Makeshift Burial

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Children Stories  |  House: Booksie Classic
Two children, one boy and one girl, are on the verge of being late for school. What hijinks will ensue?

(Author Note)
This is the first draft for a fiction assignment. I'm only posting it here in its unfinished form because I wonder if I could get some critique from the Booksie Community on how to make it better? Also longer. The page requirement is 6 pages. I only have 3.

Personally, I wanted this story to be understated and subtle and simple. I wanted to avoid any backstory, as so to let the reader draw their own conclusions, opinions, or thoughts about the characters/situation. I only wanted to give you enough to infer some things. This mission to create something sparse has caused me to have less pages then normal. I could always write something else, but I would really to expand upon this idea. And thats why I turn to ya'll. Thanks in advance to all of you who comment or even read this. I really appreciate it.

P.S - If someone could copy edit that would be really cool on their part and I would for sure return the favor many times over :)

Submitted: January 25, 2014

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Submitted: January 25, 2014

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He turned around, in the way he usually did, to make sure that she, Rosemary Crane, was still following him. And as usual she had trailed off behind him, trapped in her own head. She had a personality quirk that forced her to, wherever she went and no matter how often she had been there, let every miniscule and unimportant detail filter through her eyes in wonderment. He found it impossible for him to get into her head space. They had been friends all of their lives, grown up next door neighbors, but there was still a sense of foreignness about her, some mental wall that no matter what did not allow him to relate. Honestly he had a hard time inserting and inhabiting anybody else’s world – whether they wanted him to or not.

“Could you maybe hurry up a little bit?”

“Could you maybe not walk so fast?” she said back to him.

“I like to be prepared and in my seat well before class begins.”

“As long as I’m in class before they collect the homework I don’t care.”

“You don’t really care do you?”

“Not at all.”

He paused. “Whatever. Lets just keep walking.”

They continued walking. It was autumn and the trees had turned. When the wind blew some of leaves would fall, creating a shower of red and yellows faintly falling. He turned around to look to make sure she was following him still. She wasn’t. She was squatted down staring at the grass a few sidewalk squares back. He walked over to her and saw her arched over a motionless baby bird.

“Poor little guy,” she said.

“Yeah, yeah. Poor little guy. Could we get back to walking?”

“He was probably pushed out to fly before he was ready.”

“Seriously, we need to get going.”

“Calm down. We’ll get there. We’ve never been late before and we won’t be today either.”

“No we’re not. Not if you keep stopping to look at every dead puff-ball that you find on the street.”

She ignored him and went to go pick up a small rock that was lying by her feet and shifting a bare patch of dirt. She was right though. In all the times that they had walked to school together they had never been officially late, but there had been some close calls.

“What are you doing?” the boy asked.

“I’m going to give him a proper burial.”

“Do you really have to do that?”

“Why not?”

“Probably because he’s a bird. Birds die all of the time and you never see anyone else burying them. Do you bury every dead thing you see?”

“No,” she said “but I want to this time.”

He couldn’t believe her. Here they were a few minutes away from being late and she wanted to stop and burry some stupid bird that was too stupid to know how to fly when Mama Bird pushed him out of the nest. If he couldn’t do what all birds were supposed to do, and if its mom didn’t care enough about it, then why should they, why should he, care about it?

“So are you just going to stand there, or would you like to come help me?”

He just stood there. He could feel himself dissolving into a puddle of nerves, stomach twisting and curling, heart on the verge of ripping through his chest. He could imagine the look in the teacher’s eyes, the stabbing disappointment, the complete disappointment that would be solely directed at him.

She had finished digging out the burial plot for the bird. She gently placed the rock off to the side. She looked and found two yellow leaves that had fallen from their trees earlier that all the rest. Reverently she scooped up the baby bird, cradling him between the two leaves. Slowly and assured her hands glided to the makeshift crypt that she had for him, and gently placed him within. She shifted the dirt that she had removed and placed it back to its original spot, patting it down to make it even with the area around it. The scene looked like nothing had been changed from the time they arrived.

When she got up he was gone. She hadn’t noticed him slip away. Hopefully he had made it there in time. She wouldn’t. She would walk into class, the teacher would reprimand her, maybe she would make up some worthwhile excuse, maybe she wouldn’t, if the teacher was having a bad day they would give her detention. Maybe they would call her parents. They would be mad at her for a time, perhaps they would ground her. Then in a couple days they would think she learned her lesson, or maybe they would just feel bad, and they would spring her from her cage. And when she got out things would be the same. She would go one just like before, nothing would change.


© Copyright 2019 Bill Schultz. All rights reserved.

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