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Contemplations

I stared into the gaping maw, wondering if it would swallow me whole as well.  The black dress Grandma had me wear itched, the cotton scratchy and rough.  I didn’t understand what was happening.  At my small three feet of height, the world seemed so much bigger.  Scary big.  And this hole?  I felt that I was standing on the edge of forever.

I tried to ease back, and stepped into my Pa.  He wore his stern face.  The face he wore when I broke the lamp.  And when the cow died last summer.  He motioned with his head, and I turned back around before he got sterner.  I just hated facing that black pit.  I tried to not squirm while the Pastor said his bit.  It must have been nice, since all the women were crying.  But I didn’t understand what he was saying, so I just stood and tried to look stern like Pa.

When the Pastor stopped talking, Pa nudged me in my back.  I stepped forward slowly, scared to death.  I held the rose out at arms length as far as I could stretch.  I dropped it and it hit the edge of the pit before falling down into the black.  One lone red petal remained

Afterward, the women came by and hugged me a lot.  Most of them smelled like powder and it made me sneeze once in a lady’s face.  Pa stood next to me, looking very stern and just nodding when anyone spoke to him.  After the last few trickled past, Pa put his hand on my shoulder.  I looked up and saw that all his sternness had faded away.  His eyes looked wet and he gave me a sad smile.

“Let’s go on home, Mae.  It’s gettin’ dark.”

I nodded and took ahold of his hand.  We walked, slow, back to the truck.  I looked back to see the men with shovels putting the dirt back in the hole.  It wouldn’t swallow me now.

To Be Continued . . . 

 
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Posted by on May 3, 2013 in Short Story

 

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