by C. Mikus

          Being buried alive is something many fear. It happened to me. It was a nice, typical suburban home in one of those developments. One of those developments with names that try to create thatóthis is the most perfect and peaceful place on earth to live feeling. Something like, Sunny View Meadows or Riverdale Woods Estates.  
         But who knows what really goes on in those backyards? What happens behind those fences? People act all respectable, with manicured lawns and picture perfect flower beds.  There are BBQ grills the size of a small Buick, the grills being slightly more expensive. Thereís living room quality furniture with bright flowered cushions, cushions designed to be rained on. 
          I was brought there in the trunk of a car and after dark I was quickly transferred into the garage. I just sat their in the blackness in a corner on the concrete floor. The floor was chilled like a nice chardonnay. The next thing I know, itís a beautiful sunny late fall day and Iím outside. Iím thinking this will be the last time I ever see that big fire ball in the sky. Iím taken into the backyard and positioned up against an oak tree. From there I can watch the wife dig the hole. What kind of family is this? She kept digging, deeper and deeper. I kept thinkingó donít nice people usually live in places like this?  How could this be happening to me?
          Soon the digging stopped, I guess the hole was big enough. The shovel was suddenly dropped haphazardly on the pile of loose fill. The digger walked to the patio and carefully picked up a glass embossed with vines and flowers. I think it was really plastic. She gulped lemonade in the shade, like a camel at the oasis after two-weeks in the desert. I could only hope that it was too warm and the digger was done, too tired to finish. A short pause as she looks longingly at the cushioned chair.  I couldnít help but think to myselfócome on, letís just get on with this.
          Iím carefully put in the hole. I wonder why Iím suddenly being treated so gently. Soon, shovels full of dirt are thrown in around me, so much for that gentle mode.  Iím unable to struggle and there will be no escape from my fate. The digger is also the ďfiller,Ē dumping shovels of dirt on one side and then the other. Slowly and at a methodical and monotonous pace, the dirt starts to envelope me. There is a sun no more. I feel the vibration as shovels full of dirt continue to thunder down upon the dirt thatís upon me.
  When will it stop? Arenít I buried deep enough? How can people be like this? Thwap-Thwap-Thwap. The back of the shovel is being used to pack the dirt.  If someone throws a thin layer of mulch over this plot, no one will be the wiser. It will all just blend together, like two pieces of carpet joined together by a professional.  
          I continue to be a prisoner of my own thoughts and concerns. Thatís all I have to fill the time. For me, time stands as still as the lamppost by the driveway out front. Whatís happening above the ground?  Does anyone miss me?  Is anyone searching to find me? Will a rescue party dig through the dirt with their bare hands to free me from this tomb? That would be the ďhappy ending,Ē if this were a movie. I fear Iím forgotten. Does the digger even think about me?  
          Down here itís always night. Above ground, day turns to night and night turns to day.  How many times has that happened since I was put here? I have no idea. How long will I be able to survive? Itís not comfortable. The warm, kissed by the sun dirt that I was packed in with, is now cold. A rock pokes into me. I canít move to escape this constant thorn in my side.
I now know why people fear this. It is, to put it simply, so creepy. Iíve lost all control over my movements. I canít go anywhere. Iím trapped in dirt. Dirt is usually a little more pliable than concrete, but not much, the way Iím encased in it. The cavalry isnít coming. Iím going to have to get out of here on my own. 
          I have faith in myself.  I can do it. I can work my way out of here. I need to just start small and keep at it. Ants can lift something like 20 times their body weight. Shouldnít I be able to dig myself out of the mess Iím in? The power of positive thinking tells me that I can do it.  I will do it.  I will do it now!
          OK, but how? This isnít going to be easy. Iím starting to take control. I can wiggle my arm a little bit. Itís slowly working its way and pointing up, or at least what I think is up. Do I even really know what direction up is?          
          Some arm movement, hopefully upwards. Iím making progress. A saying I heard a long time ago keeps me striving: It doesnít matter if you think you can or you cannot do something, you will always be right. I am thinking, I can and that will be my self fulfilling prophecy. I think I am starting to feel mulch. I was right. The flower bed was covered over with mulch. The digger really tried to hide me.  
          I bet the digger will be surprised to see me. Maybe the homeowners forgot I was even here. Slowly I work my green arm up through the mulch. Green arm? Whatís with the green arm? Oh, did I mention that Iím a tulip bulb?  My green arm will push towards the sky, and some day soon it will bring forth a beautiful yellow tulip.


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