The coffin was black. A solid one with only a ribbon of silver along the boning. The rain spilled onto it giving it a murky shimmer.

Fitting, he thought.

He gazed across the earth-gutted hole, catching the faces of her family. They stood erect and solemn, their eyes cast into a distant dream.

“And so we are here, on this day of mourning to say our last goodbyes. Dear Becca was such a kind soul….”

Liza, the mother, was wailing. Her face was puffy and red. Her black dress hugged her unwillingly, revealing gentle bobs of fat that giggled as she cried.

He had never liked her.

“…loss was sudden…tragic…and not to be forgotten, as in our hearts she will always be….”

He let his eyes roll towards a much younger woman standing next to Liza. Her golden red hair curled tightly around her heart-shaped face. Hair just like her sister’s. The tips ended at the fringed lace just above her breasts. Her pale skin was smooth, complimenting her fine figure.

I will have her now.

“..please bow with me in prayer as we bring this soul back to our God.”

He lowered his head, pretending as he had always done. Prayer had never worked. It was just a motion.

He let his shoes sponge the ground, leaving imprints on the surface. This day had come so quickly. He hadn’t noticed Blue Bones. Did he actually miss today?

A small victory. Maybe he finally grew a heart to fill those bones.

“Alec, is there anything you would like to say?” the preacher asked, bringing him back to the moment.

The crowd was staring at him. He felt their eyes piercing at his thoughts. Hesitant, he nodded towards the preacher and move towards the stand. The soft mud squished beneath him.

“Becca stole my heart the first day we met,” he started. “And she never let it go. She was a beautiful woman, thoughtful and giving. She gave so much that…” He searched the crowd for him again. He wanted to be sure.“…often times, I believe she cared more for others than herself.”

“Yet that very spirit is what has brought us here today. She…” He stopped. There he was, in the back, his blue uniform standing out from the drooping black clothes in front of him. He was smiling. God, he hated that smile.

No victory then.

Alec cleared his throat. “She would of never believed what that man was truly capable of. All she could see in him was a broken soul that needed mending…and so she let him in.  Into our house….into our hearts…and painfully into our memories.”

He was still smiling. At the funeral. Smiling.

“I loved her so much. And now…now she’s gone forever.” He looked back down at the black coffin; the white orchards that laid on top were drenched, flattened on the wood.

A hand grasped his shoulder as a murmur began rippling through the crowd.

“I think that’s good enough,” the preacher whispered to him.

Alec shuffled back to his spot, little relief filling him. He hated speeches. And he hated Blue Bones’s smile.


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