The words over at Three Word Wednesday are erase, meadow and trace. Yeah, I'm a little late.
He closes his eyes and listens.
The rush of a summer’s breeze blows through field grass, tall and lush and green, and makes a sizzling noise, which is soothing.
He’s climbed a hill that overlooks a meadow.
He’s dug three graves.
His hands are tacky with dirt and the fluid from blisters that have torn and oozed while he's worked to open up the prairie. He squints at his damaged palms, smiles at the pain. Doing a good job should be tiring, maybe a little painful, he thinks. His muscles ache and the last of the sweat is drying salt rings in his shirt.
The mounds are laid out in order, 3 feet apart, perfectly symmetrical, perfectly dug. He’s used a square-head shovel to slice layers of thick sod, which he's carefully peeled back and saves.
He’s excavated down 4 feet, thinking a shallow grave just wouldn’t do. Best to bury things deep and be safe.
Grime coats his forearms and his smell has gone to musk. His hair sticks to his forehead.
His trousers will have to be tossed, as well as his polo shirt, which has developed a tear at the shoulder. He teases the white flesh exposed there with a grime-loaded fingernail.
And turns his attention back to the mounds.
He’s refilled the holes with dark, rich earth, tamped things down with the heels of his shoes. He’s repositioned the sod exactly as it was.
The graves are unmarked. There’s no need for remembrance.
No bone, no sinew have been deposited here to decay.
Just memories. Things he’d like erased.
Time and the elements will wipe away any trace that he’s stood here on this sunny afternoon, working feverishly until dusk approaches, creating these three holes, then un-creating them.
He’s hoping time does the same for him.
He secretly prays these graves bring solace.