Blogging in E minor
Usually just a bunch of silly crap.

Burying Belcha

Published previously in two installments

This was going to be good!

            Spike Belcha lay on his back in a shallow grave wrapped in a blue, plastic tarpaulin. My accomplices, Jackass Joe and Frankie, stood by with shovels.

            We had positioned Belcha so that several of the metal eyelets along the tarp’s perimeter formed a tube when folded to align with his mouth. I knelt down beside him and threaded a pair of drinking straws through the opening. Belcha’s lips sealed around them.

            “Can you breathe okay?” I asked.

            “Yeah,” he replied in a muffled timbre while sucking air through the makeshift snorkel.

            I stepped back to assess the situation. His body was tightly wrapped burrito-style in the plastic cover. Only his right arm remained exposed and free to move. I checked the area around his mouth. Concerned that soil might seep through the eyelets, I wrapped a rag around the base of the straws where they came through the tarp. Again, I asked him if he could breathe properly. Affirmative!

            I gave the word and my accomplices began covering Belcha in dirt. This produced within me an ominous feeling of discomfort.  Whatever the reason, burying a human being alive is just outright deviant behavior any way you look at it.

            You’d have to hand it to Belcha for being such a good sport. He was certainly the type to endure discomfort and humiliation for a worthy cause, which is exactly why I chose him  for this job. . . .

 

            Spike Belcha and I met three years earlier during my first year at Camp Pie-in-Ear. He was one of the older campers and I was a maintenance worker. Now during this, my third summer at the camp, I was 17 years old and head of the maintenance staff. Belcha, Jackass Joe and Frankie were counselors-in-training, which was a form of indentured childcare. They were 13- to 14-year-old former campers who earned their keep by performing grunt work.

              So we had now arrived at the last day of camp for the summer. The camp director, the older kids and most of the staff had gone horseback riding at an outside facility. Only a skeletal crew remained to look after the youngest campers, 6- to 8-year-olds, who were routinely excluded from horseback riding due to their age. This lack of supervision enabled me to carry out my plan.

 

            . . . Once Belcha was fully covered in dirt, we began laying sod-like chunks of grass, which we had set aside earlier, on the surface of the shallow grave. With a spattering of twigs and leaves, the grave blended into the clearing where it was situated.

            “Wait a minute!” Joe interjected. He walked over to a nearby evergreen, broke off a two-foot branch, and planted it to the side of Belcha’s torso. “There you go . . . a tree!”

            It was beautiful! With this addition, the camouflage was entirely convincing. Any unsuspecting passer-by would have never known a hole was ever there. This was so brilliant, I thought. People would be talking about this one for a long time!

            I reviewed the plan carefully with my co-conspirators. Everybody had a job to do. Frankie needed to stay near Belcha, all the while talking to him, to ensure he was conscious and breathing.  Afterall, we needed to take precautions. This could easily go awry. With everything in place, I returned to camp.

 .

            The kids at Camp Pie-in-Ear were obsessed with Hookman. This fascination started during one of the sleepovers when a counselor related this urban-belief tale to a frightened, yet captivated, audience.

            Though the accounts of this story vary, they usually involve a homicidal maniac who attacks unsuspecting couples with the hook he wears in place of a severed hand. Hookman is never actually seen by anybody; however, his hook is always found embedded in car doors and such the morning after an attack.

            Although I was a camp maintenance worker, I was occasionally called upon to watch a group of kids when needed. An easy way to occupy them, I found, was to take them on a “Hookman hunt” in the woods. Sometimes I’d even get creative and leave a hook on a tree limb for them to find or get a CIT to run through the woods growling. The kids loved it and got some exercise in the process.

 

            So today was going to be the last day of camp and the last Hookman hunt of the summer. My boss, most of the counselors and the older campers were off site on a horseback outing, which opened the door to the Mother of All Hookman Hunts!

            With the help of some unsuspecting counselors, I assembled the campers into a single-file line. The kids who were more familiar with the routine began to take up sticks and makeshift weapons. Others followed their lead.

            As we marched into the woods like soldiers ready for battle, a “macho buzz” circulated amongst the ranks of youngsters:

            “ . . . you’re not afraid, are you? I’m not!”

            “ . . . if I see Hookman, I’m gonna’ beat him with this stick and kick him in the face and kill ‘em dead!”

            “ . . . I’m gonna’ take his hook and hang it on the flagpole!”

            At first, the campers were unimpressed with our stunts, many of them somewhat jaded to the experience. The blood in the foliage did not scare them: “That’s only Kool-Aid!” The screams and growls from deep in the woods did not work either: “That’s Frankie and Joe. We saw them sneak into the woods earlier.” And the hook in the tree was outright cliché.

            Finally, we came to a clearing near the end of the trail. I told the counselors to count their kids to make sure they were all there, as if somebody might have been plucked out from the group. As a result, the campers were congregated together. Then came the cue . . . .

            “Over there!” I screamed, pointing in the direction of a small evergreen. “I saw something move over there!”

            A muffled growl, seemingly coming from nowhere, silenced everyone. . . .

 

            Then . . .

 

            An arm burst forth from the ground! A giant hook, clenched tightly, shook menacingly in the afternoon sun!

            All Hell broke loose! Screaming children scattered in all directions as distraught counselors pursued them in the hopes of calming them. Pathetic cries of terror surrounded me – some near, some distant – blood curdling screams of terror everywhere. It had all the feel of a fire in an orphanage.

            At this moment, I realized I had gone too far. Those screams were something I will remember the rest of my life.

            As I shortcut my way through the woods to catch up with a group that had fled down a hill, I reflected upon the error of my ways. Despite all my careful planning,  I had utterly failed to think this thing out. During the whole day, I was privately gloating about how ingenious this whole prank would be and how funny it was. Now I just felt like a stupid ass.

            Within moments, I was in a large field outside the woods where the counselors had managed to corral most of the kids. I saw one of my coworkers, Glenda, hunched over a camper. Then I saw blood!

            As I approached, I recognized the injured child as Zachary, an 8-year-old. A deep gash in his forehead seeped a steady flow of blood down his face and onto his white T-shirt, which was so red in contrast to his screaming, purple, oxygen-deprived face. Glenda put pressure on the wound with a bandana. Heads are gonna’ roll, I thought to myself.

            One of the girls explained what had  happened: “Julia was running down the hill and she heard footsteps behind her and she swung her stick and hit Zach in the head . . .” Little Julia stood nearby, guilt-ridden and crying as well.

            The realization of my stupidly was becoming increasingly clearer by the moment: I had scared the bejeezus out of kids with sticks!

           

            Eventually, all the children were accounted for and Zachary got his wound dressed in the camp office. The deafening cries of Purgatory had been replaced by relieved chatter, the campers now feeling more heroic and forgetful of their terror a few minutes earlier. Jill, the assistant camp director, was leaving to take Zach to the emergency room for stitches. In a feeble attempt to explain myself, I intercepted Jill as she marched to her car, child in tow.

            “I’m sorry Jill . . .”

            “Oh sure you are!” she spat back, turning away in disgust.

            “I really didn’t mean for this to happen.”

            I turned to notice Jackass Joe and Frankie sitting beneath a pavilion engrossed in a panicked conversation. They were trying to figuring out what they were going to say when the ax came down. Yes, there was going to be a price to be paid for this one, alright. We were so fired.

            Then something occurred to me . . . .

            “Would somebody please help me dig up Belcha!”

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2 Responses to “Burying Belcha”

  1. So classic. Love. This. Blog.

  2. Damn, dude! That is some phunny shit! Am laughing myself silly!!!! LOL Moar, pleeze 🙂


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