The Bells Rang

The Bells Rang

A Story by Anor

Children cried. Women wept. Men shook with vivid intensity. And the funeral bells rang, singing the dirge of the departed. Another reminder of the frailty of existence. In the end, everything is a memory still in motion.

I had never before felt what I felt then, on the day of the funeral. My life had been blessed. I had lived in a safe sphere, where the realities of the world could not reach me. I had thought I had known them, and that I would be their equal when we met on the fields of battle. I had been wrong.

I had not known the boy well. He had never been more than a neighbour to me in life. In death, he became the chilling messiah of despair. For the first time in years unnumbered, I wanted to cry. But I am a man, and men do not cry.

I glanced across the graveyard. Reality had slowed down, and shadows had begun to catch up. Everywhere I looked, I saw them. A grandmother's head buried deep in her shawl, shaking as she sobbed. A child, maybe a friend, standing with his back to the grave, refusing to look at the ruin behind him. A woman garbed in black, prostrate before the grave, praying for salvation. Shadows. Darkness.

I moved my glance away from the grave, and saw a man, staring blankly into the sky. There were so many shadows near him. He was surrounded, and had long since been taken captive. It was the father. I went to him.

"Sir..." I felt woefully inadequate. "I wish to express my condole-... No. I, I'm sorry." There. I had said what I wanted to say.

He turned his empty gaze towards me. "That's not my boy they're burying. He's gone. He's been gone a long time."

I had not expected such a mournful response. "Yes, of course. Your son is with God now. He's where none can touch him. The flesh is being laid to rest."

"It sings, you know." He tilted his head slightly.

"I'm sorry?" 

"Flesh. It sings. His sang to me when he left."

He was further gone than I had thought. "Would you like to talk about him?"

The beginnings of a smile formed on his face. "No. I don't need to. The singing will keep me happy."

"I strongly believe that you should talk about this with someone, Sir. If not me, then your wife, or a close family member."

"Aren't you listening? The singing keeps me happy." He looked irritated now.

"The singing of the flesh?"

"The very same."

"They're burying the body, though. The flesh can't keep singing."

"I told you, though. That's not my son."

"... I'm sorry?" He seemed to mean it literally.

"The body, in the coffin. It's not his. I needed him to stay with me. I needed him to sing." His eyes burned into mine, demanding that I understand him.

"... Who is in there?" I felt numb.

"Some farm boy. He screamed at me at first, but it wasn't long before he started singing instead." He smiled, as though I understood. "You won't tell anyone, of course? I need my son to stay with me. That is a father's right."

I did not understand. But I did not need to, either. I knew enough.

"Of course not."

© 2014 Anor

Advertise Here
Want to advertise here? Get started for as little as $5

My Review

Would you like to review this Story?
Login | Register

Share This
Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


Added on June 4, 2014
Last Updated on June 4, 2014



Islamabad, Punjab, Pakistan

He Left He Left

A Story by Anor

Paris Wept Paris Wept

A Story by Anor

I Am About To Die I Am About To Die

A Story by Anor