The Funeral (short story)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short story about five family members that gather for a funeral. Only something unexpected is discovered about one family member....

Submitted: July 18, 2012

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Submitted: July 18, 2012



It was the middle of the week, and the city was just waking up. Traffic was beginning to fill the interstate as everyone began going to work. Except for a certain family, the day was not so grand. The day was rather dismal and sad. A close member of the family had died. Butch’s father, Frank, had finally passed away at the ripe age of 48 from liver cancer. The entire family had been invited to the funeral, but only three had actually managed to show. That didn’t include him or his mother. He wanted to be angry that there were only five people at his father’s funeral, but he couldn’t muster up enough energy to lash out at the ones who didn’t show.

Out of the ones that had shown up there was his mom, Marissa; his older twin brother, Vinny; his cousin, Tally; and his dad’s brother, Uncle Ralph. Of course, once Vinny arrived, their mother wouldn’t remove herself from him. It had always been a known fact that Vinny had been the better child. Especially now since his brother had successfully made a career as a best-selling author while Butch was still stuck at home taking care of their mother. Before the Reverend showed up and began the funeral, Butch made his way over to the coffin and peered down inside at the still, pale face of his father. The mortician had shaved his face of his constant five o’clock shadow and had done his best to try and cover up the dark circles under his eyes. It had been no surprise when Frank had finally killed over dead from liver cancer. Butch and Vinny’s father had been a hardcore drinker. He always had a bottle of beer or glass of Scotch in his hand. Sometimes he even treated himself to Vodka. No matter what the rest of his family said, Butch loved his father. Sure he hadn’t always been around, but he had taken the time of day to notice Butch when Marissa didn’t. He had given Butch his first sip of Scotch when he was twenty-one. They had gone out to celebrate while Marissa and Vinny had stayed at home disapproving of their actions. His mother always sneered about how Butch would turn out just like Frank. How Butch would drink himself to his grave. My grave would certainly be more welcoming than staying here, he thought morbidly to himself. Tears filled his eyes and spilled over the brim to run down his cheek and splash onto his father’s face. Butch buried his face into Frank’s still chest.

“God, I am gonna miss you, old timer,” Butch softly sobbed.

Across the way, Tally watched her cousin cry over her uncle’s dead body. She found it pathetically sweet that such a big man could cry so many tears like a newborn infant. She glanced around at the pathetic attendance to her uncle’s funeral. No one had any respect for the dead anymore it seemed. Even the deceased’s own family. Honestly, she had only come because her dad had forced her to come. It wasn’t that she didn’t love her Uncle Frank, but… why should she attend the funeral of a man who had sexually harassed her as a child? For the longest time, all Tally had wanted was revenge. Just be lucky the alcohol got to you first, old man, Tally thought. Even though she had told her father of what had happened to her as a child, he merely laughed in her face and told her to stop making up stories and get a real job. Yeah. Sure. She was just gonna go out and get a job at thirteen years old. Sometimes Tally wondered how her dad managed to keep a roof over their heads sometimes. Especially since his drinking was probably worse than Uncle Frank’s had been before he kicked the bucket. Tally folded her arms across her chest in anger and really wished she was somewhere far away right now. Her eyes locked onto Butch’s twin successful brother, Vinny. Maybe she could convince Vinny to let her move in with him…

Vinny stared with sad eyes at his younger twin brother, Butch. He knew his brother had had a rough life and Vinny hadn’t made it any better. Especially since their mother had poured all her love onto Vinny. Still was to this day, in fact. Vinny was tired of all the feuding and petty arguments. He knew he had to make amends with his brother and most importantly with his father. Frank had never been the best dad in the world, but he had loved his family with all his heart and even in his drunken moments, he never laid a threatening hand upon his family. That begged the question as to why Vinny hated him as much as he did when he was younger. Maybe it had been because of how much Frank had drank even knowing about the dangerous consequences of alcohol poisoning. Vinny shook his head in disgust at himself and once more gazed over at his brother. The two men caught and locked eyes for a long, tense moment. Then Butch sniffled and motioned for Vinny to come over and say goodbye to their father. He knew that was his brother’s way of saying Vinny was forgiven for his past transgressions. Full of relief and happiness, Vinny made his way over to his father’s coffin to say one last goodbye.

Over by the drink table, Ralph watched the oh-so-beautiful reunion of the twin brothers. Ralph gagged at the sappy moment and tossed back another shot of alcohol. His blurry, drunken gaze drifted over to land on the beautiful, sullen face of Marissa. For as long as he could remember, Ralph had been in love with Marissa. They had been best friends back in school after she had just moved to town. They had been inseparable. And then his brother Frank had come home one week from college. Frank had always been the looker. He could pick up any girl without even trying and he had prided himself on the fact. But then there was that one dreadful day when Marissa came over while Frank was out front mowing. Their eyes had locked and Ralph knew he had lost his best friend and any potential of making her his. Ralph glared over at his brother’s coffin. Frank had ruined everything for him from that day on. When he had heard about Frank and Marissa’s wedding, he had taken himself to the nearest bar and drank himself stupid. Then he had gotten the call from Marissa saying Frank had died. At once, Ralph knew this was his chance to take back what was stolen from him years ago. As he smoothed down his wrinkled shirt and raked a hand over his balding head, Ralph glanced once more at Marissa and noticed something strange. She wasn’t crying, nor did it look like she had been crying. If anything, she looked pale and horrified, yet there was a scary, satisfied smirk on her face. Ralph decided maybe he should wait until after the service to confront her.

Marissa sat silently in the folding chair in the back of the room just watching her twin boys’ talk and laugh. As they moved away from the coffin, Marissa stood up and drifted over to where her dead husband lay. Yes, she should be crying. Yes, she should be sad. She should feel anything but satisfaction. She was happy, yes, that he had passed. After their boys had been born, he had turned into a monster. At night, while the boys had lain in bed, Frank would beat her to the brink of death, but he would only strike her where no one could see the cuts and bruises. As far as she knew, Frank never beat either boy. Yet with her satisfaction came horror. She was horrified at feeling happy over her husband’s death. Marissa leaned in close to her husband and stroked a small, pale hand down his clean shaven face in sadness. She was sad that he would never know she, Marissa, had killed him. She had used his most loved possession against him. She had slipped a deadly poison into his alcohol and he had never noticed. Marissa bent down and placed a soft kiss upon her husband’s lips. Too late did she realize that there were still traces of the poison left upon his lips.

That day, the family had two funerals to prepare for.

© Copyright 2018 Danielle Taylor. All rights reserved.

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