I overheard two guys talking at the bus station, guy one and guy two. I was sitting on a bench not minding my own business.
Guy one asked guy two if he knew any good places to stash a body. Guy one was tall and lumpy, slightly humpbacked. His face looked like it’d seen the back of a few shovels. Guy two was short and skinny like he stopped growing in the middle of puberty. He had pimples and a wispy mustache, a bad eighties mullet. Mullet said, yeah, he knew a good place to stash a body. Then Lumpy asked Mullet to take him. Mullet agreed, and they walked off together. Lacking judgement or bus fare, I followed.
The guys walked down Broadway until they hit the tracks. They turned and crossed the trestle bridge and walked north. Following the tracks made it harder to tail them unobserved. I kept far behind, a speck in the distance. Every time the tracks curved out of view I feared I would lose them. I followed for kilometers, until we were well past city limits. A solid tangle of blackberry brambles three meters tall walled in either side of the tracks, and whatever wilderness lay beyond those thorns grew scarier with every step away from civilization. I came around the next bend and they were gone
I searched for a passage through the wall of brambles. I heard a faint voice, then saw a tunnel carved from the tangles on the right side of the tracks. I entered with furtive care. The trail winnowed through the thicket and released into a large field filled with dead weeds. Thistles and foxtails and other crispy flora made of prickles and burs. I hunkered into the margins of the bramble and spied. The two guys stood at the edge of a hole in the center of the clearing, looking down into it
“That’s more than last time,” Mullet said
“I didn’t expect it to be so full,” Lumpy said
“Well, what do you want?” Mullet shrugged his shoulders. “It’s a good spot.”
“I don’t know if there’s room,” Lumpy said
“What, you gonna stash a body now?” Mullet asked. Then he gave Lumpy a concerned look and stepped away from the hole.
“Not right now,” Lumpy said, digging his hands in his pockets. “But you never know.
“I don’t suppose you know where we could find a body to stash,” Mullet said.
“What about the dummy that followed us here?” Lumpy asked.
And then they both turned and looked toward me squatting in the shrubbery.
J.D. Hager is a science teacher and rabble-rouser hailing from California. He enjoys tacos, beaches, and whiskey straight up. He helps choose stories at Intrinsick.com. Find out more about his exploits at jdhager.com.