© Copyright 2009 - Darkraptor1 - Used by permission
Storycodes: Other/mf+; wrap; cocoon; encase; coffin; buried; mc; cons; X
They came from nowhere.
On that ordinary day, millions of people woke to find something most unusual.
There were black coffins. Millions of them. In every city, every farm, every suburb and neighborhood, in every street they stood. Millions of black coffins.
When you walked out into the street on that morning and saw the coffins for yourself, you thought it was some kind of prank. That seemed the most likely explanation, and your neighbors agreed with you.
You walked amongst the coffins, curiously investigating them. They were, at first appearance, just ordinary coffins. Made out of wood, each about six and a half feet tall, though some were shorter and some were taller. All were painted a dark, midnight black.
You ran your hands over one, looking it over. There were no marks, no signs of why these things were here. Before long, everyone started to head back to their homes, figuring to get ready for the days work, and to let the proper authorities deal with this prank.
While eating breakfast, you turned on the television. The news was talking about the coffins as well. You were stunned to find out that the coffins had appeared all over the globe. From Alaska to Peru, from the Congo to Australia, the coffins had appeared wherever there were people. It was an event unlike anything people could remember.
If it was a prank, it was the biggest in human history. But no one was coming forward to claim responsibility. And nobody knew why these coffins had come out.
You tried not to think about it as you finished breakfast and started off to work. But the coffins made that a difficult task as well, for they were not confined to just parks and wilderness areas. They were in the middle of streets and walkways and sidewalks. And something very curious was happening…
Nobody could move the coffins. When someone tried, they would find that the coffin might as well have been made out of solid stone. They simply could not be moved. While baffled road authorities tried to move them, they were forced to create detours for drivers to go around. A big inconvenience, one that caused many people to grumble, but there was nothing to do about it.
But things were even worse on the freeways. The coffins had sprung up there too, blocking traffic up for miles, and even causing accidents when a car would hit the coffin, and incredibly, be crushed. The coffin just remained standing, completely undamaged.
When you finally reached work, it was all anyone could talk about. You tried to focus on your work, but it was difficult with customers and your fellow staff talking non stop about the coffins, wondering what they were doing here, who put them there, and most importantly…why?
It was a long day, but at last the end of your shift came and you made the trek home. It took twice as long with the detours that had been set up, but at last you made it. Going inside your home, you turned on the news, but after a few minutes, shut it back off again. You were sick of hearing about the coffins.
The rest of the night was uneventful and when you went to bed, you hoped tomorrow would bring something new…or at least some answers.
When the next day came, the first thing you did was look out your window. To your disgust, the coffins were still there, in the roads and in the nearby park. Figuring that perhaps there were some new developments, you turned on the news. And as it turned out, there were some new developments.
Though the number was small, a number of coffins had begun to disappear. Where they had previously stood, there was now nothing. If they had stood on the road, they were gone, with the road intact. If they had been on the grass, they were gone with not a single inch of soil disturbed.
While it was good news that the coffins were starting to vanish, there was another, more disturbing report. There had been an unusual amount of missing persons reports filed over the night. All across the country, hundreds of people were suddenly reported missing from each city and community. Nobody could figure out where they had gone, only that they had just suddenly vanished.
It didn’t take long before people began to wonder if the disappearance of the coffins had something to do with the missing people.
Finishing breakfast, you went outside to take a look at the coffins near your house. On the surface, you knew there was no difference between yesterday and today, and yet, there was still a curiosity to look, to try and figure out what was going on.
The curiosity was stronger then the day before, that much you knew.
Walking amongst the coffins in the local park, you looked them over, searching for a clue, anything that might explain what was going on. Your neighbors joined you, searching around.
There was something new this time. On each coffin were carvings of what appeared to be some sort of language, but it was one that nobody had ever seen before. Nobody, not even the professor of languages who lived down the street could make heads or tails of it.
When you looked it over, it really did appear to be scribbles. Each coffin had exactly one line of it, the length varying, but staying roughly the same on each one.
You were still trying to figure out what was going on when an older lady started walking around, asking people if they had seen her husband. You recognized her from down the street. She and her husband were quiet retirees, always cheerful and upbeat, happy to share a story or play tennis with you if you were so inclined.
But now she was extremely worried. Her husband had gone out for a morning walk, but had failed to come back.
You looked around, hoping to spot him. But there was no sign of him.
You walked over to a teen wearing thick gothic clothing. One of the nicest kids you knew, he had just celebrated his eighteenth birthday and was going to be heading off to art school in the fall. You asked him if he had seen old Mr. McGregor from down the street.
He didn’t answer you.
You asked him again, thinking he might have not heard you.
But he said nothing. He was staring at one of the coffins, completely oblivious to everything else. Even when you jokingly waved your hand in front of his face, he didn’t react.
Then he started walking towards the coffin. He stepped inside and turned around, facing you.
Bandages appeared, began to wrap around him.
It took you a few moments to process what you were seeing, then another few moments to wonder if you were hallucinating. But as the bandages kept winding themselves around the young man at phenomenal speed, you realized that this was real. It wasn’t a trick.
