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By James Begley All Rights Reserved ©

Action / Horror

The Body

A light fog covered the water on the east river in New York city, as an unassuming fishing boat slowly made its way down the river. It was roughly about three AM as the boat passed under the George Washington Bridge, “Franklin!” The boat captain called out. “Get the drum ready.” He ordered. This was Franklin's second night working for the old Captain, Franklin looked up from the deck and nodded his head as he pushed a dolly carrying a large hundred gallon yellow metal drum to a netted part of the boats guard rail. The captain locked the stirring wheel into place with boat running against the flow of the river keeping the boat in place, just before he headed over to the drum. Franklin looked over as the old Boat Captain approached, “So, Cap, how long you been doing this?” Franklin asked out of boredom.

The old man thought for a moment, “Too damn long son. Too damn long.”

Franklin nodded, “ok then, why here? Why this part of the river?”

“Two reasons.” The old man said, “First this area is one of the deepest spots in the East River. So there’s no chance of anyone seeing the bodies from the surface.” He then pointed to the New York shore line on the East side of the boat. “And over there my father is buried in Trinity Cemetery. He’s the one who showed me this spot.”

“You two use to fish out here?” Franklin asked.

“Hell no, we were running booze and dumping bodies like him and my Grandpa used to.” The old captain laughed slightly. “He said he wanted to be buried there to make sure I was always doing my job. Like you should be.” The Captain motioned to the barrel. 

Franklin chuckled a little as he locked the dolly into place, “So cap, who do you think is in here?” the young man nodded to the yellow drum.

“Never ask that again kid. Questions like that will get you killed.” The old boat Captain snapped back. Franklin gulped slightly, “Sorry cap, I’m just a little worried. I mean I don’t mind dumping a body in the river but those guys were kinda crazy looking in those weird yellow hazmat suits of theirs.” Franklin looked to the drum and then back to the captain. The Captain just laughed, “Son criminals have been dressing up like that for a very long time. Hell I remember when they simply wore flour sacks with eye holes cut in them.” Both men laughed a little at this, “So I’m not shocked when I see these kids today wearing those crazy get ups.” The captain moved over to a tool box, and pulled a power drill out and handed it to Franklin. The young man took the drill and blankly looked at the captain. The old man could feel the question coming, “Drill some holes in the drum so it will sink.” He ordered before the kid could ask. Without any further questions Franklin started at the task at hand, while the captain walked around to the rear of the boat.

For almost an hour the sounds of drilling filled the cold night air, “This is taking too long.” The old man grumbled as he walked back towards Franklin. “What the hell is taking so long?!”

“Umm Sorry cap, the drill is stuck.” Franklin said nervously.

“What do you mean stuck?”

“Right here cap.” Franklin stood up and showed that the drill was in fact stuck. “I drilled a few holes in the top, and I just started drilling a few on the side. That’s when it got stuck.” The captain looked at Franklin and then to the drill and once more at his young help, before reaching down to pull on the drill. Sure enough it was stuck, and stuck good. “Hell son, how did you pull this off?”

“Like I said, I was drilling on the side there, but it wasn’t going in all the way. So I thought that they must have frozen the body or something. So I pushed and pushed and pushed till it went in. And now it’s stuck.”

The captain shook his head, “Shit…get a crowbar.” He said very disappointedly as he rolled up the sleeves of his jacket. Confused Franklin grabbed the crow bar and handed it to the captain, “Looks like you're going to get your wish. We’re popping this thing open.” Taking a firm grip on the crow bar the old fisherman forced it just under the lip of the drum head, and with quick push down the lid popped off. Again Franklin gulped as he reached over and removed the lid. Reaching into his jacket pocket the captain pulled out a small flash light and turned it on, both men slowly looked into the drum, the old man shined his light and what they saw surprised them. It wasn’t so much the lifeless body in the drum, but the condition of the body, from what they could see the skin was white and smooth like Marble. With the exception of the eye lids there seemed to be no skin or muscle tissue on what they could see of the face. there seemed to be no hair on the head or any other part of the body they could see. Plus there was the size of the body, it was huge like a professional body builder. Chills ran up the Captains spine as he realised just how large the body actually was. “What the hell is that?” Franklin finally forced out.

The thing in the drum seemed to react to the sound of Franklin's voice, “Forget the drill!” the old captain said as he saw the eye slowly opening. Both the captain and Franklin gasped in terror as the body started to move. “Get it off the boat!! Get it off the Boat!!” The old man yelled as he started to push on the side of drum, trying to tip it off the boat. Franklin stood frozen in fear as he watched a muscular arm slowly stretch out of the drum. The hallow sound of joints snapping back into place echoed in the cold night air.  “Damn It Boy!! HELP ME!!” the Captain yelled out.

Snapping out of his daze, Franklin rushed forward and started to help the captain push on the drum, he could feel the thing moving around on the inside trying to get out. Finally together the two were able to push the barrel overboard and after a loud splash the only thing that could be heard was the sound of the two men breathing heavily. the night seemed to be frozen until Franklin finally broke the silence, “What the hell was that…thing?” 

“Never ask son…never ask.” The old boat Captain said and he unrolled his sleeves, “Lets get the hell out of here.” All Franklin could do was nod in agreement, his eyes fixed on the surface of the water as the boat slowly started to head back up the East river.

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