About 140 Words

by johnathanknight

This is an opening to a story that, in its completed form, never really worked for me.  Lately, I’ve been thinking about it again, so I might take another crack at figuring out what bothered me about it so long ago.


Reeves didn’t want to bury his wife under a pile of rocks, but he didn’t know what else to do.  Village law demanded that all of the dead and nearly dead be immobilized, so he sighed, picked up her litter, and got about the business of doing the law.

The funeral procession led through the center of the village, along the dirt road, to the outlying gardens.  Only a half-dozen villagers joined in the walk, a poor turnout, but there wasn’t much reason to expect more.  There just weren’t a lot of folks who wanted to be near the risen buried in the crypts.

Rose bushes were in full bloom, and though the scent was lovely, Reeves could only associate it with sickness and death.  The garden made a labyrinth around the burial caves, as if seasonal beauty could somehow silence the moaning of the dead within.