"Last Rites."

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short story that I wrote after a cleansing ritual for Summer Solstice.

Submitted: June 21, 2012

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Submitted: June 21, 2012



Today I read my daughter's last rites to her dead body. She was a beautiful woman, tall and willowy with chocolate brown hair. Her eyes were a bright, inquisitive shade of green, and she had the elfin features that she shared with her father. Both of them have now passed on to the Silent Land where there is no pain, no anger, no negative energy and no death. One day I too will pass through to the Silent Land, but for now I will tell you about my precious daughter.

Kelly was born on Winter Solstice, during a snowstorm. Her father had died two months before her birth, but I kept telling her abou thim and showing her his photo. By the time she was five, she knew his name and could write it too. She inherited his thirst for knowledge and intelligence, as well as my love of nature and animals. Every day after school she did her homework and then went for long walks with me over the heather and moors that surround our home. When Kelly told me she wanted to join me in the Craft, my heart leapt. Whilst I had never pushed her towards any particular faith, part of me had always hoped that she would join me in my Walk. From the age of fourteen, she learnt everything that I knew.

Kelly left for university at eighteen, and I instantly noticed a change in her upon her return. She was gaunt, paranoid and looked like she hadn't washed in days. Her hair had lost its lustre and shine, and her eyes were dead. She didn't speak to me, just packed all of her remaining things and left. I later found out that she'd joined a group of people who were heavily into drugs and the hippie lifestyle, and that she died after taking an overdose of heroin. It didn't sound like my Kelly, the Kelly who ran through fields and brought me flowers, the girl who learnt everything I knew with such zeal and interest. In fact, it sounded like a completely different woman. It wasn't until I was shown her body that I finally believed it and realised that my girl was gone forever.

In the weeks that followed, I spent days crying and shouting and laughing. Some days I woke up thinking Kelly was going to walk back through the door, telling me it was all a joke and that she was all right really, and others I woke up in tears and spent the day crying. In my darkest days, I even contemplated suicide. Without my precious daughter, nothing seemed to be worth living for. Gradually I woke from my grief and started to look for things to enjoy in life. Painting became a new obsession, as did reading and poetry. I woke up with hope in my heart and slept with dreams of the future.

So now I stand over my daughter's body, having told you her story in as few words as my heart will allow me, and I say goodbye to her with a heavy heart. Later, I will hold a ritual to celebrate her Passing, but for now I look at her face and remember the little girl that held my hand asked me to teach her the Craft, not the ravaged girl lying at my feet in a pine box.

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