Something was tickling my cheek. I attempted to move my arm to brush the sensation away, but I couldn’t feel anything aside from my face. The tickling happened again. It was wet this time, sticky. It was quiet wherever I was—where was I? My eyes struggled and failed to open. There was a horrible tugging sensation when I tried and failed to open them once more. My heart was beating so I wasn’t dead; maybe there had been an accident and I was in some medical chamber healing. I could think—that was good. I tried to wiggle my toes like they tell you to do when coming out of Shavasana. Nothing. My heart began to thump harder, the vein on my neck threatening to give way. I tried my mouth and was met with failure and the same tugging that had affected my eyes.
I could smell. I could smell to an extent. I inhaled sharply, nostrils wiggling like a rabbit’s. In the brief seconds before disaster. I could smell dampness, the earth. Then my nostrils were clogged, clogged with soil. My cheek twitched as the sensitive skin was graced with the presence of a worm. I was underground. I was buried alive. I screamed and screamed into the dirt but it seemed only I could hear it. I could hear nothing, no cars, no voices above me. My heart raced faster, panicked breathing sucking what oxygen remained out of my grave.
I was choking, my tongue folding back against my throat as my head began to pound and ache. I coughed with a closed mouth, trying to break what I thought must be some kind of string that stitched my mouth and eyes closed. It was useless, there was little energy left in me anyway. If only I could see my arms and see what’s holding them down. I tried to wiggle my shoulders, nothing. The soil beside me gave way, a burst of red and orange lit up my eyelids as the sun shined in for a brief moment.
“Mmm!” I grunted to the sky.
In response there was a heavy thunk and the sound of sniffling as the dirt showered over who I assumed was the next victim of live burial. The person next to me was quiet, maybe this one was dead? I grunted at them again, trying to find some sign of life. Nothing. My head hurt, black dots speckled the inside of my eyelids, breathing became nonexistent. I was dying. I couldn’t remember if I was sick before this, or if I had been attacked by someone and this is where they dumped me. If I could cry I would be wailing, wailing like the lost spirit I was going to become. I wish I could remember something, my family, my pets, a prayer from Sunday School. I didn’t know if I was going to heaven or to hell or if I even believed in either of those, but at least I would be a good meal for the worms.