Scattered Ashes

Copyright 2013 Tanar Dial and Chris Traister

Cover design by Chris Traister

Smashwords Edition

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To Chris

Let's do this again sometime.

To my BebeGerbil,

Who's always supported my ideas, even when they were stupid.



The wheezing was a natural alarm. The old man’s coughs echoed from the room next door, and as Nate lay in his bed, the sounds erased any comfort his bed gave him: first, the labored wheezing breath. Then, the wet, phlegmy, hacking that dried up and became short, sharp heaves. The heaves pushed the air from the old man’s lungs and left him gasping for air, his breathing stopping momentarily. Nate could see Abe's black face redden as the blood pooled in his cheeks, making his eyes bloodshot and his mouth hang open. And then, he sucked in air and began the whole process all over again. Some people woke to the sun or their lover’s touch. Nate woke to this, every morning.

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