You ran to the coffin, yelling for help. You tried grabbing the bandages, trying to tear them off. But they kept coming, winding themselves around the teen’s body, encasing him tightly.
The teen didn’t resist or struggle. And when the bandages came to cover his face, the last look you had at him was a content smile.
Then the bandages wove themselves around his head and face, and completely encased him.
The coffin lid suddenly swung closed, barely giving you enough time to pull your hands back. It snapped shut, and with a click, locked itself in place.
A hysterical woman came over. You recognized her as the teen’s mother. She grabbed the coffin, frantically trying to get the lid open. But even with you helping her, the lid refused to budge.
With a grinding noise, the coffin was suddenly sucked into the earth. It went into the ground, and then just vanished, leaving behind smooth, untouched grass.
The mother went berserk, falling to the ground and clawing at it, yelling her sons name over and over again.
It wasn’t long before people brought their shovels to the site, frantically digging as fast and as hard as they could. You all went ten feet into the earth… then fifteen… then twenty. But all you found was dirt, mud, and earth.
There was no sign of the coffin.
News of the event spread quickly. Television news crews came by and did their stories. It was a sensation… a teen walks into a coffin, is suddenly mummified and sucked into the earth, with no traces of him left at all. It was as if he had simply vanished off the face of the earth.
It was even more of a sensation when, while interviewing a witness, the camera happened to catch another teenager, walking into a coffin. And like the teen before her, she too was mummified in seconds, then sealed in and the coffin sucked into the ground.
You saw it on your television. After what had happened, you had retreated inside, refusing to stay near those coffins. You couldn’t forget the look on the teens face before he had been encased…that happy, content look. And now, this latest teen had shared the same expression. It had been there on the camera for all to see, her content face as she walked purposefully into that coffin before being buried.
Why? Why on earth had two teens just walked in and done so of their own will?
At the end of the day, there were no explanations. There was no sign of old Mr. McGregor. But the news told of other events happening all over the world… a few individuals walking into the coffins, then suddenly being mummified and the coffins being sucked into the earth. One coffin, having stood in the middle of the road, had been sucked into the pavement once a middle aged man had gotten in, leaving behind a perfectly paved road with no sign that he had ever been there.
When you went to bed, you hoped that the next day would have some better news… even though you had a gut feeling that it wouldn’t.
You were right.
When you woke the next morning, the first thing you did was snap open your curtains and look outside.
The coffins were still in the park. But there were fewer then the day before.
The news was turned on. The coffins dominated the headlines. More and more people were reported missing, and more and more of the coffins were vanishing. Where there had only been a hundred or so missing from each city the day before, now thousands were reported missing.
The news programs were playing videos of people walking into the coffins, being mummified, then being pulled into the earth. It was going on all over the world. In some remote areas, entire villages and communities had vanished.
Nobody knew what was going on. And nobody had any explanation for it.
Young, old, men and women, everyone was willingly walking into the coffins. Each individual walking in seemed to be in a trance, unable to stop themselves, yet seemingly content and even happy with what was going on. People tried to stop them, but the individual would not give up until they got into a coffin, ignoring the pleas of friends and loved ones.
You began to grow curious about the coffins again. You couldn’t explain it… every part of you wanted to stay as far away from the things as possible, yet the increasing desire to know what was going on, to walk amongst the coffins was even stronger then it had been the day before.
It was hard to concentrate on making breakfast. You wanted to go to the coffins as you ate cereal. You didn’t want to go, but it seemed to be the only thing to do. You had to see, you had to know.
It was as if they were calling to you.
You realized that it wasn’t safe to go outside. Call it a gut instinct, but you somehow knew that going outside was no longer safe. Once breakfast was done, you quickly locked all the doors and windows, then went to your bedroom window and looked back towards the park.
There were only a few dozen coffins left in the field. Half of them had vanished since you had woken up.
There were dozens of people walking into the field, each one seemingly in a trance. Mrs. McGregor and the teen’s mother were among them. A few people were among the crowd, trying to save them all, trying to pull them back from the coffins, but they were ignored. Those walking towards the coffins didn’t even seem to be aware of them. They just kept walking.
And like their children and their spouses, they too walked into the coffins and were mummified, then pulled into the earth.
Again and again the scene played out. Dozens of people heading to the coffins, as if drawn to them. A few brave souls trying to save them, but ultimately failing each time.
One by one, the coffins began to vanish. They dwindled in number from a hundred, to a few dozen, and then to a dozen.
When the people stopped coming, the would be rescuers stood, as if not sure what to do.
A few minutes later, they began to look at the coffins.
A few minutes later, and each of them walked into one.
And all the while, you watched, horrified.
The rest of the day was spent in the living room, watching the television. The numbers of those walking into the coffins was only increasing with each hour. Thousands… millions of people were walking into the coffins. Doctors, fast food workers, librarians, cake makers, lawyers, mayors, pilots, government workers… there was no end to those suddenly walking to the coffins. Soon, entire cities were being emptied.
Some of the smaller nations were no longer communicating in any way.
Again and again, the question was asked.
Why was this happening?
