© Copyright 2012 - Cynthia Trusscot - Used by permission
Storycodes: M/f; bond; rope; gag; coffin; encased; transported; buried; cons; X
“Why?” Samantha asked. “You said no one was here”
“No one is here,” said Tony, “But we still don’t want to make a lot of noise, OK?” Still, Samantha couldn’t completely stop giggling. There was something silly about breaking into a mortuary in the middle of the night, just to see what being in a coffin was like.
At last, Tony got the back door open. If the rest of the place was as creepy as this back basement door, Samantha thought, she might change her mind. They tiptoed down a narrow corridor that smelled of must and chemicals. Then they emerged into a larger room. Tony struck a match, and lit the gaslights.
It was evidently the mortuary workroom. There were jars and jugs along the walls, shelves of supplies, and off to one side an apparatus with lots of gleaming pipes, rubber hoses, and valves. In the middle of the room was a wooden coffin. Arrayed in front were some folding chairs, as though for a viewing.
“I set this up late yesterday, before I left,” he explained as he lit candles on either side. “I’ll put it all back after. There’s your final resting place, my lady.” Samantha shivered at the words. Like many young people in the 19th Century, she was fascinated by death and its trappings. When she learned that Tony worked for the mortuary, she had flattered and played up to him. Then she had made her request: She wanted to be put into a coffin. Now she walked over to it and ran her fingers lightly over the gleaming wood.
“Over here,” he said. She turned. He stood by the chairs, with some strips of cloth in his hands. “Hold out your hands.” Not understanding, she extended her arms. Tony quickly tied her wrists together in front of her. Then he wrapped another strip around her arms.
“Tony,” she whined, “What is this for?”
“We use this to keep the bodies from shifting,” he explained. “Now sit.” She did so, and he lifted her long, dark-red skirt. He tied her spool-heeled, high-laced shoes together, then saucily lifted her skirt above her knees.
“Tony!” she gasped, scandalized.
“Yeah—what are you going to do about it?” he smirked, as he tied her legs above her knees. Pulling her skirt down, he stood and looked at her. “Don’t you make a pretty little body,” he said.
“Tony, I don’t like this,” she said, not at all convincingly. In fact, she rather liked it a lot.
“No complaints,” he said. He took one last piece of cloth and tied it over her pert little mouth, silencing her. She squealed in indignation.
“Now let’s get you settled,” he said. Sweeping her up in his arms, he carried her over to the coffin and gently placed her inside. He tucked her long skirt down, smoothed her frilly mutton-chop blouse, and arranged her hair on the pillow inside. “There. Close your eyes—you’re dead,” he said. She blinked, then closed her beautiful eyes and went limp, making herself as dead as possible. Tony looked down at the lovely ‘corpse’, and smiled hungrily.
“What was that?” he said, a worried tone in his voice. He looked over towards the stairs. Before Samantha could register anything, he slammed the coffin lid down—on her! She squirmed and squealed, but, tied and gagged, it was not possible to express her objections to Tony.
Tony hadn’t expected Fred and Malachi to come quite so soon, but it was all right. He had that pest of a girl in the coffin, and she would stay there for awhile. Then they would let her out, and maybe she would show them how grateful she was. He headed back to the door to let them in and tell them to be quiet.
“Quiet!” he whispered to his friends, Malachi and Fred. “She’s in the box!” Fred stifled a laugh. The three boys stepped outside.
“How long are you going to keep her in there?”
“Dunno—not too long, she might throw a fit, or somethin’” Tony said.
“Yeah, a pretty little dead girl,” said Malachi. “Do you suppose we’ll have to explain that dead girls don’t squeeze their legs together, or do you think she already knows?” The three boys laughed some more, and lit cigarettes from their secret stash.
An hour, another cigarette each, and a perusal of a purloined copy of the Police Gazette later, they make their way back into the mortuary workroom. The coffin with Samantha in it was still on the trestles, the chairs still around it. Stifling sounds of mirth, they tiptoed up to the coffin and very quietly undid the latches. Then, with a great cry of “Boooo!, the flung the lid open to expose the by-now thoroughly frightened girl…
…only the coffin was empty.
“Where’d she go? Did she get out?”
“She couldn’t get out! The lid was latched, and besides, I tied her up before I put her in there.”
“You tied her up? Why’d you do that?”
“I told her it’s what we did with all the bodies,” said Tony, not quite answering.
“So where is she?”
“Look! This isn’t the coffin I put her in! Someone must’ve taken the coffin out the other door and put this one on the trestles!”
“So where’d they take her?”
* * * * * * * *
Samantha wondered what Tony was doing. She had a moment of panic when he‘d slammed the lid, but then relaxed—he would take care of her. Then the box had been picked up and moved, tilted as if up a flight of stairs, then slid into a wagon. She had tried to cry out, but the thick cloth tied over mouth stifled her cries. She couldn’t pound on the inside of the box with her hands and feet tied as they were. Now all was still. She would just have to lie her in the dark, tied with cloth strips, until Tony let her out. His mean friends had put him up to this, she was sure. So—this was what it would be like to be dead. She went as limp as possible, trying to feel like a pretty corpse.
