Corrine sniffled, but handed Great Aunt Ruth the cardboard box that Rudy had become.
Ruth grabbed a handful of Rudy, then sowed him across the front yard. Rudy sank into the snow, staining it grey and black.
Corrine slapped Ruth’s hands. “Enough.”
Great Aunt Ruth shook her head. “Two sides to every family tree. We each gotta wear this.” She threw a handful of Rudy at Corrine who shrieked and fruitlessly paddled the air. Ruth dabbed a finger of ash onto her own forehead, then spun around and swabbed the same finger against Danielle’s lips. “The rest we take home to the graveyard. Pour it over your momma, her folks and theirs. Push it back far as we can.”
Danielle sobbed, feeling the smear of her brother’s ashes against her lip. He felt hot, the warm way he used to snuggle with her under the covers while Momma told them a bedtime story. Back before the evil took root. She opened her lips and felt pieces of Rudy slip into her mouth.
She decided she would keep him there, inside her, until the day she did finally fall like snow. She imagined them finding that farmer’s field together and spreading their corn silk hair on an August breeze -- each tiny bit still aware, still remembering the best of themselves and each other.
Per Contra Fiction - Winter 2006