Underneath The Surface
By Joseph Logsdon
Day by day, week after week, the hole grew bigger and bigger. Louis continued to excavate, mostly unaware of what was going on around him. The day before, he had stopped going to work, to the surprise of his friends and neighbors. Was he burying a body, like so many people suspected, or was it something far more sinister? One thing was for certain: there was a method to his madness.
The lawn, essentially, had become a pigsty. The hole had gotten so large, it not only distorted the lawn, but also the driveway. Everything had been shifted out of balance. He stood near the edge of the yard, obsessed with completing his dangerous task. He had a shovel in one hand, a hammer in the other. His wife, Cathy, who had been very patient, gazed at him with contempt.
"Louis, out of curiosity, why are you digging a hole in our yard? You're embarrassing me, quite frankly. You, my husband and friend, acting like some kind of crazy person. Another day of this, I might just leave," she screamed.
"Leave me alone, for Pete's sake. I just need a little more time, that's all I ask," he replied.
"You better be finished by tomorrow, because if you're not, for any reason at all, I'm leaving and never coming back. You'll be alone, with only that shovel for company," she hissed.
"This shovel, come to think of it, is probably more valuable," Louis laughed.
"Why I ever married you, I honestly don't know," she hissed, walking away from him.
Louis was finally alone. All through the night, he continued to excavate. The neighbors, having no lives of their own, constantly studied him. What was normally a pretty dull community, had suddenly become far more interesting. Through the rain, through the cold and darkness, he continued with his task.
Early in the morning, he finally stopped digging. He stared at the ground, speechless and defeated. It was a large hole, well-suited for a body. Louis sighed, not yet prepared to finally end his life. Cathy ran out into the yard, but unlike before, she actually cared about what was happening.
"It's finished, I can officially say," Louis declared.
"But still, why did you do it? What are you planning to do, kill someone?"
"Thanks to you, that won't be necessary. You already killed me, so anything that happens now, can never compare to what came before. It's too late, for you and for me," he whispered.
"Speak English, why don't you?"
Louis suddenly removed a gun from his pocket. He pointed it at her head, unusually calm in his demeanor. Cathy froze, convinced that she was going to die. Louis grabbed her hand, kissed it with absolute gentleness. Tears were in her fearful eyes. She remained, for the most part, completely paralyzed with anxiety.
"Where you're going, there won't be anyone to comfort you. Did you really think I didn't know?"
"What are you talking about?"
"Don't give me that; you know what I'm talking about. For months, under my very nose, you've been running around with some guy. Our marriage, this thing you call love, has been a lie from the very start. Have you ever once, during any moment of your life, thought about anything other than yourself? The idea of having a baby, if I recall correctly, was quickly dismissed by you. You said, and I quote, 'It will ruin my figure.' How could a baby, your pride and joy, possibly stand in the way of you being happy?"
"Everyone has the right to make their own choices. Where the wind blows, that's where I always go. For a season, perhaps a little longer, it was blowing in your direction. The wind changed, therefore I must change with it," she exclaimed.
"This morning, there isn't any wind, none what to speak of. I would guess that, with no wind and everything, life would just stop altogether," he chuckled.
Two bullets impacted her face. She was dead, her life forever destroyed. Cathy fell into the hole, graceful in the way she impacted the dirt.
"Two for you, one for me," he said, gently pulling the trigger.