My Funeral

My Funeral

A Story by HoWiE
"

A young man looks down upon the people gathered for his funeral.

"
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     Hovering above them, I watched them gather at the graveside, shuffling and morose. There were certainly a lot more people in attendance than I had anticipated, it was surprising. As I would have wished, there was very little black to be seen and only my Dad wore a tie. A neatly pressed, black silk tie over a pink shirt and a dark suit; how like him. He helped my Mum to her seat, she looked broken, utterly. Dad, stared ahead, his lips pressed into a grim line, the only outward display of emotion were the whitening of the skin at his knuckles. Mum was in stark contrast, looking shattered, her skin sallow and her eyes red rimmed and sorrowful, she moved mechanically hardly acknowledging those around her. My sister sat beside her in shocked disbelief, wan and lost like a child in the aftermath of disaster.
     My girlfriend was helped to her seat by two of my friends, one either side. She clasped her hands tightly in her lap, tears streaming down her cheeks as Tommy sat beside her and enfolded her in his embrace. He leaned in and pressed his lips to the top of her head as the sobs racked her slender frame.
     My friends curled around the yawning pit in a semicircle, a few tight smiles of acknowledgement among them but little more. Most were bedecked in Hawaiian shirts or dresses of a florid nature. I had always said come the day of my funeral I wouldn�t want people to wallow in pity and black clothing, I was pleased to see they had managed at least one my requests. Interestingly I noted that they also wore black armbands, a nice touch, I thought. I could forgive them that much�
     Opposite them and set amongst the wreathes, a large floral tribute bore my name. It was pretty nice.

     The minister delivered an impassioned sermon, his voice ringing out clearly in the cool October morning. They bowed their heads and muttered the Lord�s Prayer. I permitted myself a brief smile; there was not a religious bone among them. Perhaps their hypocrisy was borne of duty or hope that it would speed me upon my way, who knows.
     I stared down at my parents and could not help but feel saddened, I had not wanted to leave them like this, I wanted to run down to them and tell them that everything was okay but that, of course, was impossible.
     The minister moved aside to allow Tommy to take to the lectern, he settled some papers down upon it, I saw that his hands were shaking and his eyes were red. He took a few moments to compose himself, clearing his throat and licking his lips.
     �Danny was�� he began. He blinked and stared upwards at the grey skies.

     Come on mate, hold it together�
��������
     �Danny was one of those blokes you could always rely on. He always tried to help you out if you were in need of something and never asked for anything in return. He�d always be there to buy you a beer or sort you out if you were down.�
     Tommy breathed in and shuffled the papers slightly, swallowing tightly.

     Come on mate, keep going�

     �He� he, certainly had his share of problems but wasn�t the sort of bloke to burden us with any of it. Most of us didn�t even know the kinds of pressures that he was under and that underlined the sort of person he was. He was the sort of bloke who wanted to stand on his own two feet and face up to his problems without leaning on anyone or running away.�
     Tommy pressed a clenched fist to his lips and blinked heavily again, his chest heaving. I could hear gentle weeping from the graveside and watched my girlfriend bury her face in her hands. My Dad placed a resolute hand on her shoulder and squeezed gently. To be honest it was him I felt most sorry for, he deserved none of this. He was a good man, a man of plain principles and a simple nature. I saw him set his jaw as Tommy continued.
     �The morning we took the boat out, the day Danny went missing� I remember the sun was shining and I remember him being excited, laughing and smiling. It was as if, for that one day, Danny didn�t have any problems, he was happy. It was a good day.�
     Tommy pressed thumb and forefinger to the bridge of his nose and cleared his throat again. �We were caught by the storm late at night, we never saw it coming. Danny went up top to pilot us back in, if he hadn�t done that we might not have made it back at all.�
     Tommy exhaled deeply and stared at my coffin, his eyes distant. �He went up top; he was laughing and said this was the sort of things adventures were made of. That was the last time I saw him. We searched for days but nothing�
     I hope that wherever he is now, he�s still happy and he knows that we all love him and miss him because he was our Danny. He was my best friend��
I watched as he stumbled leadenly away from the lectern and resumed his place beside my girlfriend, she took his hand in hers as he bent his head. Grief is a devastating emotion.
��������
     He was my best friend� Tommy�s words crackled in my ears and I shook my head slowly; no wonder he was choking on them. I seethed with the duplicity of it all. He didn�t seem so close to me when he was screwing my girlfriend behind my back. He didn�t seem so eager to hand over the money I had loaned him when he was in trouble, not even when I begged him for a couple of grand to pay off the sharks.

