Saturday, May 9, 2009


The sand bellowed out from the hole like a froth. Seth startled with fright, then delight—his eyes and mouth opening wide with glee. The hole opened like a yawning mouth and kept growing. The ground below him started to sink, and he with it. His head was now level with the top of the sandy slope as he sunk into the ever growing, gaping hole. He yelled for help, but it was too late. He was under the ground. The last thing he saw was the hole, staring back at him like an impartial judge about to pronounce a death sentence.

Suffocating, Seth struggled and wrestled amidst the arms of sand gripping him with a wrestler’s stranglehold. “I’m going to die,” he thought. The thought came to him as a matter-of-fact. This is not how he thought it would be. As an old man, he lay dying on his bed, happy and content—a peaceful life lived, now all alone, his wife gone before him, but only by six lonely months of anticipating the reunion. The sand kept boiling over him, forcing its way into his mouth and ears, and lungs. He choked. He imagined the deep, blue water of Lake Michigan, but this—this was painful. A mean hand gripped his ribcage and dragged him below the surface. Up above, the black hole stared out at the expansive field, closed its eyes, and disappeared as the sand and the ground resumed its appearance as before.

Below the surface, his body lay limp. The roots of the tree plunged into his body. Roots suck the life out of the ground in order to sustain the life of the tree. Still alive, Seth could feel the roots prick themselves and stab his body, searching for life. He lay limp and listless. His tomb again began to empty itself. The hard, wet sand underneath him crumbled slowly like the crumbs of stale bread. The roots, embedded into his abdomen, ribs and back, lifted him slowly down like a gentle yet malevolent hand. He felt fluid going into him. He felt alive, and aware.

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