In Buddahism They Bury Urns

Avatar Author: BA Boucher My ficly "Into the Arms of Digital Angels" (http://ficly.com/stories/2740) was expanded into a short story which got published! Check it out here: https://www.lulu.com/commerce/index.php?fBuyContent=8298552 T... Read Bio

It has been three weeks since the funeral. My last vision of the urn being sent to its final resting place, burned into the back of my eyelids. Twenty-one days since the line of strangers avoid my gaze to tell me, “I’m sorry for your loss…”

I buried a man I’ve barely ever really known. A man who until recently I had listed in my phone as “DON’T ANSWER”, even though it probably should say DAD.

“Such a soul he had…”
“You remind me of him…”
“He’s in a better place…”

My wife rings me, and I look at my phone. I agree to take the dogs to the vet, if she agrees to wear that top that drives me wild on our date night later.

As I wait for the dogs to get checked out, I play with my phone, daring myself to read the text I ignored three weeks ago.

Missed text from “DON’T ANSWER” 12.02 AM, March 10, 2010.

“I feel alone, kid. I can’t take the pain anymore. I’m sorry for what I’ve done, please forgive me. Please respond before it’s too late.”

I press delete.

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Comments (8 so far!)

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  1. Avatar MangoQT

    I love the writing. I would have liked it better if it didn’t have the part about his wife and their conversation and if there was some background like of why his relationship with his dad was bad so there was more emotion. But a really great piece!!

  2. Ahfl_icon THX 0477

    Whoa, brutal text to get. I got a bit thrown by the tenses and sentence structures in the beginning paragraph. Overall though it’s a very tragic portrait of life and loss, not just loss in death but the losses incurred over a lifetime of bad relationship dynamics. The text itself kind of veered into O. Henry style maudlin, but the last line pulled it back to brutal reality.

  3. Avatar BA Boucher

    Thanks!

    I didn’t really like the wife part either but I had to shoehorn in the text message thing for the challenge criteria.

  4. Avatar BA Boucher

    Brutal’s my middle name. Thanks THX

  5. Avatar Slightnmighty

    This leaves me uneasy, in part because of the feeling of polarity I get. We feel the burning of pain the first moment and a voyeuristic flirting the next. I can’t tell if he loves him or hates him or just plain doesn’t care anymore. Of course, that’s probably the point. ;)

    Overall you handled the prompt very unexpectedly and I liked that!

  6. Avatar Abstract

    The actual text message and the last line are just…WHAM. There’s something about this story that just makes it very believable.

  7. Avatar ethelthefrog

    Good to see you back (I’m a fine one to talk, of course).

    Abstract Rorschach has it perfectly with “WHAM”.

    Brilliant stuff, sir. You capture the apathy and the depression extremely well and, in the end, what more is there to do but press delete?

  8. Avatar Kihd

    Aww…power down. :(

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