Old and impoverished, Heidi didn’t have the luxury of modern plumbing she was accustomed to having to dig her own toilet once a month. But one month, when she went along to dig her toilet, she happened to discover something so shocking it sent shivers down her spine.
Heidi was no stranger to poverty; she had been living this way in rural India from the time she was born. Some people in town were advancing with their times; however, on her farm, it was still the year 1920.
She had nothing modern, and that included plumbing. Every month, Heidi would dig a pit latrine for her and her mother to use. It had become a practice when she was younger, so she was used to it and didn’t see any need for it to change. However, as she grew older, the task became increasingly more difficult. Now, as an old lady, it wasn’t really a task that she looked forward to, but it had to be done.
It was on a cold winter day when she went to dig the toilet. The ground was hard with the cold and dry weather, making it especially difficult for her. It was times like these when she truly missed her husband; he would often do this for them, and he was so good at it.
She spiked the spade into the ground as hard as she could, trying to get some leverage. The toilet had to be pretty deep in order for it to last a month. It was hard work trying to unearth the top layer of the ground, but once she started to get the soil moving, it slowly began to get easier. She had chosen a different spot from the usual area this time; she had gone far behind the house. She was tired of smelling the toilet every day. At the time, she didn’t think much of it, that is until she stumbled across something unexpected.
She was about a meter deep into the ground when her spade began to hit things that didn’t feel like sand. At first, she was sure it was probably rocks of some sort buried deep beneath the ground, but the way the spade was hitting them, it didn’t quite seem to be the case. Curious as to what it might have been, she laid the spade aside and dug with her hands until she found the hard culprits. What she found was far from what she had expected. In her hands, she found bones—big bones of what she was unsure. All she knew was that whatever it was, it had died a long, long time ago.
First, she thought perhaps that she had found the body of a big animal, maybe an old lion that had met its fate all those years prior. It seemed like a plausible reason until she found something that made her toes curl. There, amongst the bones, was a casing that looked similar to a bullet.
However, when she picked it up and inspected it, she found it to be something far from that. It was, in fact, an old lipstick canister. Logic then dictated that she wasn’t standing on animal bones but instead presumably those of a dead woman, while the rest of her had decayed away. Obviously, the contents of her handbag had not.
Realizing that she was in some way in a person’s grave, she let out a shriek and tried to move away from the bones as quickly as she could. She had a shiver go up her spine at the thought of what she had just discovered. Never before had she ever experienced anything like it.
What were the chances that she had chosen the exact spot to dig up that day? She was sure that there was some kind of meaning behind it. Naturally, Heidi called the authorities and explained what she had found. They were slightly in disbelief; Heidi attributed that to her poverty and her age. So, she invited the skeptics to her farm to check it out.
The police arrived reluctantly the next day with a special investigator, supposedly the woman dealt with forensics. She was there to verify that the bones were, in fact, old and just dug up, not planted by the old lady. But when she saw the makeshift grave Heidi had stumbled upon, all skepticism went out the window immediately.
She was interested in getting all the bones up and out of the ground as soon as possible. She was determined to identify who they belonged to and why they had been placed there. Heidi was grateful for this; she too was curious about who the lady was and how she had ended up on her family plot.
Surely, she must be much older than anyone Heidi had ever known. Heidi also handed over to the investigator the lipstick canister she had found; on the brass coating were initials that had been hand-engraved, “C” and “J.” Heidi couldn’t help but wonder whether she had been a distant family member; after all, her family name was Juiced. Dismissing it all as a silly thought, she let the police do their work and went back to the house to tell her mother what she had found.
Heidi’s mother was suffering severely from dementia, so most of the time, she wasn’t even really there. But she did have moments of lucidity that were beautiful. Heidi practically lived for those moments; she loved being able to talk to her mother and reminisce on days long gone. However, the older she got, the scarcer those days became.
Half of the time, she was talking nonsense about the past, most of which Heidi had no clue about. There was one recurring story she always went back to about how her father never let her marry the man she was in love with. Heidi found this very confusing considering her mother had married her first sweetheart from school.
She had grown up hearing their love story often. They were both in the same class, and so they grew to like each other, which then blossomed into love. They had only been 16 at the time, but that didn’t matter. So naturally, Heidi couldn’t understand why her mother went on and on about her father not letting her marry her lover. It just didn’t add up. That is, of course, until the forensic investigator came back to her with results just two weeks later.
The woman was sweet and tried to explain what she needed as simply as possible. She explained that the bones they had found were over 100 years old; they were, in fact, from a young woman, and she had died from a gunshot. Heidi was horrified; the presence of a bullet meant that she had possibly been murdered.
Who would have wanted to do such a thing to a young lady? The forensic investigator then asked Heidi if they could sample her DNA; they had a strong suspicion that she might be related to the other Juices; they just needed to prove it. Heidi handed over some hair happily; she too wanted to know more about the mystery lady.
When the DNA was confirmed, they were able to trace it back to the Juiced family, to a girl named Carolyn, which explained why her initials had been “C” and “J.” With this new information, they were then able to go back into the city records to find out what had actually happened. Turns out, she had loved a man that her father hadn’t approved of.
There had been public knowledge of his distaste, and now when the couple went missing, they were sure they had simply eloped, never to be heard of again. No one ever suspected that her father had anything to do with their sudden absence. But now that they had found Carolyn’s bones, it only began to make sense.
Immediately, they went to work scouring the land to see if they could find her lover’s bones. Sure enough, just short of 100 meters away, they found the bones of a young man. Heidi could hardly believe it; all these years, her family had been sitting on this horrifying secret, one that made her toes curl and her stomach clench. The story made the local paper, and soon it went national. People all over the country were astonished to hear such a horrific story.
Heidi’s mother’s rants now started to make sense; all this time, she had been trying to tell her daughter the family secret. She was horrified and prayed that going forward, whenever she dug up another hole, she wouldn’t be facing another horrific family secret.
What a horrifying discovery to make in general, never mind finding out that your family was involved. How would you have felt finding human remains in your backyard? What do you think about the family keeping it a secret? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.