The Eulogy

CAUTION: This story contains references to domestic violence and descriptions of childhood emotional abuse.

I stood at the podium looking out at the sea of faces, unfamiliar and familiar, the funeral director’s words still ringing in my ears. It’s okay to be raw and honest. There’s no right way to grieve. They’re just looking for the  comfort of a shared experience from you.

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Noir

Crimson splatters line the walls, crime scene tape girds the door. Shattered glass, a single lily, and pristine white shagpile carpet grace the floors.

He lifts the needle, abruptly silencing the Shostakovitch piano concerto.

Tipping back his trilby, he scratches his head. Who still uses a record player?

Image credit: SouthernRebel/pixabay

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The Wedding Sari

The fans circle, humming sonorously, making no difference in the dense hot air.  My aunt and I sit surrounded by cascades of colourful, gold-embroidered silk as the small birdlike dark skinned shop assistant claws more saris from the shelves, fanning them out to their full glory, allowing the light to catch the subtle changes in hue, the double colours, the intricate embroidery.  Motherless since the age of three, Amayi, unmarried, unencumbered by children of her own, has always been my substitute mother.

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The Bestowing

The old woman sits, stooped and wizened on a small wooden stool at the front door of her cottage.  The skin at her throat sags and droops, as if two sizes too big for her.  Her gnarled fingers trace shapes in the air and her lips move in their silent dance, forming words that will never be spoken.  She beckons to me, chuckling knowingly, and my feet hasten to her command.

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The Other Side

She wakes with a start.  The air feels stale and cold.  In the darkness, she fumbles for the bedside lamp, and jostles the bottle of whisky that stands vigil.  Night must have fallen while she was asleep.  The gentle click of the lamp reverberates in the silent room, but there’s no light.  The power must be out.  The sheets are crumpled from her thrashing body, a glass lies shattered on the floor, an empty pill bottle, the lone warrior, in the midst of the shards.

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