Sunday Scribbles Week 20: A young woman stumbles across some digging that she really shouldn’t see…

Welcome to Sunday Scribbles!

Today marks week 20 of the 52 week writing challenge!

Introductory post: Sunday Scribbles announcement post
Past prompts: Sunday Scribbles past prompts

The prompt for 21st May is ‘Digging’:

ssbanner 21st May Digging

I’ve still been busy fleshing out my villains in Tales from Dragonspire. I’m becoming pretty fond of one of them, despite his evil tendencies. Anyway, digging! Villains do a lot of digging, right?

My Attempt:

Marion knew it was cold. It was in the way that the leaves rustled, and the way that the people around her pulled their coats tighter around themselves. The wind was chill this dark November night. Yet she did not feel it herself, despite her sleeveless vest and summer shorts.

‘Anna!’ one of her friends exclaimed, and Marion watched as her best friend Sasha moved to embrace their friend. The group of eight friends gathered every November to see the bonfire. It was a traditional which dated back to their teenage years.

‘We should get closer,’ Marion suggested as she stood on tiptoe to look towards the bonfire. Her bare toes curled in the grass. Well, that was odd, but it wouldn’t be the first time she had gone barefoot to a bonfire.

Sasha looked past her, and Marion turned to see a tall, handsome young man making his way across the grass. Marion smiled, but she did not feel her heart leap in the same way that it usually did whenever she saw her handsome fiancee.

‘Tommy!’ Sasha exclaimed. She rushed forwards to pull him into a tight embrace.

‘Hey Sasha,’ Tommy replied, his breath in front of him a wispy puff of air. His hands fisted into the back of Sasha’s shirt, and his eyes flitted around the group.

Marion frowned and watched as Sasha’s lips moved against his ear. Tommy’s eyes were downcast, and he kept his gaze on the group. He didn’t even glance at Marion.

‘Hey!’ Marion protested as they began to walk away.

The group ignored her and pushed through the crowds towards the centre, where large sticks had been piled together in a bonfire. Marion took a step forwards, but she froze as Tommy’s hand sought out Sasha’s and their fingers tangled together.

‘No… I didn’t think that we were…’ Marion frowned and dipped her hand into her pocket for her phone. Her fingers closed over nothing. Her head shook, and her eyes slid shut. She didn’t need it. Their last few messages were burned into her memory anyway.

Beside her, leaves crunched underneath the feet of people that passed by, but to Marion the noise was faint, distant. Her last message had been pretty harsh. ‘I don’t see a way through this, Tommy.’ Enough to drive Tommy into the arms of Sasha, apparently.

After Marion had sent the message, her deft hands had opened drawers and tossed clothes and essentials inside a large bag. She had pulled her legs underneath her to sit cross legged on the bed, phone clutched in her hand, finger hovered over her mother’s entry in her phone book.

A bang and a crackle drew her attention out of her musings. Marion opened her eyes and gazed up at the sky as streams of coloured light trailed through the dark. Just like her relationship with Tommy, they fizzled out into nothing.

Marion turned away from where she had last seen her friends. She couldn’t catch a glimpse of them now anyway. She should have been crying. Yes, she had fallen out with Tommy, but that was no reason for her friends to ignore her, for him to shack up with Sasha of all people. It should have hurt. It did hurt. But why couldn’t she cry?

She trudged away from the bonfire and towards the exit of the park. Homeward bound. Well. Where her bag was. Marion could no longer call the house that she shared with Tommy home. She looked down at the ring which sparkled on her left finger. Would Tommy want it back?

The entrance was crowded by a group of young men, beer bottles in hand and slouched against the railing. Marion kept her head down and passed through them easily, so quietly that not even the leaves beneath her feet made a sound. She had just passed through the gate when there was a jeer from behind her.

‘All right, love?’

Marion turned. The men were looking right at her. Her hands crossed over her chest abruptly, and she suddenly felt under-dressed as their eyes roamed up and down her body.

‘Damned drunks,’ a voice drawled from behind Marion.

Marion span around to see a woman directly behind her in a low cut top and beautiful make up. The woman rolled her eyes and turned away to stalk towards a back alley. Marion hastened to follow her without a backwards glance. She kept close to the other woman, but she could hear no footsteps behind them. The men were probably harmless, but it never hurt to be careful.

As they rounded the next corner, Marion picked up her pace and overtook the pretty woman. When she turned to glance behind her, the woman had gone. No matter. The men had not followed, and continuing through the alleys was the quickest way home.

A large fenced off field loomed in front of her. Marion moved with slower steps towards the railing and let her gaze roam over the wide open space. The light of the moon lit up the large field, a communal space where, during the day, young kids and their parents would play ball, and dogs would fetch sticks for their owners.

Marion heaved a sigh and leaned against the railing. No breath appeared in front of her face, but it didn’t seem important. Stars blinked out from behind the clouds, and one by one, the street lamps began to flicker. Marion glanced up as they began to fade out, until the only light came from the moon and the stars.

