Burying The Past

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short story written about the cruelties of life and the habits that form from them.

Submitted: February 29, 2012

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Submitted: February 29, 2012

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Robert stood on the edge of his backyard with his concentration set on a freshly dug hole. The sweat he received from using the shovel was stinging his eyes. It didn't stop him from seeing what a unique evening it was. The night was lonely and quiet. The forest behind his house slowly took his attention away. Darkness was taking away the visibility of the trees. The sky hadn’t turned completely black yet. A dark navy blue was painted in the heavens. The orchestra of nature was on point tonight. It sounded perfect as if they have been rehearsing for months. A soft glow made from the house lights set up many shadows. The mixture of darkness and light calmed him. This kind of peace was something he wasn't use to.

The sudden fire that came from his lighter while lighting a cigarette blinded him. While inhaling his first toke he tried to get back his night vision. The huge field that divided him and the forest sit in its usual motion from the wind. The tall weeds and grass moved with the breath of God. This backyard and field was always his sanctuary. If life had any burden for him, this is where his therapy was. It wasn't the field or the environment that resurrected his spirit, it was the holes he dug into the ground. Robert could never figure out what about digging a hole took his troubles away. He loved the feel of the first push of the head of the shovel into the ground. Robert longed for the blisters he received from digging. The smell of fresh dirt excited him like nothing else. He remembered writing about his obsession in grade school and the consciences of telling his addiction. After that he was the focus of many childish terrorism acts. They mocked him for his weird hobby. Why couldn't they just understand or see what he saw? This led him to dig more holes.

The memory of him digging his first hole came to him. He was the age of ten. It was a night that he wished wasn't burned inside his skull. That night Robert felt the tension rising in the air. It made his stomach hurt. He had been through this many times and his instinct lead him to run to his bedroom. His drunken father was spitting out racial slurs and blaming the government for his poverty. Hearing the nervousness in his mothers voice he knew what was coming. His father started bitching about how little they had to eat. His anger was being poured out unto his mother.

"I thought we had some goddamn real food in this house," his father yelled.

Robert heard his father stand up and start to throw things while continuing his tantrum. He wanted to run into the kitchen and protect his mother because he knew what was coming next. Fear struck his heart and stopped him as usual. He felt powerless. Crawling under his bed and holding his ears with his hands he could still hear his mother's screams while getting beat viciously. Her begging and pleading went without mercy. Then her screaming and crying stopped completely. Robert took his hands away from his head and felt a numbing feeling come over his body. There wasn't his mother's usual crying and panting after getting beat. There was just silence. Creeping his way from his bedroom to the kitchen he saw his mother laying on the floor. No movement or life in her. There was just a small pool of blood spreading under her head. His father stood there with a rolling pin in hand and then looked up at him. The only words that came from his mouth were, "Go get the shovel boy."

His mother's grave was the first hole he dug. His father made him dig it. The whole time Robert was digging his father never felt remorse. He just called his dead mother names and how terrible of a wife she was. His father also mentioned if he ever told anybody he would be buried next to her. The fear of this did keep him from telling a single soul. It was that night Robert started hating the world. He hated how unjust it was. No one came looking for his mother after that. His father hid her away in his hell and she became obsolete to the world. After her death the world kept moving at it's general beat. Nothing was different to society but to him his small hands were burying the only love he ever knew.

After that night to escape the torture of now being his father’s punching bag, he would find himself digging holes in the backyard. Robert dug holes for years around his house and near the forest. In the beginning he never covered them up. He just left there until one night his father fell in one while stumbling around drunk in the back yard. His orders were to never dig again. Why did this man always try to take everything he had? Was he so miserable that he hated to see joy that other people had. It was bad enough he took his mother but now taking something as simple as digging a hole. The fear of his father didn't stop his addiction though. He found ways of hiding them and the drunkenness of his father didn't give him a keen since of his surroundings. One time his father did catch him. It was one of the worst beating he received. For almost a week Robert knew what it was like to be handicapped. When lying in bed he stared out his window at the backyard wishing he had the strength to at least dig one hole.

Now at the age of nineteen Robert stood in his backyard. Tonight was different. He had a feeling of justice in his heart. There was a strong feeling that the world would be lifted off his shoulders. Sometimes when a person has nothing left all their emotions are gone as well. Feelings like fear, love, hate, all of them just leave with their sanity. They become numb to all the pain and memories. Sometimes choices need to be made to secure the balance of the world. Some of these choices don't make sense and are not always pretty. His father could have chosen to be a good man instead of the demon he was. He had the choice to show him love and affection but instead he raised him with fear. Instead of blaming everyone and everything for his problems, he could have accepted them and made better of himself. No matter how cruel Robert's life was he would never turn into the his father.

Lighting another cigarette Robert looked down at this hole he had just dug. It was probably his prize one. It was a flawless rectangle. The sides were smooth and its depth was almost as tall as him. This was his masterpiece. He decided this would be his final hole. When his father got home from the bar Robert wanted him to see it. He wanted his father to finally see at least one accomplished of perfection he had done.

When he did get home he shuffled out the back door yelling for Robert. When he saw him standing next to his the hole anger fell over him.

"What in the hell did I tell you about digging those holes," came out of his father's mouth.

Robert replied with no fear in his voice, "No, you should really see this one. You have to see what’s in it."

His dad made his way over to the hole mixed with curiosity and violence on his mind. Looking down the hole he said with a questioned look on his face, "There's nothing..........."

A shovel crashing against the front of his face stopped his father’s words. The sound was repeated over and over. Robert thought how similar the sound was when his mother was being beat over her head by this very man. He forced himself to stop for a moment. His father was barely breathing but he could still hear him whispering for mercy. Raising the shovel in the air he felt like he had one final blow to go. Then he couldn't do it. He didn't want to be the one to kill him. Robert drug his father and rolled him down into the hole. He watched his father's body fall to the bottom. Still alive he was moaning with pain. He felt that he shouldn't be the one to kill his father. Instead the dirt he shoveled for year trying to escape the horror that he put him through should be the one to take his final breath. Robert picked up the shovel and slowly started to cover his last hole. He didn't stop to think or look back. He just started singing a lullaby his mother use to sing him asleep to.


© Copyright 2020 Andy Vaughn. All rights reserved.

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