The Nail by Kate MacDonald

My eyes are open, but everything is black. Ouch, I shouldn’t have tried to sit up. Was that wood I just bounced my head off? Okay, pause and take stock. Check pockets: That feels like mints – handy, comb, lip-gloss, credit card.  Ah, I have my phone! Right, turn on the flashlight.

No, no! It’s a coffin! I’m in a coffin. All my nightmares rolled into one. Buried alive, struggling for breath.  I can’t die like this. I will not die like this. Okay, don’t faint, think.

I dial Brad’s number. He answers.


‘Brad, help me, I’m-’

‘I know where you are, Jo. I put you there. Did you think I would let you leave me?’

‘Brad, it’s getting harder to breathe! How long have I been here? How could you put me in a coffin? Please, get me out!’

‘Nothing doing. No one will find you, I made sure of that.’

‘You total dick! You are so going to regret this.’

I cut him off, thankful that he had proved he was as stupid as I always thought:  He left me my phone. I dial 999. As soon as I hear the answering voice, I scream, ‘Help! I’m buried in a coffin. I don’t know where.’

‘Hold on Ma’am…’

‘Hold on? Hold on? Did you hear me? I am in a coffin. Buried alive. Help me!’

‘Yes Ma’am, I heard you. I will need some details.’

‘Here is a detail: I am suffocating, you halfwit-’

‘There is no need to be rude Ma’am. I can’t help if you don’t cooperate.’

‘Let me explain the situation more succinctly: I am dying slowly using up the rest of the available air giving details to a uniform-wearing moron.’

‘Can I have your name, Ma’am?’

‘How about ‘Ms. The Deceased’?’

‘Not helpful. Your name?’

‘For the love of… Okay, Jo Kerr; date of birth 12th of June 1995, of 125 Sunderland Avenue, currently in a coffin. Anything else?’

‘How did you find yourself in a coffin?’

‘My ex-boyfriend, Brad, must have drugged me. I called him first and he admitted that he put me here.’

‘Did you record that conversation?’

‘You know what? I didn’t. I didn’t think I would be hearing someone confess to trying to kill me.’

‘I’ve just had another look at your name. Is this a prank call, Ma’am?’

‘Do I sound like I’m having fun? Oh, right: Jo Kerr, got you. No, not a prank call. That is my name: Josephine Kerr. I have GPS on my phone. Please, I beg you, track this signal, or whatever it is you do. Get me out of here!’

‘ I have to inform you of the trouble you will be in if you waste-’

‘Get somebody out here to find me right now, or I swear I will haunt you for the rest of your mother-’

‘Alright. I’ll see if I have a car I can dispatch.’

‘About damn time. All I need now is my battery to go fl…………..


Kate Macdonald is a septuagenarian insomniac who has returned to writing only in the past year. She has had five poems published in Stardust Review. Two short stories published, one in Stardust Review, the other in ‘Nonsensically Challenged’ which was for charity. A poem, ‘Surprised’ has been published in a book by High Shelf Press, volume XXIII Two poems, “Dark Danger’ and “Different Drum” were both published by Wingless Dreamer. A Tanka poem has been published by Spillwords Press.