Miscommunications are common.  Most of us can straighten things out with a simple explanation.  Some of us may choose to make ourselves heard and understood in other ways.  Regardless of what you choose, enjoy Part 1 of this two-part short story.    

Salisbury, Maryland


Alfred Dorr stood over the four feet deep hole.  It was about five feet in length and three feet wide.  He dug it faster than he thought he could.  Fear had a way of pushing a person beyond their capabilities.  He dropped the shovel on the ground and headed back to the Ford F-150.

An Owl hooted. 

Alfred jerked his head to the left and stood still and listened.  He could not see a damn thing out there. 

Wicomico Demonstration State Forest was so dark.  He could feel the thick darkness between his fingers.  He wondered who would come out to that forest at ten PM?  He answered himself as quickly as he asked the question.  People who were up to no good.

He hurried to the pickup truck.   

The tailgate was down.  An empty blue barrel was inside.  He carried it to the hole and removed the airtight lid.  He then went back to the pickup and grabbed something wrapped in black plastic.  He carried it in his arms to the hole.  His body was wiry and lean.  Veins popped from his arms and forehead as he leaned back to hold onto the package.

The black plastic package wiggled and rolled out of his hands.  It kicked and moved across the dirt.  Mumbles and grunts came from inside.

Alfred grabbed the shovel and slammed it on the bag.  He hit it three times and grunted with each swing.  “Stop it already,” he said, breathing hard.  The bag lay still.

Alfred hurried to the F-150 and carried three glass jugs of Nitric Acid to the hole.

He picked up the plastic bag and slid it down into the blue barrel. 

“You couldn’t shut your trap,” he said, looking into the barrel.  “Could you?  Everything was going fine.  But you couldn’t accept it.  I told you we had to come to an understanding for everyone’s sake.  But what do you do?  Threaten me.  Insult me.  You came close to breaking up my marriage.  You didn’t give a damn about anyone except yourself.  The truth is I think you were unhappy.  And you wanted me to be unhappy.  Well, the hell with you.”

He put on a gas mask and breathed deeply.  It was a perfect fit.  Then he put on a pair of chemical-resistant gloves.  He poured the bottles of nitric acid into the barrel.  He put the bottles inside the barrel too.  He then replaced the airtight lid on the barrel and rolled it into the hole.

“All you had to do was shut your mouth,” he said.  “You brought this on yourself.”

His arms burned and ached as he quickly shoveled the dirt over the barrel and filled the hole.  He stopped for twenty seconds to rest and stretch his back.  “You see the damn trouble you’ve caused me?”  He went back to throwing dirt.  Then he covered that part of the ground with branches, shrubs and leaves.

He stood at the side of the F-150.  Its headlights shined on the fresh grave.  He examined it one last time.  It was almost impossible to see it.  He hid it well.  In about two days, nothing in the barrel would be recognizable.

I hope you enjoyed Part 1 of this story.  If you like it, please pass it on to a friend and follow me on my blog.

I’ll see you tomorrow.

Have a great start to your week.

Stephen Wallace

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