I remember this story because it shocked. I woke up this morning thinking about it. The last thing I remember was holding a dead flashlight in a pitch-black cellar. I was with two men and we were trying to move dirt off of something in a root cellar. I remember this because I forgot this so long ago. I am not a child anymore and I understand this might implement me in a crime. I know I didn’t do anything wrong, but I know people around me were evil. Some were good. Mike, one of the two men I was helping, was a good man. He inherited a house from Tom, who was a lawyer and a somewhat disgusting man. Mike inherited the house because Tom lost a bet to him over a horse race; wealthy men do ridiculous things when their manhood is in question. Tom lost that is that. Tom had a pension for prostitutes and sexual assaults. Within the house there was a basement and farther down a cellar, which was home to a peculiar rock. The rock was of sandstone, about the 6ft long and 2ft wide, very slender in size, with sharp edges. I did not know how this rock could have made it so far without snapping in two. I felt that it did not matter, what mattered was why it would be so far down in the depths of this cellar with no purpose. Mike felt the same way. He wrote a letter to Tom asking what the origins of this rock were, why it was there, and how he got it there. Mike also explained to Tom that he was going to move the rock because it was of no use to him in the cellar, and particularly out of place. Tom replied several days later with a letter urgently stating that Mike should abandon his attempts at moving the rock and do more useful work, such as, mind his own business. The rock was a sentimental gift from a friend from long ago. Tom insisted the rock stay.
Mike did not think about the rock for some time after that letter. Mike thought that Tom had been a bit hasty with his decision, and decided it did not matter anymore. Mike would move the stone and place his roots down there without hesitation after all he did own the house now.
The job, moving said rock, required me, and Morgan a friend of Mikes. We were the guys for the job. I have no idea why I took this job, maybe because I was bored, maybe because I needed some money. I took the job either way. Mike told me that he needed to move a rock and that he needed me to help, so I did. I had a basketball game to be at. It was the Heat and the Bulls, I vaguely remember the game because this girl was chewing my ear off and I was down. Mike called me around 11:06 p.m. on Tuesday. I made it to his house in about an hour. I got the digits and hit the door. I made it to Mikes at midnight, which was kind of late. I never see Mike at this time. He explained that we had to work fast because Tom had decided he was going to come and move the rock himself, but he didn’t want Mike to be there. So Mike decided he would move the rock and place it outside, because he did not want Tom coming into the house. Tom had become hostile recently and Mike was afraid of what might happen. Mike found out that day that Tom was going to be there in the morning with bells on.
I didn’t bring much, just the clothes I was wearing and some liquor on my breath. I knocked on the door and as soon as it opened Mike pulled me in. He looked frantic and scared, almost panic from distressed. I asked him what had happened and he told me that he had been concerned about the smell coming from the root cellar. Said the root cellar must have a dead animal in it or something. I found this hard to believe, since he was worried about the smell and since small decomposing animals have little scent, that is unless they succumb to starvation within an air vent, I felt certain this was not a good thing.
Earlier while reading the Pioneer Press I read an article about a missing girl. The girl seemed familiar, I think a friend of Tom’s. I have no idea why I was reading the missing person part of the paper, but I found it. It slipped my mind. The forecast was humid with a chance of scattered thunderstorms. I forgot my raincoat.
There were very few lights on in Mike’s house. I am sure this was a defense mechanism against Tom’s prying eyes. Morgan was in the kitchen having a drink. I said hello and he seemed under the weather. Morgan was usually in good spirits, but now he was in good spirits and distraught. I just wanted to get the job done. I was getting tired. I could only think of the girl I met at the bar and the idea of a cloudless sky on a day off from work. I just wanted that.
The steps leading to the basement were somewhat dusty with a few footprints here and there. There was one light in the corner that was dimly shining across the floor and to the very top edge of the root cellar on the other side of the room. The smell of the basement was damp and sweet, I could not figure out the sour smell that was coming from the cellar, but it was no animal I had ever smelt. The root cellar had been boarded up, or at least haphazardly been blocked from view with vertical boards, similar to the ones on the surrounding walls of the basement, and a horizontal cross beam within the wall. The cellar was built it was built out farther from the house, a square jutting out from the side of the basement, unseen from the outside the house. As we approached the cellar Morgan covered his nose, I had a cold so I was okay, but the smell was becoming stronger. There was a ladder within the cellar, I could not see the bottom, but mike said it was about 15 feet down to the bottom. Mike told me what we were going to do and I climbed inside and onto the ladder. Morgan crawled across this makeshift scaffolding that had been mounted above the cellar with a small flashlight. Mike was preparing some rope to tie to the rock and eventually spool through a pulley, we would all three help pull the stone up after it had been securely tied to the rope. I was doing the tying.