     Best friend�

     A warm hand snuck into mine and a voice at my ear whispered, �we have to go, we shouldn�t even be here.�
     I stared down at them from the rise overlooking the cemetery and turned my collar against the breeze. The car waited, the engine still running a short way down the hill.
     �Has the insurance paid out?� I asked her, raising her fingers to my lips.
     Marianne smiled and patted her coat.
     �Let�s go.�
     I cast one final glance down at the huddled group, united in grief over a young man lost in a storm and thought to myself. F**k them.

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Music courtesy of My Chemical Romance.

© 2008 HoWiE


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Featured Review

Hmmm...I anticipated a catch, but then I really became entranced with the emotion in this piece and forgot all about anticipating a catch or hook at the end, and then BOOM! There it was. Nice work. You captured all the emotions within many characters very well. :)

Posted 12 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

I love a twist especially when it is well written.
Good story I hope he gets away with it.

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Yeah! Brilliant! I have often thought of just inventing a different life. Perhaps only the thought of the pain of family has stopped me... what a brilliant and novel concept here, I really wasn't expecting it. I think the "F**k You" is justified in the context. In a deeper sense, he should be able to make his amends and sort out his life one step at a time, realising that he is responsible for all that has happened. However, as a moment of dramatic release, it's just great to think of someone just dumping an entire life... family, friends, history, affairs and all. Clean slate... or so it would appear. On some level, we are all fed up of being ourselves. I just saw on the news that a guy is selling his life on ebay. It comes with house, car, jet ski and a circle of friends. He just wants to drop it and start again. He he he...

Posted 12 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

you're surprises at the end of your work always get me...

the only thing i didn't like was when he said "f**k them" at the whole group, like he was cursing his family as well as the people he didn't like when he had just said it was his dad he felt the worst for and his mom was so obviously upset.

other than that i thought this played out very well. i almost cried, until i found out he was still alive. then i laughed XD

other than the obvous conclusion Marianne (Gilligan's Island!!!) is his new girlfirend, where did he meet her at, i wonder?

Posted 12 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Dammmmn how you always get me with your surprise endings! I knew there would be one yes but was thinking possibly his friends killed him or something similar. It didn't occur to me that Danny had faked his own death. Your such a brilliant writer Howie, you get me every time dang it. LOL

Posted 12 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Very moving. But I really liked the twist, wasnt expecting that.
Excellent.

Posted 12 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

I like your style, and sick sense of humor. I have wanted to do this so many times. I enjoyed your bio too, along with the u tubes. I am new to this, and not very good at it either so any advise or critique is appreciated. Thanks.

Posted 12 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

:).. nice twist.. very Hitchcockian.. I can almost see it all in black and white on the screen.. :).. Very cool

Posted 12 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Hmmm...I anticipated a catch, but then I really became entranced with the emotion in this piece and forgot all about anticipating a catch or hook at the end, and then BOOM! There it was. Nice work. You captured all the emotions within many characters very well. :)

Posted 12 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Sounds like the start of a film. Can see Ray Winstone playing Danny, scowling in the bushes of some sarf London bone yard.

Posted 12 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

I must say, You caught me with my pants down on the last bit. Cleverly hidden. I think a lot of us would want to watch our own funeral because we would know who our friends were. Very clever little tale mate.

Posted 12 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.


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Added on March 18, 2008
Last Updated on March 18, 2008

Author

HoWiE
HoWiE

Plymouth,, Devon, United Kingdom



About
Well, I'm back - it only took 8 years to get over my writer's block! Now 47, older, wiser and, for some reason, now a teacher having left the Armed Forces in 2012. The writing is slow going but .. more..

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