Voices drew her attention, low and urgent. Out of one of the alleyways, a man and a woman with a wheelbarrow emerged. Within it, was a dark shape. The wheels clunked over the uneven path, and the iron gate creaked as the woman pushed it open.

Marion watched as the man shoved the wheelbarrow through the gate and onto the field. There was something sinister about the way he smirked back at the woman as she closed the gate. Marion shivered and moved towards a large bush.

‘Hurry up, let’s get this over with!’ he yelled. His voice carried far in the empty space around him.

A harsh bark penetrated the air. The fence of one of the nearby gardens shuddered as a dog flung itself against the wood. It wanted to get to the man and woman.

‘Keep it down!’ Marion barely heard the woman reply as she watched the woman rush up to the man and glance around. Marion ducked behind the bush and huddled down out of sight. Fog began to creep across the grass and she shuddered, but it was not from the cold.

The man grabbed a shovel from the wheelbarrow and began to dig. The wheelbarrow wobbled as the woman leaned against it and lit up a cigarette. Light puffs of smoke mingled with the fog, and the only sounds audible from Marion’s hiding place was the scrape, swish, thud of the earth as the man continued to carve the dirt from the landscape.

Curiosity kept Marion pinned in place, eyes fixed on the scene before her. It drove her to shuffle forwards in a low crouch to get a better look.

The smoking woman slouched further back. The wheelbarrow wobbled and began to tip over.

‘Hell!’ the woman exclaimed with a grimace as she nearly lost her footing in the mud. The cigarette fell from her hand as she spun around to grasp at the bundle as it began to fall from the barrow. A dark sheet cascaded to the floor and fluttered away from them.

The man paused in his digging, threw his shovel aside, and pulled himself from the hole. His glare was hot as he stalked towards the woman and grasped the wheelbarrow to push it upright.

‘Dumb woman,’ he yelled. ‘You wanna be in that hole?’

The woman flinched and looked away.

‘I’ll take that as a no. Grab the sheet.’

Marion gasped as the woman moved away to grasp the sheet. A hand hung over the edge of the wheelbarrow like it belonged to a large broken doll. A ring sparkled on it’s finger, just like it did on her own. Behind her, the dog’s bark pierced the air again.

The woman’s head shot up as she glared towards the bush that Marion was crouched near. Marion flinched and flew back behind the bush, kept low to the ground as she scrambled beneath it. She tensed as footsteps crunched across the autumn leaves towards her. 

The woman frowned as she reached the metal fence and craned her neck to peer behind the bush.

‘What’re you doing?’ the man yelled at her.

‘Keep it down, thought I heard something,’ the woman replied.

‘Check it out. I’ll deal with this,’ the man indicated to the wheelbarrow and pushed it towards the hole. He grabbed the shovel and there was a thud as he jumped down, but he did not start to dig just yet. Both were silent as they glanced around and listened.

A branch snapped near where Marion was crouched. There was something behind her. She tensed and flattened herself to the ground. The woman approached, crouched, and stuck her head under the bush. She stared right at Marion, eyes unseeing. Marion blinked, but the woman did not react.

‘Just a rabbit,’ the woman muttered. Her knees snapped as she got to her feet and dusted herself off. The man ignored her and grunted as he threw more dirt out of the hole.

Marion rolled out from under the bush and watched as the woman stalked away towards the man. How had the woman not seen her? The rabbit hopped across the path and into the alley as Marion pushed through the gate to the field. She barely felt the grass beneath her feet as she followed the woman in a daze towards where the man continued to dig.

The woman came to a stop by the hole, sheet in her arms. Marion moved closer with cautious steps, but the woman paid her no mind. Could they see her? Had her friends been unable to see her too?

‘Should be deep enough,’ the man muttered as he pulled himself out of the hole. ‘Wrap her up.’

The woman nodded and turned towards the wheelbarrow. She threw the thick plastic sheet over half of the corpse, and the man moved to help her wrap it up. Marion waved her hands in front of them, but they did not react. It was then that she looked down and saw her own face, eyes staring wide open and expressionless back up at her.

Between them, the man and woman dragged the corpse out of the wheelbarrow and towards the hole. A chill shuddered through Marion’s entire being as the woman walked through her, but she paid it no mind as she sank to her knees.

Dead. She was dead. Murdered as she contemplated walking out on her fiancee. She remembered the way her phone had slipped from her hand as she faced the thieves. The man had shown no mercy as his fists had flown towards her. Now, they were burying her body, and there was nothing she could do about it. Helpless and alone, the tears would still not come.

End Prompt.

Thanks for reading! This whole idea sprang from something I saw out of my office window: A man and a woman with a wheelbarrow full of dirt. Apparently, the first thing my brain jumps to is murderers dumping a body…

Next Sunday’s prompt:

The prompt for 28th May is Time.

ssbanner 28th May Time

If you try next weeks prompt yourself, let me know how it goes. Post your attempt on your blog on the 28th May, and leave a link in the comments below this post so that I can read it 🙂

If you can attempt the prompt in less than 140 characters, you can also #sunscribbles on Twitter. I am super interested to see what you all come up with 🙂

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