But there were no answers. There were those who tried to explain it. The pope declared that it was judgment day, and that God was taking everyone away to be judged (before he and all of Vatican City walked into the coffins). Other priests thought that it was the rapture. A few fundamentalists thought that it was the opposite… that Satan was enslaving the minds of sinners and taking them to hell, and that only the faithful had the strength to resist.
Yet others thought it was some kind of UFO conspiracy. Some thought that humanity was being taken to another dimension to continue their evolution. Some thought that earth was removing us from her, ensuring her survival.
Scientists tried to figure out what was going on, but they had no answers.
Nobody knew what was going on. And as the hours went by, and as the coffins vanished by the millions, by the billions, no one could figure out why.
You went to bed that night more afraid then you had ever been in your life.
On the morning of the third day, you awoke to find the sun shining through your curtains. Birds could be heard chirping outside.
Cautiously, very cautiously, you got out of bed and walked to the curtains, pulling them back.
The street was empty. It was frighteningly quiet.
Across the street, the park was empty… save for a single, solitary black coffin.
You didn’t bother with breakfast. It seemed like such a pointless thing anyway. The only thing on your mind was the coffin across the street. It was in your mind, a presence, growing stronger and stronger by the minute. You couldn’t get rid of it.
You turned on the television. All the channels were quiet. The news stations were broadcasting, but nobody was in the studios. The live feeds of city hall showed only empty rooms and hallways.
Nobody was on.
You tried the internet. It was still running, but there had been no updates since midnight. You tried all the chat rooms you were a part of, all the forums, all the websites you could think of. But there was nobody online.
You tried the phone. You called every number you knew… only to be met with silence. Even nine one one was silent.
You were alone.
At first, you started to panic. But after a while, you calmed down somewhat, trying to figure out what to do. By all appearances, everyone was gone.
Was it possible that you were the last human on earth?
That thought made you panic… for if everyone was gone, what were you going to do?
But at the back of your mind, ever growing, was the coffin.
After a few minutes of contemplating, you decided that you would go outside. You would go to the park. And you would look at the coffin and stare it down.
Still dressed in your pajamas, you left your house and walked into the street. It was so strange not hearing anyone talking, no cars running, nothing. Only the sound of the wind and the birds.
You walked into the park. And you went towards the single remaining coffin.
And you stood there.
For the longest time, you stared at the coffin.
It felt as if it was looking back.
Thoughts swirled in your mind. Unanswered questions. A longing to know what was going on, to understand why the human species had seemingly joined together in a funeral for itself.
The presence in your mind seemed to grow even more, softly calling to you. It invited you to come closer, to examine the coffin more closely.
You hesitated. You didn’t know what to think. But bit by bit, curiosity began to get the better of you. So you cautiously walked to the coffin, looked it over. It was the same as all the others had been. In fact, you recognized this one. It was the one where you had first seen the carvings.
Only now, the carvings were gone.
In their place was your name.
You stared at it for the longest time.
Your name was carved into the coffin.
This coffin had been waiting for you.
A feeling came to you quite unexpectedly. It was a feeling of deep peace, like you had never felt before. It washed over you, gently removing your fears, your worries.
There was nothing to be afraid of, not anymore.
Almost unconsciously, you took off your clothes, letting them fall onto the ground. You stood naked before the coffin, looking at it, feeling its invisible pull on you, gently reeling you in.
You walked to the coffin.
Its interior was plain, but there was a soft warmth to it.
You stepped inside, turning around and putting your back against the coffin. It seemed to welcome you.
The bandages came.
Looking down, you watched as the bandages began to wrap themselves around your naked body. But you weren’t afraid. You were curious, amused even, as you watched yourself being wrapped up and turned into a mummy.
There was no more fear… only a sudden knowing that this was meant to happen.
This coffin had been carved just for you. It had been put here and it had waited for you. And now you were here… and you sensed that this was meant to happen, that you were meant to be here. There was nothing to be afraid of.
Your legs were wrapped up, followed by your chest, then your arms. The bandages were wrapped skillfully around you, restraining you, yet keeping you comfortable as your freedom was taken away.
When the wrapping reached your neck, you looked out towards the park, the trees, and the sky. It was beautiful, so beautiful. You were grateful for the time you spent enjoying them, but understood that it was time to leave. To where, you did not know. But you knew that no matter what happened, everything would be all right.
The bandages wrapped around your chin, then your mouth, and finally your nose.
You looked out at the sky one last time, as the bandages wrapped themselves over your face.
Now blind, you stayed still as the wrapping continued, until you were completely wrapped up and cocooned. There was no escape now, but you didn’t want to escape. You were content to stand there, comfortable and mummified, and let whatever was to come, come.
The coffin lid closed and locked itself, sealing you inside. You felt as it was pulled downwards.
Your coffin, like so many others, took you with it as it went into the ground… then vanished.
The birds continued to sing. In a few hours, animals would start to go inside the houses looking for food, a scene that would play out across the world.
No cars were running. No factories spewed smoke into the atmosphere. No planes flew, not a single machine ran.
There were only the sounds of nature, and the wind blowing through the empty cities.