Life After Death

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Two sisters struggle to cope with their grief after tragedy strikes both of them.

Submitted: August 11, 2018

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Submitted: August 11, 2018



The rescue divers fished her body out of the Yarra River two days after she went missing and an autopsy revealed that Mum had overdosed on sleeping pills and alcohol before jumping off the bridge that night.

Lori was wailing in my arms and it didn’t help that I was crying a river too. A small funeral was held in our apartment. The coffin was still open so I went over to take a good long look at Mum for the last time. She was beautiful in her blue sleeveless dress, the same dress she wore when she was engaged to Dad, with her make-up perfectly done and her brown hair curled in ringlets around her shoulders. Her hands were folded over a bouquet of flowers on her chest and her eyes were shut like she was asleep but she wasn’t of course.

Still she looked so peaceful I found myself wondering if there was such thing as a life after death.

Then the coffin was sealed and Mum was taken away. It didn’t seem right that we were watching her coffin being lowered into the pit that would be her grave since her grief would be put to rest forever but not ours. Lori kept clawing at the dirt, her nails getting browner and uglier by the minute, and I had to pull her away to let the gravediggers do their job.

The next day, Mum’s room was cleared and Lori ran out to stop me from selling her favorite CD collections and clothes. We ain’t got no use for them, Lori, I said to her since there really was no point in keeping them around. Lori kicked up a fuss and grabbed my ankle before I could step out the door. We fought again, our cheeks reddening as we screamed at the top of our lungs. We were so loud, our neighbors and maybe even the people living below and above our floor could hear us.

At last, I kicked Lori aside and stormed out of the apartment. I didn’t feel bad about it since she really was getting on my nerves and Mum wasn’t there to tell me to be good to her even if that was what she would’ve wanted. Lori rushed out to save Mum’s stuff but the CDs had all been sold to a hippie living near our street and a lady bought Mum’s party dress while the rest of the clothes were given away to charity. I made a good sum out of the stuff I sold, about a hundred Aussie dollars I could say, enough to pay the bills at least with the savings we had, and Lori was beating up my arm, demanding for me to take them back.

I dragged Lori back to our apartment with her kicking and biting me all the way. I shoved her into the bedroom we once shared and locked myself in Mum’s room. Lori pounded on the door and when that didn’t work, she tried to kick it down instead.

It’s not your room, she kept yelling, Mum’s gonna come back and when she does, you’re gonna be in big trouble. And I yelled, don’t be a drongo, Lori. Mum ain’t coming back and you know that, and Lori screamed just as Mum started wailing outside and I rushed to the window.

There I saw her running down the street in the shadows with her hands in her hair like she wanted to rip them out of her scalp as she screamed. She stopped in her tracks for a moment and looked around, her eyes wider than marbles. Then, with a final cry, she stepped under the streetlight and vanished.

Something woke me up later and it wasn’t Lori’s snores or the cars honking outside. A figure was standing in the corner of the room and though I couldn’t make out what it was, it seemed to be shaking its head at me like it knew what I did wrong.

The next morning, I told Lori she could have Mum’s bedroom, no questions asked.

© Copyright 2019 Jjkk. All rights reserved.

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