The Return

The final Hint Fiction piece for 2014 – this is a continuation of my story with Samuel, from Matthew’s viewpoint.

**

Matthew came back to himself with a soft moan. His body ached from the attacks he’d suffered at the hands of his captors. That wasn’t the worst of it, however. He only realized the worst when he sat up and took stock of his surroundings. He knew immediately where he was. He’d been there before after all. He’d lost track of the number of times he’d been tortured this way.

It was pitch black and he could hardly move. He shifted one way and then the other, but the confines of the space were such that he couldn’t do more than shift his body a bit. He could hear voices from above him, but he couldn’t make out the what they were saying. He went still and then raised his hands to pound on the surface above his face. “No, please,” he said, his voice cracking. “Not this – not again. Let me out!”

His plea was met with laughter from outside and somewhere above him. A moment later, he heard the rumble of soil falling against the surface he was pressing his hands against. He felt the vibrations as they buried him deep… again.

Fighting the rising panic, Matthew took a steadying breath. He squeezed his eyes closed and felt hot moisture trickle down his cheeks. “Let me out,” he cried, over the sound of the dirt falling on the casket. “Please! I’ll do anything!”

The sounds stopped and there was a scraping sound – a shovel against the wood of the casket. Then there were two terrible thumps and a crash as the shovel broke through the wood. Matthew coughed as soil fell onto his face. As he blinked away fresh tears – from getting dirt in his eyes, this time – the face of one of his captors came into view.

“Thaddeus,” he breathed. The man he and Samuel had once called their friend – the same man who had betrayed Samuel’s parents – knew his worst fear. “Please, let me out of here.”

A sunny smile touched the man’s smooth even features. When they’d been in school, those boyish features had made the girls go crazy for him. No one every imagined how ugly he was in his heart. “Matthew,” he said, as he reached down the brush some dirt from his face. “You’ll do… anything? Really? Will you?”

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