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... the dimming of the light... (part 26)

Discussion in 'Stories, Fiction & Essays' started by Daisuke_Jigen, May 5, 2016.

  1. ... the dimming of the light... (part 26)
    … the dimming of the light… (Part 26)

    Peter Hunter


    … now… Alice's story…

    …what sounded like a shot from a gun…
    outside from the encroaching darkness… 'He didn't take his gun with him - did he?' said Chris… 'I think I'll take a look outside…'
    'I'll come too…' a feeling of apprehension growing… 'Something's wrong…'
    We found his body by the lake; face down in the limp winter grass. Chris turned the body over - no doubt about identification - face unmarked but his chest a bloody cavity from a close-range shotgun blast. Shock overcame me but for some reason tears would not come…
    … as Chris carried him back to the house…

    *

    … despite the dire times we were in I did not want to dispose of my love of more than fifty years… my husband for most of them…
    … I could not bëâr to dispose of him like some dead animal, his body lying abandoned in the bushes…
    Neither did I just want us to bury him in some neglected unmarked grave…
    So Chris, Sharon and I discussed it… resulting in Chris taking an axe and smashing the boathouse into firewood… it was old and very dry and should burn with enthusiasm…
    … and after what I had in mind we would not need it anymore…
    Chris first heaped the dead twigs we saved for kindling the fire inside the wood burner… into a pyramid in the centre of the little boat…
    They covered the kindling with a large flat pile of pieces of the old boathouse…
    On top we gently placed my husband's limp bloodstained body…
    … then softly pushed the boat into the lake…
    Chris had prepared an arrow with some cheesecloth wrapped around the tip. The cloth had been soaked in some of the Colonel's domestic heating oil…
    … the old soldier had seemed strangely reluctant to part with even this small amount… apparently disinclined to join in the impromptu little ceremony - and stayed lurking in the background…
    … and stood by with a glowing stick from the wood burner inside the house.
    He slowly ignited the cheesecloth as I drew back my husband's favourite hunting bow…
    Fortunately I had not forgotten anything from the days when we were quite keen on the sport and carefully aimed and loosed the shaft towards the gently receding boat…
    The fire-arrow flicked then gradually the kindling first caught fire…
    … then the main bulk of the smashed planks that used to be the boathouse… a funeral for a Viking chief…
    as the flames grew… I detected a smell of paint burning… green paint the planks had been treated with… and more disconcertingly…
    the smell of roasting or burning flesh… my husband… then, disrespectfully perhaps it was a waste and we should have eaten him…
    … then again the funeral image of a image of a Viking chief…
    … appropriate… I thought as the tears welled in the back of my eyes…



    (To be continued…)
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    Credits to respectful owner (y)
     
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