|We Were Smoke
Author: Galloping Foxley PM
A fire took the lives of everyone on Juniper's street on the wettest day ever recorded in Britain. Funny that. What isn't so funny is the smoke that came after in the shape of a messed up boy called Jack.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Drama/Hurt/Comfort - Chapters: 12 - Words: 4,874 - Reviews: 4 - Follows: 3 - Updated: 05-19-13 - Published: 01-05-13 - id: 3089473
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The funeral was odd. It was mass and it buzzed round my ears.
Friends came. Friends I didn't even know I had that all looked at me with that same head tile and squint of the eyes. At first I was stunned, but by the time the last person squeezed my hand and said,
'I'm sorry for your loss.'
I went numb.
The relatives were the worse. They were all embarrassed, hugging and flapping away their tears talking so much for fear we'd hit silence and the awkward question that lay beneath would rise to the occasion.
Why weren't you taking me into your family?
And it was etiquette to care more about them, remember that they had lost brothers, sisters, sons and daughters. I hated the polite, no you are suffering the most from this loss bullshit.
The funeral itself was beautiful. I was always told black was my colour. It did wonders to my creamy skin and auburn hair and at the end the soil was thrown over the caskets. I liked the way it sounded like heavy rain as it broke on the shiny new wood.
But the wake. God, the wake was horrid. I no longer wanted people milling round the youth center laughing and talking, making hmm sounds like tired old bees. Not that I wanted to sleep, but I just wanted to be away from people.
It seemed like death took you with it. People, the living, were of little consequence to you now when everything else within you was worm food beneath your feet.
The buffet was congealing, sausage rolls cold, ketchup forming a skin and cheese sandwiches going hard and stale. He walked up silent as anything and I liked that. That he didn't want to speak. Was a nice change from the perfume hugs and rouged lipstick kisses.
He sniffed a sausage roll before dumping it into the ketchup. He swirled it round over and over again until I was fixated on the stupid party-for-an-eight-year-old spread in front of me. Over and over again he swirled it until I was sick to my stomach.
'Will you just fucking eat it?'
I slammed my hands down hard and the cheap plastic table flipped over. My scream bounced as the food clattered and rolled around the feet of the guests. Ketchup sprayed up all over our black and his fingers still held onto that stupid little roll.
A large dollop of sauce dripped off the end, onto his shoe.
A pin could drop in the room.
He reached for me. I stumbled back and took a deep breath.
I turned to the audience.
I walked out and felt as if a curtain was closing on the scene.
Act 1, Scene 1 of Juniper Falls Apart closes on a live audience in total silence.
The stage goes black.
There was only Before and After the smoke now.
The only one to cross the divide was him and the smell of smoke that followed wherever he went.