By Nelson Lowhim
Copyright 2012 Nelson Lowhim
Smashwords Edition, License Notes
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This is a work of fiction. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real people, living or dead or otherwise, is purely coincidental.
Clara watched as the men lowered the coffin into the gaping mouth in the ground. The same orange, dry ground she stood on. Tears rolled down her cheek and blotted her dress. The sun was setting behind her. As the ground swallowed the coffin, she wondered how it was that everyone seemed to be eyeing her with both sorrow and disgust. Most of the villagers had been kind enough to show up but had flinched when she reached to take their hands. They knew. They all knew. She held on to her son, Manuel, with one hand and wiped the tears from her cheeks with the other. A look at the boy sent shards into her heart. She had tried to protect him from all this, the horrible parts of the world, but there was no holding back the tide now. He would be hit no matter what. She looked at his round face, which looked up to her sad, confused, as if he weren't sure what to feel. When the coffin disappeared and the same men shoveled dirt onto it, she bit her lip hard enough to draw some blood. The taste was sweet, and the fact that she was able to consume a part of herself settled her heart; reminded her of magic potions, ancient healers, and miracle touches. She kicked some of the soil in front of her and the dust exploded into a small cloud. Some of it drifted into her lungs, dry, stale, a mixture of life and death. She coughed, weakness spreading through her body. She was losing it and needed to bring herself together. If not for herself, then at least for Manuel. He needed her.