end up seeing 8 minutes and it takes 2 hours of recording and 5 hours of editing to get those 8 minutes LOLOLOL

0
0
0.000
avatar

lol, it really is an art! Your video course was actually at least as time consuming as the Master's Course, maybe more 😂

0
0
0.000
avatar

hahahahahaha i think in some ways you're absolutely right. the video course was really pushing people beyond their limits! hehehe

and the masters class (in some ways) was probably letting them relax a bit more huh? hahahahah

maybe i should have had them flipped????

or maybe it was nice to end the whole thing kinda being gently sent off into the blogging world hahahaha

0
0
0.000
avatar

Depends on whether or not you were determined to make us really EARN that last badge 🤣🤣🤣

0
0
0.000
avatar

Well then, that was a mortality-tinged roller coaster ride of literary awesomeness! I loved how you built up the tale to an imminently satisfying and most excellent morbid conclusion.

That darn mac and cheese! It’ll get ya, lol! I seriously loved this story if yours😊

0
0
0.000
avatar

You are seriously motivating me to start another one 💓At first I wasn't even sure if I would make the deadline but then it came to me!

0
0
0.000
avatar

Those are my favorite kind of inspirations! The last minute, must get it out into the simulation or my soul will be crushed, strokes of brain inspiring. I am so, so glad you made the deadline, that story of yours rocked! Can't wait to see what you do with this week's prompt😊

0
0
0.000
avatar

It's another good one :) That being said, I easily could have gone 2k words on the latest one when my target was 600 😂

!PIZZA !ALIVE

0
0
0.000
avatar

LOL! I feel your pain, I had to mercilessly edit mine to get it between 1000-1500 words.

Thanks for the pie and life😊

0
0
0.000
avatar

My pleasure :) There are advantages to such editing. It leaves the reader wanting more ❤️

0
0
0.000
avatar

Nooo way...brilliant my friend. I didn't see that coming until quite near the end..How kind of Death to give him more time to enjoy his life though, right? Death may have been disappointed but disappointment only comes from unmet expectations. To Lewis, his life was his own and it made him happy. And so the extra time was spent doing what made him happy. And that should be all that matters. I do wonder, like Death, whether Lewis may have lost just a little in not actively pursuing any adventure in his life and remaining within his comfort zones, but then adventure isn't for everyone... If he had known it was his last day, do you think it would have changed anything? 😉!PIZZA

0
0
0.000