Dorothy is an editor, a prolific writer of horror short stories and author of frank historical novels.
Her tale creeps and crawls, twists and trembles. Scrape forth...
BACK WHERE I BELONG by Dorothy Davies
It’s dark in here. Too dark for me to see anything. I’m restricted in my movements, why can’t I sit up, move my arms about, lift my head ... and what is this strange silky stuff I am lying on? What is this hard pillow I am resting on...
I don’t like this. Any of it. Not one single tiny miniscule scrap of it. Something's wrong and I want to know where and why and how and what and I want to know now. Not tomorrow, or next week, or next year, but NOW!
TALK TO ME!
Nothing. It’s as if I’m in some kind of box...
I am, aren’t I, in some kind of box. A coffin, to be precise.
What else is lined with silky stuff and holds my arms and legs and body in a rigid position where I can’t move around and...
But I’m not dead!
Hold on, think this one through. Sensibly, logically, one step at a time.
In my car. Right. First step, in my car. Driving from/to?
Work. I remember. Driving from work, after a long day. Tired. Trying to keep my eyes open. Remember ... some idiot cutting in front of me and me too tired to react quickly and I smashed into him. I remember nothing else.
So, did someone declare me DOA? If so, I’ve been a long time waking up, there would have been an autopsy – hold on – can I feel – yes I can – and then a funeral and they don’t happen very quickly and –
I guess I got buried, because I'm not burned up and ash and scattered somewhere or left in the bottom of the incinerator or stuffed into someone else’s urn.
But you see, I am NOT dead.
I need to get out of here. So, how do I get out of a) the coffin and b) the grave...
By sheer hard work.
Wow, that was hard work too!
Oh hell. I have been dead longer than I thought. The headstone’s in place already. No, not already, look at the date, look at the date ... I've been dead a year. A whole long empty wasted do-nothing year.
But I look all right, what I can see of me, anyway. Not much rotting going on here, feet still got shoes on and nothing leaking out of the seams. The socks don’t feel soggy either, so ... the feet must be intact. Right? The legs, let me look at the legs, tug up the trousers, well, would you look at that, pink flesh and blue veins and come to think of it, what about the hands which did the tugging? Well, would you look at that, too, all my fingers intact and heavens, she buried me with my wedding ring, too! I thought she would have had that off me and sold it immediately. Or do I do my cheating wife an injustice...?
Right. Head. Hmm, seems intact. Eyes, yes, nose, definitely, mouth with teeth, yes, and at least now I can say I will never have toothache again, hallelujah! Ears? Yes, I have ears. Hair? Longer than I normally have it but who’s arguing about a small item like that?
Looks me as if I'm pretty well intact. Not bad for my age, as it happens. My age plus one year – obviously lying around underground does wonders for the body. Look, no paunch. That’s the death starvation diet for you, works every time. I might market that, when I get myself back into civilisation.
And the bitch’s house.
Now, let me orientate myself.
This is the large new burying ground, so my home is – several miles away. Well, I obviously can’t drive there, and equally can’t hire a taxi either; there is no money in these pockets.
Hold on, you fool, you’re not thinking straight.
Would you, after a year underground? Asleep?
No excuse. Come on, think! How did you get out of the coffin and the grave?
Now think yourself at home.
Ha! Is it that easy, I ask myself... there is only one way to find out... isn’t there?
And here I am walking up the path. She’s made a few changes, that black-hearted wife of mine. The flower beds are all shrubs, no colour, no charm. Where’s the central rose bush gone? Pride of my life, that was. What’s a conifer doing in its place?
The door’s a different colour. I preferred the green, don’t like this – this wishy washy blue. That’s not a colour for a front door, that doesn’t say ‘look at me, I am proud to be the entrance to this home.’ This one says ‘I am all delicate pastels and femininity and be kind to me.’
I will, when I get in.
Sudden thought, no one appears to have seen me yet. Was I lucky or am I invisible? I will find out when I-
Shocked look, smashed dishes, hand over mouth, eyes like saucers – I thought that was a stupid expression until I saw her eyes go as big as saucers when I walked into the (disgustingly yellow) kitchen.
‘Me.’ I don’t think I have a voice, leastways I didn’t hear anything. Telepathy, perhaps, because her eyes got even bigger, if that was possible and it had to be, because they did.
Stop it with the foolish thoughts.
‘It is you.’ She’s shaking head to foot, nerves, fright, love? Never the last one, never, never. I know my wife and a lot of memories are creeping back. Well, I’ve only been out of the grave for – how long? Half an hour? Taking me a little while to get myself together. Only natural.
Let’s think about the reason I was so tired and couldn't react properly in the accident. Let’s think about the flask she gave me to take to work, the drink which tasted just the tiny bit wrong, think about the look of sex she carried from time to time when she hadn't been with me. Think about the lies ... oh the lies ... I uncovered from time to time without her knowing.
Think about how she'll react when I say the next words to her.
‘Darling, I got tired of lying in the grave. I decided to come back where I belong.’
Author and editor.
Amor Vincit Omnia
Check out my websites: www.oneinspecyal.com and www.circle-of-light.co.uk