Flash Fiction: the cemetery

March 21, 2021 § 4 Comments

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

The air is hot and dry, and the lichen-stained headstones are draped with clouds of slow moving pollen. Bees dip in and out doing barrel rolls. She takes photos so she can name them from the poster on the kitchen wall. The grasses and wild flowers are turning brown and the ripe seeds quietly explode. The smell too sweet. It takes her back to honey gathering time when she turned the handle of her dad’s extractor. It creaked and leaked honey and pissed the bees off for days. ‘I’m not surprised,’ she complained. ‘It’s stealing’.

She breathes in deep and wills the pain to stop hurting her head, to stop making her shout in her sleep. The dreams never wake her and she never remembers them, but he does because her sounds wake him. He sits up in bed and watches, his arms open ready to gather her.

The buzzing makes her sleepy. She sinks to her knees between two graves, and lies flat on her back, legs together, arms close to her sides. She breathes slower and slower until she forgets to breathe. She begins to feel light. Unseeable. Invisible. In a place where time doesn’t move. She can’t feel her body resting on the ground. She looks down. It’s there, it’s resting, but the eyes aren’t seeing. The grass is so long no one will see her.

So this is how it’s done. What will she say if he finds her like this? “I’m trying to imagine what it would be like to be dead,’ she’ll whisper.

His eyes will look at her steadily and his mouth will say, “And what is it like?’

‘It’s fine,’ she will answer turning her lips into a smile. ‘I like it’.

~

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