Tag Archives: death

1375. The end

How stressful! Conchita was worried sick. Her husband was away for the afternoon and she was a mess. When he came home she had to tell him; she was in love with another man and she was going off with him. His name was Rex. As far as Conchita was concerned, her marriage was over.

Conchita’s husband arrived home. “Honey,” he said, “I’ve something to tell you. I went to the doctor’s this afternoon and I’ve got cancer. It’s terminal. I’ve been given three weeks at the most.”

Oh the relief!

1352. Painted toenails

Rosemary had recently moved to another town with her fifteen year old daughter, Lissie. It was to be the start of a new life. Forget the past and move on, was Rosemary’s motto and motive. Thus far, she hadn’t met anyone new, not even the neighbours. She knew that gradually her circle of friends and acquaintances would grow. Lissie, on the other hand had quickly made some friends at school. In fact, she was staying at a school friend’s place for several days.

And then, around midnight, Rosemary got the call every parent dreads; there had been an accident. Would she mind coming around to identity the body?

“She a bit of a mess, ma’am,” they said, “make sure you bring some company.”

But Rosemary didn’t know anyone else. She had to do it alone.

“I don’t need to see her face,” Rosemary said. “I know her feet anywhere, and she always wore distinctive nail polish.”

And there were her feet… with the turquoise nail polish except for the big toenails a florescent pink – sometimes with spots on, sometimes not. Rosemary was inconsolable.

She said that they had just moved into the area and didn’t know anyone, so a simple cremation without ceremony was all that was required. That was done the next day.

Two days later, Rosemary got a phone call. “Mom, when on earth are you going to pick me up?” It was Lissie.

On the way to collect her daughter, all that a stunned Rosemary could think was, “Who the heck did I have cremated?”

1344. The Grim Reaper

Ramona and Wynton Clifford had a rather nice house with a rather long driveway. Ramona’s sister and husband, Fiona and Michael Croft, were staying for a few days. One early evening, suddenly, Ramona called out. “Quick! Everyone! Look out the window!” They gathered around Ramona.

Walking up the driveway towards the house was the Grim Reaper; complete with a skull face and scythe.

“It doesn’t look like a fancy dress,” said Fiona.

“It’s not,” said Wynton.

“It’s the real thing,” said Michael.

“Who’s it coming to get?” said Ramona. “Which one of us four?”

All four were healthy and fit; not a doctor’s prescribed pill needed be taken between them.

The Grim Reaper came closer up the driveway.

“I’m feeling fine,” said Michael.

“Me too,” said Wynton.

“It’s clear he’s coming to get one of us,” said Ramona.

The Grim Reaper neared the front entrance, pausing briefly to peer through the window.

“Oh God!” shrieked Fiona. “Who? Who?”

There was a knock at the door.

1343. Very much alive

I have received a complaint that too many characters in my stories die. It is therefore with considerable pleasure that I now post the following by way of counteraction:

OMG! Everyone in this photo is still alive!

OMG! Everyone in this photo is still alive!

OMG! Everyone in this photo is still alive!
Have a very-much-alive day!

1322. Condolences

If there was one thing that Jacqueline disliked doing, it was writing a letter of condolence. What does one say? But something had to be said, especially since Will Jones, the husband of one of her closest friends from school days, had passed away. What a shock his death had been. Jacqueline hadn’t seen Sheila for years, but she read the death in the paper; Will Jones, loved husband of Sheila.

Dear Sheila,
I was shocked to read in the paper of Will’s passing. When young, the three of us had spent many happy hours… etc.

Jacqueline laboured almost two hours getting it right. In the end, she was rather pleased with her two page note. She posted it.

Dear Jacqueline, (wrote Sheila)
Will and I split up about fourteen years ago. He lived in Colorado with his money-grabbing lover. As far as I know, he died when I hit him with the hammer. I didn’t hang round to find out. I’m expecting the police to call any day. In the meantime, can we meet for coffee?

1306. Things to sort through

There were quite a few things to sort through after Ivan died. The funeral was over a month ago, and Maureen knew that at some stage she would have to face the music and go through his things. They had never married, but had been together for twenty-two years. Everyone presumed they were married. Ivan had never popped the question. Children even called Maureen “Mrs Doubroff” although legally her name was “Winters”.

Maureen had hand-written replies to all the cards, flowers and condolence letters she had received. She had bought a box of thank you cards, and wrote in each, “Thank you so much for your kind thoughts and heartfelt wishes during my sad loss.” She would have liked to have written “Thank you for your kind and prayerful thoughts” but who knows these days who is atheistic and who is not?

Ivan had died in a bicycle accident on a Saturday afternoon. He always went for a long bicycle ride every Saturday afternoon, even if it was raining. Maureen had no interest whatsoever in riding a bike. Saturday afternoon was “her time”, “her space”. She had told him to wear a safety helmet, but, oh no! he wanted to feel the wind as his bicycle raced down the steep hill.

The worst bit of sorting through his things was to be his backpack. He always took a little haversack with him on his cycle rides. It probably contained a bite to eat mid-afternoon or maybe something to read on a break from cycling. Or even his camera. He had the haversack on his back when he crashed headfirst into a tree on the steep hill attempting to avoid a dog.

Maureen opened the pack. Indeed, there was an old anthology of short stories by Flannery O’Connor. And his camera. Maureen downloaded the last photographs he took onto her computer.

Oh dear. Oh goodness me. Maureen had no idea. She felt quite sick. Maureen pressed the delete button. It was a secret she carried to her grave.

Poem 79: How long the shadows fall

How long the shadows fall
this breakfast time. How tall in height,
(as if in evening light)
the fence posts stand, as might night guards,
freezing in sun’s weak shards.
A bitter morning. Hardened ice.
Desolate wind with vice
-like grip, ready to slice the heart.

For me to light the fire
is to admit that you’re not here.
The early morning’s cheer-
ful warmth that only yesterday
you lit, your final day,
before the Fates held sway and snipped
your thread of life, and clipped
forever what bound you to me.

How long the shadows fall
this first breakfast time.