He opened his eyes.
Or, at least, he thought he did. Everything was just as dark as when he had them closed. He had no idea where he was.
A moment of panic gripped him. He couldn't move. A million thoughts flashed through his mind all at once. Was he paralyzed? If so, how had that happened? Why couldn't he see? Was he blind?
He forced himself to calm down. He needed to think. Ok, that's better. Good. Slowly, purposefully, he tried to lift his arm. No good. He wasn't paralyzed though. His arm had strained, it just hadn't go anywhere. He felt resistance on his wrists. What could that mean? Must be tied up. But why was he tied up? What was going on? Who had done this to him?
He struggled mentally for a moment to bring himself back under control. This wasn't getting him anywhere. What he needed now was to get himself out of this place. He might not know where it was, but he sure didn't like it, and he didn't want to be there any longer than he had to be.
As his eyes began to adjust, he started taking in his surroundings. There wasn't much to it. His sight only extended a few inches in any direction. Why was that? He tried to wiggle around a bit to see if he could gain a better vantage point. No luck. He immediately hit a wall. Same thing in the other direction. He abruptly tried to sit up and smashed his head into something hard.
He was in some sort of box. He was pretty sure of it now. He rubbed his skin against the "wall" he had just bumped into. Wood. Smooth wood, with a finish, not construction material type wood.
A coffin. Now he was freaking out again. He was in a coffin. Few things could be this terrifying and macabre. He thrashed about, throwing himself against the wooden tomb, but to no avail. He collapsed, panting. It was becoming harder to breathe. He was running out of air.
He felt pain in his wrists and a moist feeling running down his arms. The enclosed space began to smell slightly metallic. Blood. He must have rubbed his wrists raw in his little fit of panic. He was getting very frustrated with himself now.
Wait. Something sharp in his pocket jabbed him in the side. He wiggled his way into a position where he could grab it. He cupped it in his bound hands and felt his way around its edges. It was cross shaped.
He knew what it was. It must be the cross necklace that his wife had given him as a gift last Christmas. He didn't really believe in God and thought it was silly, so he had never worn it. But he loved her and it reminded him of her, so he had always kept it in his pocket.
Bringing it up to his mouth, he put it between his teeth and bit it. It was made of metal of some sort, tough but a bit malleable. A plan started to formulate in his mind. Yes, he just might be able to find a way out of this predicament after all.
One step at a time. He began to bite the necklace along the side, whittling it to as sharp an edge as he could hope to achieve. It wasn't easy, and on more than one occasional he would slip up and cut his gums. The ensuing blood only made the work more difficult, but he had no choice but to keep on trying. He was running out of time.
When he sharpened the edge to satisfaction, he transferred the necklace back to his hands. Slowly, painstakingly, he began to move it back and force against his bonds. If he dropped the necklace, who knows how long it would take for him to find it again and be able to contort himself into a position to pick it up? He didn't have time for that.
He continued on like this for minutes, minutes that felt like hours until finally his hands were free.He almost cried with relief. Kissing the necklace, he gingerly placed it back in his pocket. If God was real, he would have to thank Him later and hope He could forgive him for defiling a sacred symbol.
With his hands free, he was now able to try and remove the lid. He fumbled around for the edges until his fingers found them. He traced all along them, looking for some sort of hold he could gain leverage from. Bingo. In the back corner near his head, there was a slight gap where the lid met the main body of the coffin. He attributed to shoddy workmanship on the coffin-maker's part. Figures. They couldn't even leave him to die in a decent coffin.
What was he even saying? He should be thankful for this chance, and here he was whining about craftsmanship. He must be losing his mind. With a great force of effort, he refocused.
Wedging his hands in the gap, he grabbed onto the lid and pulled with all his might. Sweat formed on his brow as he strained, and slowly the lid shifted a bit. As it did, dirt fell into the coffin.
So he was buried alive.
He was beyond being afraid now. At least now he knew what he needed to do. All that stood between him and freedom was some dirt.
He made himself think happy thoughts. He was an adventurer, and he was simply searching for riches. This would just be an archeological dig, but in the opposite direction. Right? No big deal. He could do this. He took a deep breath, pulled the lid back a little more, and started digging.
The sun was his buried treasure, and he would reach it no matter what.