I woke up in a cold place.

As I blinked open my eyes, I opened my mouth in a terrible cough. My entire body was so sore, and I cried out in pain when I tried to move. At first, I wasn’t sure if my eyes were open because it was such a complete form of darkness. I began to sit up, but was stopped by something. I was confused, and lifted up my arms. They went up about a foot before they were stopped by some invisible force. I was suddenly aware of my shoulders being squeezed. With a terrible realization, I realized I was trapped in a box… maybe a coffin… had I been buried alive?

I banged my fists against the top of the coffin, desperately crying out for help, screaming that I wasn’t dead. I couldn’t have been dead. I tried kicking the coffin, thinking that it would break and I could dig my way out, but then I discovered I had been buried in a metal coffin.

I began to run my hands down my body, looking for anything that could help me. I found a tie around my neck, and knew that I had indeed been buried. Probably wearing a suit, which was odd since I didn’t remember owning a suit. There was a pillow underneath my head, and I thought that I could smother myself if it came to that.

My hands went down my body, until they came to my thighs. I was wearing a belt! Of course the suit wouldn't have been complete without it. I looped my fingers around it and tried to undo the metal clasp and pull it off, which was difficult in the darkness. Finally, I succeeded in taking my belt off. I quickly began slamming the belt buckle against the sides of the coffin, creating a loud clanging noise. My only hope was that somebody would hear.

A drop of sweat slid down my forehead. I coughed. I was aware of it becoming more difficult to breathe. The air suddenly seemed stuffy. I tried to wiggle around, but my shoulders only pressed against the sides harder. I tried kicking the top of the coffin even harder in the hope that it would miraculously spring open. I quickly realized that I was using up my limited air supply.

Visions danced before my eyes. I saw the accident that had led to my supposed “death”, the heart attack at the top of the stairs. The vision changed into skeleton hands, reaching for me. I screamed, and began to scratch at the coffin with my nails, which quickly became dulled and pulled-back. Blood leaked from under my nails, and fell onto my suit.

I tried to force myself to remain calm, if I kept freaking out I would only use up my limited air supply and suffocate. I ran my hands across the smooth surface of the coffin. A tear fell from my eye as I realized… I was going to die here. There was nothing I could do.

“No! Noooooooo!” I began to scream at the top of my lungs as I sobbed. I could feel the crushing weight of the Earth all around me, and claustrophobia set in to make my feeling of hopelessness even worse.

I pounded the top of the coffin with all my strength, and to my surprise, the lid actually came open. I continued to lie there, in disbelief, when the lid began to swing shut. I put my hand up to stop it, and quickly stood up. I found myself standing in a hole about five or six feet deep. The night sky loomed above me, with many shining stars.

“Thank you,” I whispered as I looked up.

I climbed out of the hole, leaving the empty coffin behind me. When I finally crawled out, I saw my tombstone. Realizing that not many people got the opportunity to read their own epitaphs, I decided to read mine. Under my name, it read “Born July 26th, 1968. Died August 5th, 2007.”

I looked around, and wondered why my grave had been dug up? Why was there nobody around? I stretched, still not believing what happened. I even pinched myself to make sure that it wasn’t a dream.

I began to walk out of the graveyard. As I hurried past rows of tombstones, some old, some freshly-dug, I wondered if there was anyone else here who had been buried alive. I was relieved when I finally saw the exit, and walked even faster.

“Hang on, who are you?!”

An angry-looking graveyard security guard was walking over to where I stood, “Do you know it’s midnight?!”

“Sir, please…” I said quietly, “I’m, ah… what’s the date today?”

The man looked confused, and then he told me the date. A cold feeling filled my body, and I just ran away. I ran, leaving that man even more confused. He would never know what had just happened, or who I was. I only wonder who it was that dug the hole to free me from my horrible prison.

The date was June 26th, 2014.