The ladder was rickety, we needed more light, and by now the smell had all three of us confused and nauseated. I wanted to get the hell out and get this done with. Mike got another light from the garage and came back into the opening of the boards and he had brought shovels just in case we needed to dig. The light flew down the cellar hitting the walls before it finally made its way to the floor and the stone. The stone was in the shape of a rectangle, it was big and I figured we would not be getting it out. The rock was put there for the purpose of not moving. When I reached the bottom of the ladder I called up to Morgan and Mike. I stepped on the ground, soft mud that sank as I stepped. The smell was overwhelming, I was having flashbacks of find a dead deer, I was hallucinating from the noxious fumes. Mike and Morgan came down, one at a time, lugubriously with each step. They had brought shovels and a flashlight the light from above was shining shadows of our figures on the ground. We looked at the rock and Mike pulled the rope down from the pulley. We struggled to get the rope under and around the rock, shovels were needed and we used them. The smell from under the rock was unbearable. Decomposition had set in beneath the rock.
As soon as the rock was up off the ground I realized that we would have to work fast to get it up and out without it falling. Mike and Morgan ran up to man the pulley, I had the job of making sure it did not hit the side of the walls of the cellar, the oblong shape had forced me to stay. I was praying we would move fast, but haste makes waste and I was not tying another rope to he rock, the smell was very bad at this point. I was perspiring and covered in dirt. Mike gave the word and the both were pulling while I guided the rock. The rock was going up smooth at least halfway when the rope had become terminally taught with little room to stretch any farther, twines were snapping. Then it happened, the rock slipped from the rope as if it cut through it with razor sharp edges. The rock tumbled breaking the ladder in half, knocking me to the floor with a crash and what sounded like breaking wood. The lights from above were swaying back and forth. My flashlight was lying next to my head when I came to. Mike and Morgan were above asking if I was okay, the smell was the first thing I noticed, as I lay on the broken ladder, rancid and hitting me with a ubiquitous location.
How much time had passed, I have no idea, but Mike and Morgan were more concerned about Tom than anything. I picked up the flashlight and told them to get me out of the cellar. Mike said they had no ladder and the rope had slipped through the pulley before falling to the floor beneath my feet making it useless. They were going to come up with a plan to get me out. I waited. I had time to see what had happened to the rock. I pulled the flashlight up and saw the rock sticking straight up and down in the ground. The rock had penetrated the soil and was about 3/4th the way stuck in the ground. I took a closer look on the side closest to where I stood there was nothing just dirt. I got closer and peered over the side of the rock. Under the rock there was a piece of wood, resembling a door, green in color, broke. The stench was so strong I covered my nose, even though I had a cold. I reached down for the piece of wood, which was coming from the ground, to pick it up, but it was stuck. I moved it to the side and gasp. Within the space below the wooden door, which was actually a box, was the decaying body of a woman. Her arm shown, the top part of her body was crushed by the rock, she was naked from the waist down. I froze in terror. I did not scream, I just moved back and told Mike to hurry up and find a way to get me out. I had come across a crime scene and my salvation was above, what happened and who did it was none of my concern.
Mike and Morgan seemed distant, at first they called to me every five minutes, now it seemed like an hour in between communications. My flashlight was going dim I was getting tired. I wanted out. Mike kept yelling something about Tom calling him and then Mike whispered something to Morgan about the front door. I had no idea what was going on. Five minutes later there is a scream from Mike, Morgan says I need to take it easy down there he was going to see what the commotion was all about. I sat silent as I heard voices coming closer. I saw two shadows Mike and Morgan, I thought they had gotten a rope and I was out. I heard nothing, just shadows. I didn’t say anything I didn’t know what was going on up top I was in shock. Then I saw it.
Two flashes, two shotgun blasts, and two bodies dropping from above. The light went out, I heard footsteps walking away. That was the last thing I remember and then I woke up.