Just then, her coffin lurched again. She felt herself hoisted and swung, then lowered . She went down a considerable distance, then came to rest with an oddly echoing thump. A whispering sound, as of ropes being whisked away, came from around her.
Then a very distinct sound: The sound of earth being dropped on the outside of the coffin. At once she realized—she had been lowered into a grave, and now was being buried! If this was Tony’s idea of a joke—suddenly she realized it wasn’t a joke, and it wasn’t Tony. She screamed, the sound completely muffled by the gag and the padded wood of the coffin. She kicked her bound legs against the inside of the box, and clawed at the sateen lining with her tied hands. Nothing she could do would attract the attention of the men shoveling dirt down onto her coffin. The sound of earth faded as the layers built up over the lid of the coffin. There was no sound but her scrabbling about inside the box, trying to free herself from the cunningly tied strips binding her.
* * * * * * *
“Reverend Johnson – did you send anyone over to the mortuary to take a coffin this morning?”
“Why no—no, I didn’t. Why do you ask?”
“Errr, no--no reason. Thank you, reverend.”
“Father Murphy – Did you do any funeral masses today?”
“Charlie—Did you use your wagon to haul any coffins from my Dad’s place?”
“Mrs. Grundy – did you see anyone hauling a coffin this morning?”
The three boys, very downhearted, met outside the general store. “Where could she be?” asked Fred.
“She can’t be far.” Said Tony, thinking.
“So what’s the worst that can happen? She’s the guest of honor at somebody’s wake, they open the coffin and get the surprise of their lives, she dies of embarrassment, comes back to life and kills us.”
“Yeah—NO! Whoever took the coffin doesn’t open it, just buries it! THAT’s the worst that can happen!”
There was a long few moments, while the boys stared at each other in mounting horror. Then: “Hello Tony, Fred, Malachi.” It was Jane, another of the town girls, leaving the store.
“Hi, Jane,” they chorused morosely.
“I know – isn’t it too bad about my uncle Arnold?”
“What about him?” asked Tony, barely paying attention.
“Well, he DIED yesterday! I thought you knew, he was at your funeral place! We buried him just this afternoon, out at our family cemetery!”
“Buried, at your family’s place, you say? Oh. Yes—yes, we’re really sorry to hear that.”
* * * * * * *
Just after the sun set, Tony, Fred and Malachi were hiding in the trees at the border of the Jones family plot.
“We should hurry!”
“We don’t want to get caught!”
“We don’t want to have to explain a dead girl, either!” The three left the trees and entered the cemetery. Luckily, they came across a mound of freshly-turned earth. More luckily, the graves hereabout were not very deep. After half an hour and a three feet of quiet digging, they struck polished wood.
They were just clearing the last of the dirt from the top when they heard voices: “Who’s out there? Who is that!” Shouts from the Jones house. With unseemly haste, they prized the top of the coffin open. Inside was a figure in a white blouse and dark red skirt, wound with white swaddling, eyes closed.
“Get her out!”
“Y-you do it!”
“She’s not dead, she just looks that way!”
“Dangnabbit, who are you and what are you doing to my kin?” New voice, from behind the gleaming barrels of a shotgun.
“We’re, that is,--“
“GRAVEROBBERS, that’s whut youse are!”
“NO! You see—“ Tony tried to come up with a reasonable explanation as to why he was digging up a grave in the middle of the night that would be acceptable to a shotgun wielding relative of the grave’s occupant.
Then the shotgun shifted to one side. Slowly, it dropped. Mr. Jones was staring past Tony, his eyes getting bigger by the second.
From behind Tony came an unearthly sound, a whispery, groaning moan, like a sound made by the newly dead. It made Tony’s hair stand on end. Mr. Jones’ eyes unfocused, rolled up into his head like a cheap windowshade and he fell backwards on the ground, the shotgun across his legs.
Tony turned around. There behind him, emerging slowly from the grave, was a white figure, long blonde hair whipping about in the night wind, dirt streaked face, eyes wide and terrifying, a horrible sound coming from its mouth.
“RUN!” Tony grabbed and heaved Samantha out of the coffin and up over his shoulder. The four pelted off into the woods. Tony had just enough time to appreciate the roundness of her ass and her cute high-heeled boots as she bounced on his shoulder before the trees cut off the moonlight.
They stopped a little ways in. Working quickly, they untied the girl, although each privately voted to keep her bound.
“Don’t—You—Ever!—Do—That—Again!!” Samantha gasped angrily.
“What—give you the exciting experience you expressly asked for, then make a daring, dangerous rescue?”
“Y-Yes!” The angry girl spun around and stomped off towards town, fists swinging.
“Didja see the expression on old Mr. Jones’ face when he saw a ghost coming up out of the grave?” asked Malachi.
“Yeah!” laughed Fred. “We’re gonna have to remind him of that next Halloween.”
2012 Cynthia Trusscott