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A Little Lost, A Little Found Shorts Stories

Ditch – Flash Fiction

I joined a writing group. I do not consider myself a writer, but I have a good amount of time on my hands and thought this could be fun.

Every month we receive a prompt and a word limit. If this sounds like something you’d enjoy too, check it out here.

As terrifying as it is to share this, I find myself thinking, “Why not put it out there?” This blog page is for fun anyways and you, dear friends, might enjoy a short story now and then.

Since short story writing is now becoming a van life hobby of mine, I figured I might as well start sharing.

Here’s Story #1 – the prompt was Ditch and the word limit was 300 words. I tried to improve it a tad before posting here. If you find the need to give me feedback, please do! But, please phrase it gently and kindly.

Enjoy!

DITCH

He hangs his head and stares into the six-by-six foot chasm. He checks the corners for a perfect 90 degree angle. He assesses the floor, smooth as stone. “Good work, Tony.” Tony, the intern, nods his thanks to the boss.

Locals believe grave plots are finite spaces, but he knows they hold an infinity’s worth of secrets and fears. The one he dug last week cradles the body of a 16 year old. Drowned. A few paces north, there’s a neighborhood of tragedies who died prior to their first birthday. Today’s abyss awaits the body of an elderly man. Cancer. He left behind a wife and children. His family might have loved him, they might even miss him, but they’ll never know his secrets. The grave digger knows.

He can’t count the years he’s been preparing death beds and guiding townsfolk into the afterlife. They say the mail never stops, try taking a break from ditch digging for corpses. He chides himself for such calloused humor. The dead deserve better.

Maybe he needs a vacation.

He could put Tony the intern in charge, his works continues to improve. But, if left alone Tony would likely leave gaps in the dirt for the spirits to escape. Horrified, he imagines the havoc it would wreak if a ghost wandered out of ground and into town. The paperwork.

He could show him the right way to pack the dirt. Again. He sighs. He shouldn’t blame Tony. 

It’s actually that demanding night shift keeping him away from hot sand and endless ocean. He glances at the setting sun, “Gotta go Tony.”

“Bye, Boss.”

He walks into the equipment shed where he stores the night uniform. He glances over his shoulder to be sure Tony has started walking home in the opposite direction. 

One sleeve at a time, he pulls on the black cloak. Then, he lifts the black hood, and grabs his ancient scythe.

Vacation, ha. As if.