THE GRAVEDIGGER

This was the tree alright, the dead one with no leaves.

Streetlight nearby, no need for the torch I had brought.

A night of hard labour ahead, best get to it.

Sweat and dirt, clanging metal on rocky, hard ground.

Takes longer than you think to dig a deep grave.

At three in the morning I stand back and stretch my aching back, take a drag on a refreshing smoke.

A car arrives. They make their delivery without a word.

Dawn is breaking as I pat down the replaced soil.

Easiest hundred bucks I’ll ever make, no questions asked.


trees-ronda-del-boccio
Copyright Ronda Del Boccio

Written as part of the Friday Fictioneers challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (more details HERE). The idea is to write a short story of 100 words based on the photo prompt (above).

To read stories of 100 words based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

101 responses to “THE GRAVEDIGGER”

  1. Great description in sound and sweat of the digging

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Iain,

    So much story in those few words. Well done–no questions asked.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Rochelle, sometimes it’s best not to know too much…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ooo spooky. You really captured atmosphere with this one!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A dark place, darkly described with your customary expertise..

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A dark and interesting snippet Iain, which spurred me into writing my response to this week’s prompt

    Like

  6. A clandestine burial. You wrote with such finesse, that was my first thought. Excellent write, Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Violet, much appreciated.

      Like

  7. Sounded like it wasn’t so easy 😉
    Have to agree with all, very well written, Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Dale

      Liked by 1 person

  8. And this is how some people make easy bucks. No questions asked. Even – whether the “body” is alive/dead…
    Great description.
    The New Bride – Anita

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Nope, sometimes perhaps best not to know.

      Like

  9. Great descriptions, Iain. This was a common practice , especially before it was considered legal for doctors to study anatomy using cadavers.
    Rather grisly work, that 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Unnerving story! Great take on the prompt, Iain.

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I wonder if the money was worth it. He’s in it now, can he refuse next time? Great atmospheric writing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you – yes, you have seen how this could lead to trouble in the future

      Liked by 1 person

  12. All in a days work, I could sense his easy going attitude. Well written.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks James – he’s good at doing what he does.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I like the structure of this piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Very interesting! No A to Z this year for you or did I miss something?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Janet. Afraid not this year, just not enough time to do it justice. On the plus side, using the time to start the next novel. Good luck to you achieving it again 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Iain. Good luck with you on the next book. Looking forward to reading it!

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Leaves me with too many questions. Perhaps that’s intended? Well, done, my curiosity is wide awake.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely intended, and best not to ask 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  16. Quite a nasty night job.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Dirty work for sure.

      Like

  17. Well done, as always.

    Guys follow my blog 🙏🏽

    Liked by 1 person

  18. oooh sinister, hard work mind! Number 1 spot too!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was up early this morning!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. hopefully, it wasn’t a hidden treasure that he’d just buried. otherwise, he could be in deep trouble. those who paid him a hundred bucks would kill him at the first opportunity. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think he may be in more danger than he realises now.

      Like

  20. Wonderful the way you created the atmosphere for your horrific deed 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  21. No questions asked, but what price your conscience my grave-digging friend…? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gradually eating away at his soul, or maybe he’s just cool with it!

      Liked by 1 person

  22. No questions asked!
    But that breeds so many questions from my side! 😉
    Nicely done! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Are you brave enough to ask them though? 🙂

      Like

      1. Hahaha.. probably not! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  23. Great atmospheric writing. And all the best for the next novel (you mentioned it in a reply above) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Early stages at the moment 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Asking questions might not be a career-enhancing move, I guess.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Unlike most jobs, staying silent and keeping your head down will lead to promotion here!

      Like

  25. All that risk for only a hundred bucks?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A hundred bucks is a hundred bucks 🙂

      Like

  26. Back breaking indeed! So much work and only hundred bucks?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Better than nothing!

      Like

  27. I like the way you use staccato sentences to convey the truncated nature of your narrator’s thoughts. He is a man of the senses, and the voice you have chosen makes this very clear.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Penny, let’s hope his senses haven’t led him into trouble!

      Like

  28. Love your “reveal”: “Takes longer than you think to dig a deep grave.”

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Could almost picture it… So am not gonna ask any questions.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Things are never as easy or simple as they appear. I sense a dark twist coming. Love the way you describe the scene and create the character. Excellent as always!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He may be in a lot more trouble than he seems to realise! Thank you Brenda

      Liked by 1 person

  31. A terse piece of writing well reflecting the context.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Louise 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  32. Short and creepy. The scary thing is that can happen.
    Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Love the way I feel like I’m inside his head as he’s doing this dodgy job. Well-written.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Eugenia, much appreciated

      Like

  34. And left with so many questions. Well written. Great take on the prompt.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Interesting story. I can see freelance grave digger as a very interesting job for a character in a novel. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you – certainly would have some stories to tell!

      Like

  36. That’s a lot of work for a hundred bucks! Perhaps he was underpaid.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think his employers may not take too kindly to a pay dispute… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. True. Pick your battles, I guess.

        Liked by 1 person

  37. All that work for a hundred bucks! Seems he should ask for a tad bit more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t thin k he gets a choice in the matter 😉

      Like

  38. I really like the creepy mood you create – the digger all alone in the dead of night – not your average graveyard. Wonderfully sinister in a subtle way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, much appreciated

      Like

  39. Superb — really liked the complete story. “Just my job, madam.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much 🙂

      Like

  40. Very atmospheric piece. I could see him toiling away and then puffing away in the end. Luckily he has no grave concerns otherwise this could be tricky work.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. The protagonist doesn’t seem bothered in the least by who’s getting killed, as long as he gets paid. I really like the matter-of-fact tone of the story.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. This was an extremely well-written story, Iain. As someone else mentioned, it has a matter of fact tone to it. It shows that the MC is emotionally detached which is why he was a logical choice for the job.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He is good at his job! Thank you Deborah 🙂

      Like

  43. He’s happy to turn a blind eye for the payoff. I guess there are lots of people like that. The tone of your story captures his lack of conscience effectively. Well told.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I suspect he is not even aware of what a conscience is. Thanks Margaret

      Liked by 1 person

  44. I liked this, thought it was written well, i just have one small criticism. I hope you don’t mind. $100.00 is not much money for this. Even if it was legal, it seems like it took him hours of work, hard, back breaking work. $100.00 would barely cover that kind of work let alone his silence. Maybe a $1000..too much…five hundred, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Depends how desperate you are for a few bucks I guess, perhaps he has no choice in the matter… Thanks for reading Dawn

      Liked by 1 person

  45. I think I’d want more than $100 and ask a lot of questions. I might not be cut out to be an illicit gravedigger.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m afraid you wouldn’t last long in their employee.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think I’d be all right with that.

        Liked by 1 person

  46. This was eerily familiar, Lain, and wonderfully done. Could definitely be a longer story, as we’re left wanting more!

    Liked by 1 person

  47. Ha! Loved it! No questions asked? I wonder who this guy is…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just a guy looking to make a buck or two 😉

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: