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It was a Friday afternoon in British Columbia, and Michael had quite recently returned home from work to find his wife screaming at the top of her lungs.


“WHAT, WHAT HAPPENED, WHY ARE YOU YELLING??” Michael trembled as he dropped all of his groceries.

“I- I-” Ruth wailed.

“WHAT?! BABY, ARE YOU OKAY? RUTH ANSWER ME.” He said with a shaky voice as he grabbed her face.

Ruth started tearing up. “I- I’m pregnant.”

There was a moment of silence.

“Oh boy-”

Although it was a wonderful surprise, and surely both Michael and Ruth were extremely cheerful about it, they couldn’t afford another baby. As Michael calmed Ruth down and held her hands, they sat down on their couch and discussed ways to cut down their budget because of all the infant supplies they would require to purchase in the upcoming years. They already had a 4 year old daughter named Madelyn, yet managing two children at such a youthful age was going to be backbreaking.

Madelyn had a pet hamster that she had named Katie. She loved Katie like a mother who loved her daughter. Her love for her blossomed like a spring flower. She cherished her without question, and always offered to clean and care for her. Until she kicked the bucket.

Moments later after Katie’s passing, Madelyn sprinted to her parents’ room. She ran like the east wind, as if she had hot coals in her shoe.


Jesus, Madelyn. What?” Ruth grumbled.


Oh, honey I’m so sorry.”

CAN WE PLEASE BURY HER???” Madelyn strangely babbled.

I’m so sorry baby, me and daddy just don’t have enough time on our hands right now.” Ruth grieved.

PLEASE MOMMY. PLEASEEEEE????” Madelyn jumped up and down while pulling Ruth’s hand.

Okay okay, I’ll make time.” Ruth sighed.

Despite the fact that both Michael and Ruth were as busy as a cat on a hot tin roof, they decided to take some time off and cover their daughter’s one and only pet hamster. There was only one problem, they didn’t own a shovel.

As a result of Michael and Ruth’s extremely strict financial plan, the shovels at their local home improvement store were a bit too pricey for them.

“SIXTY EIGHT DOLLARS?!?!” Michael thundered.

“FOR A SHOVEL?!” Ruth choked.

“This is ridiculous. Since when were shovels as expensive as glory?”

Let’s go on Ebay, and see what we can find. If they’re more expensive there, we’ll just come back here.” Ruth said with compassion.

Michael disagreed. “There is no WAY I’m coming back here. I’ll dig it up with my own hands if I have to.”

Okay okay, calm down. It was only a suggestion.” Ruth groused.

I’m sorry Ruth, it’s just a lot of pressure. Let’s go on ebay, and yeah, if they’re too expensive there, we’ll come back here.” Michael repeated.

Alright, let’s go.”

At last, the couple finally found a shovel as cheap as dirt, and chose to bid on it. They won the offering and scheduled to pick up the shovel the next day.

It was the following day at midnight, and Michael had come back home from work to drop off Madelyn at her grandparent’s house, so him and Ruth could pick up the shovel. When they showed up to the owner’s house, they froze, as the colour drained from their faces. The house was dreadful looking. It had ripped curtains, and blocks of wood nailed onto the windows. The tree branches reached out with clawing fingers, and bats ferociously flew past the cupola. Michael pretended that he wasn’t scared, and looked as brave as a lion, but deep down inside, he was shaking like a leaf.

Sweet baby Jesus.” Ruth gulped.

Wow, what happened here.”

Words can’t describe how I feel right now.” Ruth trembled.

Okay, I’ll be back.”

Wait, you’re going?!” Ruth quavered.

Yea, don’t worry, I’ll be back in no time.”

“Alright, then I’m coming with you.”

“Absolutely not.” Michael declared.

“Why not?! I can’t let you go there all by yourself.” Ruth fussed.

“You’re pregnant Ruth! God knows what has happened in that house. I’ll get the shovel and quickly come back out.” Michael added.

“Okay fine, be quick! And call me if anything happens.” Ruth acknowledged.

As Michael advised Ruth to stay in the vehicle, he gradually snatched his keys and wallet. When he got out of his car, the house loomed over him, as he stood at the front gate. The moon was a lantern in the night sky, as it danced among the clouds. He approached the house to see that the doorbell didn’t ring, and the weathered door creaked ominously on its rusty hinges as it slowly opened. The wood on the entryway creaked more and more with each step Michael took. The house smelt dusty and sodden. Michael just wanted to pay for the shovel, and sprint out of there as soon as possible. However, nobody was home. Michael consistently inquired as to whether anybody was home, yet nobody replied.

Hello...? Is anybody home? I- I came here to pay for a shovel. Is anybody home? Helloooo???” Michael interrogated.

As he was leaving, an old man ran up from the basement.

Ah yes, you must be Michael.”

Yes! Hi, nice to meet you. What a nice place you have.”

No need to lie, son. This place is as old as the hills. It’s been here longer than I could remember.”

Well yes, I can see it’s a bit damaged.” Michael grinned,

Tell me, what does a young man like you need a shovel for?” The old man speculated.

Well- I-” Michael stuttered.

Hahahaha, I’m just playin’ with ya.” The old man giggled. “And yes, I have your shovel right here.”

Thank you!” Michael chuckled.

As the old man was handing the shovel to him, Michael saw blood on the tool. Suddenly his heart was racing, his hands were shaking, his head was heavy, and as freaked out as he was, he remained calm, and paid for the shovel. He returned hurrying to Ruth clarifying how he heard slight voices of young children, and the obvious blood on the shovel.

We need to get out of here. Right now.” Michael panted.

Calm down tiger, what happened.” Ruth chuckled.

I’m serious Ruth. We need to get out of here. There was blood on the shovel.” Michael said while struggling to breathe.

W- W- WHAT?!” Ruth quavered.

It was an old man, and I have a feeling he’s keeping children hostage. I’ll explain later, but right now WE DON’T HAVE TIME.” Michael cautioned.

As Michael was having a panic attack, he inserted the car keys and sped off home. After they had returned home, they discussed the situation and its consequences for hours, until they chose to call the police. Michael had a serious conversation with the police officers, and handed them the shovel he thought had been used for murder.

Turns out, the blood on the shovel was animal blood. The “dreadful” elderly man was really just a veterinarian who took care of animals in his basement. He had previously used the shovel to bury his horse, and some way or another, a little bit of blood had jumped on it. The disturbing “children noises” was only one of his animals in labour. After the police gave Michael a call, he later went on to apologize to the sweet man.

Hello, sir. I- I just wanted to apologize for my disrespectful actions.” Michael remarked.

Well, hello there, Michael. It’s nice to see you again too!”

Michael felt embarrassed and ashamed of his actions.

Even though it may have hurt my feelings, I totally understand why you would go to the police.” The old man commented.

Wait... what? So you’re not mad?” Michael said with his lack of certainty.

No! Not at all! I would do the same if I were in your shoes. It's not everyday you see blood on a shovel.” The man chuckled. “It was my mistake, I should’ve remembered to clean the shovel before I went off and sold it. It’s just that ever since I buried my horse, I couldn’t bring myself to look at the shovel again.” He sniffled.

I’m so sorry for your loss, sir.” Michael grieved.

The two hugged it out, and became sweet friends. Michael then returned home, cleaned the shovel, and went on to bury Katie the hamster with his little girl.


  • Hello! I’m Elena, I’m young, but I have a passion for writing. I wanted to submit this piece because I used so much figurative language, and made a story about a shovel sound interesting. I really feel confident about it, and I hope to get it looked at. 



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