“I told you we shouldn't be digging out here,” Shiloh said nervously, standing and pacing along the rim of the hole she’d carved.
“Shiloh, calm down.” Brett sighed and grabbed a shovel to loosen the dirt from around the metal container. Brushing the dirt from the top, he read out loud, “The Lady and the Lord – May they never be forgotten.”
Eyes wide, Shiloh backed away with her hands raised. “Holy shit. No way, no freaking way.” Tom reached for the handles of the case to drag it from the ground. “Are you insane?” Shiloh shrieked.
Both men paused in their work and stared at the frazzled young woman over their shoulders. “We’d like to see if the diamond is inside, Shiloh,” Tom replied gently.
“You’re – Oh, my god. You’re digging up a chest from two people who were murdered in their sleep by a madman. Isn’t that a tad morbid?” She ran shaking hands through her hair as her breath puffed out in little wisps of steam. A door swung closed in the distance, making her jump severely.
Catching a glimpse of the looks on her comrade’s faces, Shiloh turned and walked away a few steps, embarrassed. They didn’t understand. After her mother died, she couldn’t even sort through the old clothes without a whiff of perfume recalling painful memories or the texture of a sweater bringing singeing tears to her eyes.
That box carried someone’s memories, and the town may have been long abandoned, but somewhere the ancestors of those people were wondering about their family members. Shiloh jumped when Brett laid a hand on her shoulder. “Christ,” she said, gripping at her chest, “you scared me.”
“Are you okay?”
Shiloh stepped back, not wanting anyone to touch her or comfort her. She didn’t want the contact, didn’t need it. “I’m fine. I just don’t think that case should be opened.”
“What if the diamond’s in there?” Stepping forward, he effectively pinned her against her excavator with one deft move. One hand behind her head, he leaned casually and waited for a response.
He’s doing this on purpose, she thought. Purposely drowning her in his cologne. “What if it’s not? Then we’ve disturbed them for nothing.”
“Disturbed who?” A smirk played on his lips, though he was obviously trying to hide it for her sake.
“Oh, eff off. You don’t believe in ghosts, do you?” Shiloh turned her back to him and leaned her shoulder on the machine, watching as Tom tried to lug the box out of the hole.
Brett’s hand ran down her arm, drawing a shiver. “Do you?”
“Why shouldn't I? When my mother died, I know she was still there watching me. I know she stayed to watch dad, too.”
“And you think there’s ghosts here?” Stepping forward, he pushed her shoulders back so that she was flat against the machine and facing him.
Shiloh sighed deeply. “Something is out there, Brett. Something is waiting for us. I can feel it.”
“Well, let’s help Tom with this and then we can have lunch and relax, okay? I promise you, nothing bad is going to happen today.”
Shiloh followed him to the hole in the ground, still not entirely sure of what they were doing, and grabbed a side. Unable to shake the feeling of being watched, she swallowed and gave a heaving lift. The heavy crate shifted and creaked, wood rising from the dirt until it finally broke free.
Tom toppled backwards and the crate fell at his feet, the top bursting open. A skeleton flew out of the open lid onto his lap and the older man screamed and batted at it while scrambling to get away. Brett froze in shock, but Shiloh couldn't help grinning at the debacle happening in front of her.
“Well,” she said, satisfaction lacing her voice. “That will come back to haunt you.”
Check out the other great flashers this week:
Julie Hayes (M/M)
Sui Lynn (M/M)
RJ Scott (M/M)
Heather Lin (M/F)
LM Brown (M/M)
Pender Mackie (M/M)
Ryssa Edwards (M/M)