Lost and Found
The graveyard was cold, dark and dreary. One weary old oak tree leaned over the entrance fate and broken battered headstones were scattered all around. I could hear the sound of the howling wind and the creak and groan of branches as they swayed in the storm. The smell of fear and rotting leaves filled my nostrils and I swallowed deeply afraid that I would get sick.
As I walked towards my brother’s grave, I heard another noise. It was of slow heavy footsteps. I turned, a tall muscular man was walking towards me.
“I don’t think this is such a good idea”, I shouted over the wind. “It’s too late to change your mind”, the man replied in a low threatening voice. “Either we dig him up now or you spend the rest of your life wondering how he died.”
“Ok, Ok”, I mumbled.
I could still remember the day those two army officers arrived at my house to tell me, my brother was dead. I lost my brother. Their cold hard faces gave little away when I asked how he died. “Killed in the course of duty” was all they would say. Everything else was “classified”. They handed me a letter from my brother, saluted, then turned and left, I stood frozen to the spot, dazes, confused and devastated.
I could not bear the loss of my brother. Finally, I opened the letter with trembling fingers but only one line stared back at me. “I’ll always be with you brother, John.” What did he mean? How could he be with me ever again? He was dead.
Now I leaned heavily on the rusty shovel in my hands and started to dig, determined to uncover the truth. The scar-faced man beside me began to dig at the other end and soon my brother’s coffin began to emerge from beneath the layers of sodden earth. Faced with this moment of truth, I began to panic. What if I was wrong? I knew John hated the army, I knew he wanted out.
I looked down at the coffin as my hired helper tugged at the lid with a crowbar. With a loud snap the lid flew back revealing the frozen corpse inside. My whole body filled with relief – there was a dead man in the coffin. It wasn’t my brother.