In the Meadow (Sample Chapter)

In the Meadow (Sample Chapter)

[dcs_btn url=””%5D!! Pre-Order Your Copy Today !![/dcs_btn]

The sound of the shovel biting into the top soil echoed softly from the ridge on the opposite side of the river. The blade scraped a mix of course gravel and loam and then was quickly tossed onto the large pile of dirt near the body.


Her clothes were caked with mud, the incessant starts and stops of the rain saturating everything in the meadow. It had been raining for three days. At least, that’s what she had decided it had been; three days of waiting and now this.


Dark clouds gripped the sky, hugging tightly to the steep edges of the granite outcroppings, protruding out from the valley walls along the sheer banks on either side. Moss grew everywhere. The girl took a clump of it off the ground from where she sat in the dirt. It was bright green and squishy, soaking up the rainwater like a sponge.


She took a deep breath, watching the man as the blade went down into the hole again, taking another spade full of dirt from her grave. As he tossed the shovel full onto the pile, dark chunks of mud spilled over onto the body, in her hair, on her clothes, smearing her pale, lifeless face.


She looked down at her self, almost surprised at the cold, vacant stare looking back up at her. Those eyes, wide, frozen white. The girl blinked rapidly, a shiver rippling through her as she watched.

As she watched the man dig the hole, images flashed in her mind, wrestling against him, his hands tight around her neck – choking, gasping for air. If felt like a dream now, her thoughts, her feelings – all of her emotions all jumbled together in a gray, icy haze.


She looked down again at her lifeless body, just empty and hollow now. A shell. Everything she had been or could have been was gone now. There was nothing left, something to be discarded, covered over with earth, hidden and forgotten.

The girl looked back over her shoulder at the black sky.


Daylight would come soon.


He was almost finished. It wouldn’t be long now.


The man abruptly stopped, his breath ragged, sucking in the cold air in full gulps.


She sighed as she watched. Her own chest wouldn’t move anymore. Not like before. She didn’t – couldn’t – breathe. Not like him. There was no draw left in her lungs.


A flash seared through, burning her throat, just like it had when he had choked the last bit of life out of her. Pushing down over top of her, enormous, heavy, strong. She trembled, thinking of him consuming her, her body seizing from the lack of oxygen, her brain starting to shut down, her back arching up, her tiny arms flailing, hands fruitlessly slapping and clawing against him.


She closed her eyes and put her head on her knees, biting her lower lip.

Go away, just go away. She just wanted to stop seeing it.


The man tossed the shovel a few feet away and stepped out of the shallow grave. Her grave. He turned and grabbed hold of the body by the right ankle. The girl flinched, still able to feel the sensation of his touch on her skin. But she sat maybe a foot away, out of his reach. He couldn’t hurt her anymore. It didn’t matter. She flinched as he gave her ankle a sharp jerk, pulling her lifeless body into the hole.


She sat there in the dirt as he worked to position her. Arms crossed, lets out straight. He took his time, as if admiring her. Straightening her long hair, gently tucking errant strands behind each ear.


A putrid feeling washed over her, rising up from her stomach, into her throat.


She peered down over the edge, and looked at herself, staring back up. She looked so peaceful now, all but those empty, hollowed eyes. In those, she could see the deep etches of pain he had inflicted, scared deep, deeper than she could have ever imagined possible.


He stood and retrieved his shovel; without even a second glance, he began filling in the hole. She looked up at him for brief moments, but couldn’t keep her gaze on his face, somehow still frightened he might glance over and notice her sitting there. She knew he couldn’t see her – knew she was safe from him now. But that fact wouldn’t alleviate the irrational fear welling up, a tight knot in her throat.


A mist started to come down. Each shovel full of dirt clung to her hair and her skin, reducing more and more of her sickly, pale skin. First her arms and part of her chest were gone. Then her legs, as if he were purposefully saving her face for last. She peered over the edge again as another shovel full all but erased her. The sky above was a blotching gray, the sun would soon be peering out over the horizon.


He had time. It was about done, anyway.


There was nothing left of her now.


Before too long she was just staring down at dirt in an otherwise inconspicuous hole. There could be anything buried there underneath the moist earth, or nothing at all. She was nothing now. He had finally finished what he had started with her, finally put her out of the world, hid her beyond the reach of anyone or anything.

The wind clipped at her wet clothes as it blew through the trees, rustling the underbrush, a strange, hollow sound echoing back from across the river.


She signed, though she didn’t know why.


The girl glanced over at the far edge of the tree line, wondering if maybe someone would be coming to look for her – maybe rescue her. No. There was no rescue. She looked back down at her shallow grave. He had made sure she would be beyond rescue.


The man launched another blade full of dirt onto what now looked like just another slight depression in the meadow. The girl shivered, but not from the cold. She couldn’t feel that cold anymore. Now she shivered from something else entirely – an icy cold that seemed to seep out from her bones, radiating like heat from her body.


He patted the grave with the back of the shovel, flatting out the rough spots here and there, until the it was smooth and perfect, matching the surrounding area.


She remembered how strong he had been as she looked down at her hands, the bits of flesh and blood still under her fingernails. It hadn’t even slowed him down. She had fought, though, as she let out that last gasp for air, spittle escaping her quivering lips, unsure exactly of what he was doing, yet the impression not resonating through her entire being.


Twisting, for the briefest of moments, breaking his hold from around her neck, she thought maybe – maybe she could somehow get away from him, somehow run back the way he had brought her, through the trees and toward the highway.

The girl looked down at her hands, chewed on her lower lip. She didn’t even know where she was or where he had taken her. It hadn’t mattered anyway. Even for the split second his hold on her was broken, all the man had to do was reposition, regained his grip as if it were the simplest thing to do. That’s when she felt her larynx collapse under the pressure – when she felt the last bit of life left in her quickly draining away from her tiny body.


So quickly was she gone.


She hadn’t even realized it at first. One moment he was on top of her, the next, she was standing a few feet away, confused and afraid. And cold.


The girl looked back up at the man as he started collecting his things. She watched as he turned and made his way across the meadow, back toward the tree line.


He whistled happily as he went, not giving it a second thought what he had just done. That was the point. Forget her. Forget this lifeless thing now buried in the dirt.


She sat there for a long while, even after the whistling in the trees disappeared and all she could hear was the incessant gusting of the wind. The girl started to cry softly, her broken body buried in the earth just a few feet beneath her.


From a distance they watched her, at the edge of the meadow, just inside the treeline. She didn’t notice them, but they were there.



[dcs_btn url=””%5D!! Pre-Order Your Copy Today !![/dcs_btn]