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Monday, March 19, 2018

Microstory 801: Burial Ground

Growing up, the four of us were inseparable. Lawrence, Jessie, Frank, and I would do everything together. Our bond was so tight that we ended up getting jobs together. Whenever one of us was tired of working somewhere, we would all quit and find something else. We even moved halfway across the country together. But then Jessie needed to go back home and take care of her sick mother, and the rest of us just couldn’t afford to go with her. It was okay, though, because we were able to keep in contact with her pretty easily in this modern world. Until we couldn’t. One day, she stopped calling, and we soon discovered that her family hadn’t seen her either. She was reported missing to the authorities, but they weren’t able to find anything. Since we’ve had so many different jobs, though, we had made tons of connections with others. We used this vast network to conduct our own investigation, and eventually learned that she was last seen at the docks where her father worked before he retired. There were rumors that a crew of fishermen were secretly pirates, so that seemed like our best lead. After months of coaxing, we infiltrated the crew, and discovered that the rumors were true, but that wasn’t the worst thing about them. One of the crewmembers was even sicker than the rest, and appeared to be responsible for the abduction of nearly a dozen other women. We found a poorly scaled map in his quarters, and set out to find the X. In the woods, between the bay and the highway, in a relatively remote area, we found what we were looking for. Parts of the ground had been turned up and replaced, forming perfect human-sized rectangles. Each grave was marked with some kind of personal item. We started digging the one marked by Jessie’s lucky stone, which was a painted rock she bought in a gift shop because it “spoke to her”. We worked slowly, not relishing the idea of seeing our best friend’s lifeless body. When we finally opened it, our eyes widened. I immediately grabbed her and pulled the mask off of her face. “Start digging up the others. They’re alive.”

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