Sunday, May 26, 2019
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Estimated reading time — 2 minutes

A stone quarry is an awful place to be at night if you’ve got a nervous disposition, like I do. The silhouettes created by the hewn rocks look like stalking figures, and the whole place is haunted by twisted shadows. Even worse, tonight it’s raining. The heavy plinking of water droplets all around me sounds like white noise that’s been turned up too loud. I feel like I could easily be attacked, because running footsteps or even a scuffle would be drowned out by the sound of the rain. At a time like this, these are the kind of paranoid fantasies I don’t need.

I’ve got this tick. I can’t stop smacking my lips when I’m anxious. In fact, I’m doing it so loudly right now, that I wonder for a second if anyone could hear me over the rain. I even convince myself I can hear it echoing off the geometric walls of this place. I know that’s silly, and so I laugh to prove to myself that there’s nothing to be afraid of. Still, I wish Mike would hurry. There’s nothing more eerie than watching the trenches at the bottom of a quarry fill up with rainwater in the moonlight.

I become aware of the crunching of shoes against gravel only moments before I feel a hand on my shoulder. I jump, and the hand tightens its grip. Spinning around, I see it’s only Mike. He’s got a big, goofy grin on his face, and I know he’s pleased by how badly he’s scared me. What a jerk.

Mike helps me move aside the large boulder by which I’m standing. The thing rests inconspicuously against the quarry wall, but if two strong guys really heave on it from the outside, it rolls right out of the way. Behind the boulder is a natural hollow in the rock wall. Inside this hollow is the scared, haggard little man we’ve been keeping prisoner. We abducted him a month ago, on his way home from work. Somberly, I smash his head in with a nearby bit of stone. Mike wanted to leave him here to die of thirst after his family couldn’t come up with the ransom. I told Mike we couldn’t be so cruel.

Mike offers to give me a ride back to my place. I smile, and thank him. On a night like this, I think I’d die of a heart attack if I had to walk home alone. All this skulking around in the dark plays havoc with my poor ticker. And, hell, a stone quarry is an awful place to be at night if you’ve got a nervous disposition.

Credit To: David Feuling

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