Flash in the Pan


A Quarterly Posting at Tiny Lights

Dead End


by Jo Lauer

We gravesite mourners were an odd lot. Four Baptists, three Presbyterians, two Catholics (one a die-hard, the other her convert fiancee, the son of the dead man), and a Pagan...that would be me, the fifth ex-wife of the dead man's son...gathered to return one mean son-of-a-gun to his Maker--or so the widow believed.

The sun shrouded me like cotton batting, though the October air was chilled. The cloying scent of rose and gardenia from a small bouquet clutched tightly by aged, bony fingers resting in the lap of the widow, filled my lungs.

The young preacher, enraptured with his own words of inspiration, promised comfort to those left behind. Promised that though the deceased was no longer with us, we would be re-united with him in the great hereafter where the Lord has prepared us all a room in the glorious mansion of Heaven. Amen. I shuddered.

The onlookers, bordering the green plastic matting where five chairs were placed for the immediate family of three, shuffled from one foot to the other. The son of the dead man paled. The widow rolled her eyes ever so slightly, perhaps at the notion of being reconnected in Heaven with the man who was the incarnate of misery on Earth.

Jo Lauer, Santa Rosa, CA. Jo is a psychotherapist in Sonoma County. She lives with her writing muse, Loudly, a stuffed raven.

Eighth Flash


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