“Cut it out! It just falls back in when you do it like that!”
“Where? Turn the lamp on, I can’t see anything!”
The dim light flickered on just as a thin stream of sand and soil fell past Phil’s shoulder.
“I think it’s deep enough,” Phil stuck his shovel down, admiring the hole, “Don’t see why I’m the one digging though.”
“I told you,” Terry swatted a mosquito at his neck, “One of us has to keep look-out. In case.”
“In case of what?”
“In case somebody sees us – or him.”
“What about him?” Phil wiped his brow, “It’s not like he’s in a man-shaped box…could be anything in there.”
“Like what, buried treasure?” he prodded, bemused.
“Don’t be silly, Terry, we aren’t pirates.”
Phil hoisted himself out of the hole. He was covered and caked with dirt.
“I’m just saying,” he continued, “There isn’t necessarily a man in the box.”
“Shh!” Terry scolded, checking his watch, “Hurry it up.”
Each man took a side of the large plastic box. A polite, suburban object. On the count of three, they lifted.
“Then again,” Phil’s voice strained against the weight, “Even if someone surmised that a man was indeed in the box, he would have no way of knowing whether that man was alive or dead. According to Schrödinger-”
“This really isn’t the time, Phil!” Terry hissed.
In a dozen burdened steps, they held the box over the hole. And dropped it.
Phil and Terry took a long breath, nearly giggling from the release. Below, the box sat wedged and warped, barely fitting in its hole. A tragedy lodged in comedy. Hilarious and pathetic.
Four seconds clicked in silence.
“What was his name?” Phil asked.
Terry’s grin twisted into barbed wire.
“They don’t pay us to know his name.”