I’ll Find You
“Prompt: There are times I miss you so much. I wish I could remember where I hid your body.”
His shovel hit the ground with force, beads of sweat rolled down his bare back.
“NO! NO! NO!” He emphasized each defying word with a smack of the shovel to the dirt.
Deep in a hole, he leaned against the gravely back, rolled down to a sitting position and buried his face in his hands.
“I’m sorry,” he wept openly into his palms, “I’m so sorry. I can’t remember. I can’t remember.” A hand made its way to the back of his head, fingers brushed lightly over a lumpy scar. He gazed down at the name on his forearm.
“I won’t stop,” he spoke like he was talking to the woman herself. “I’ll find you. Promise.”
“Where…” he muttered under his breath as he took one look at an individual paper and threw it to the growing pile behind him.
Flicking on a small lamp, he tried the computer.
Where would it be… Where would I put it… Maps … maps, right? I put it somewhere, know I did.
Nowhere. He couldn’t find it anywhere. No coordinates, no picture, not even a little note to himself. He’d only depended on the memory. And now it was gone.
BEEP… BEEP… BEEP…
He woke, groggy and pained, vision blurred.
A voice too cheerful startled him.
“Just came to check up on you. Finally awake, I see!”
“I — wha — “ He stumbled to form words.
“Hey there, it’s okay. Relax. You took quite a whack to the head. I’m just gunna check some vitals.”
Something … Something’s missing …
He grabbed the nurse’s arm with a surprising strength, whispered under his breath, “where is she?”
Quick knocks rapped on a trailer door. It swung open to reveal a hoggish man, rotund and pink and foul, a cigarette hanging out of his mouth like it was a permanent fixture.
“You buy this land?”
Even his laugh sounded like a snort. “What do you think, boy? Think I’m sittin’ in middle of godforsaken nowhere because it pleases me?” He shoved a flip phone into a chest pocket.
Impatient blue eyes glared at the hog man. “Right. Well then, I need a shovel.”
Hog man cackled. “What for, boy? Buried treasure?”
Thoughts brewed behind the stormy eyes. “Could say that. Some’m’s here that belongs to me.”
Hog man flipped the cigarette about, took it between his fingers and let out a repugnant breath of smoke. “Let’s fetch it, then.”
He disappeared, returned with two shovels, demanded he be included in the stranger’s excursion.
“I appreciate this, but I’d rather work alone.”
“Nonsense. This is my land now. Let’s see what you’ve got down there.”
Reluctantly, he shoved the tool into the dirt. He dug and dug, without assistance, until he heard a loud thump.
“Just a box of old clothes. Trinkets and such. Nothin’ of consequence.” He tried to convince hog man to just leave. Leave him alone.
But the round man lifted his shovel, spinning it about in his greasy hands. “Oh, I doubt that.” A wicked grin crossed his face and the shovel cut the air with force.
He held his hand to his forehead, shielding his eyes from the sun, looking over the land like he’d done a hundred times before.
His jaw set firm as he read a newly planted sign.
No… Can’t be… Wasn’t no “For Sale” sign…
Strong arms shoved him into a hard brick wall.
“Where is she?” Hot breath hit his face, he grimaced.
“Gone. Told you, she’s gone.”
Broad shoulders and a twisted face looked at him in doubt. “I’ll find her. I will find that woman. When I do,” grubby hands took his face, squeezed his cheeks like he was a child being reprimanded, “you will be very upset that you hid her in the first place.” The hands gave his cheek a smack, one last taunting, threatening gesture. The ignorant possy left him, a small smirk upturned his lips.
“Soon as everything’s clear, you come get me. Not a second later.”
He smiled at her serious tone.
“How’ll you know? You’ll be asleep.”
“I’ll know,” an eyebrow quirked up, “I always know when you late.”
He teetered between the edge of sobbing and laughing, so he pulled her into a hug, one last embrace. “Not a second later,” he whispered softly to her.
“Promise?” Her whisper tinged with doubt, and it hurt his soul. He pulled her back, looked into those deep brown eyes, like chocolate.
“Course. You trust me?” His hands took her face, almost willing out the response he sought.
She covered his hands with her own. “I do. All my heart.”
Deep breaths on the verge of tears heaved in both chests. They stared for a few moments longer, like it was the last time they’d ever see each other, the last look they’d ever exchange. Still holding her face, he pulled her in and kissed her, the tears that had threatened to fall now escaped. He shut his eyes tight and kissed her like he’d never do it again.
Sun beams began to shatter the dark. They looked toward the rising dawn.
“‘S time. They’ll come lookin’.”
She stepped down into the ground, into the wooden box.
“Here,” he handed her a small vial, “better drink it now.”
She laid down as comfortably as she could, downed the liquid content. Drowsiness immediately hit her.
“Not a second later…” she whispered through the oncoming sleep, gazing into his eyes one last time before he closed her box, her hiding place.