AN EXCERPT FROM MAKING ARRANGEMENTS BY ELIOT PARKER

GateBW02.jpg

“Colin closes his eyes and takes a deep breath. Standing in front of the Sleepy Hollow cemetery gate, Colin looked to the East, watching the early morning sun fracture the frozen sky into a kaleidoscope of color, with dark reds and fiery orange streaks of light making a temporary imprint above the cemetery ridge. Stepping closer to the gate, he notices the flecks of faded paint and rust dangling from the rod-iron bars. Unlatching it, he steps on the narrow paved road and scanned the grounds. The small, sloped cemetery inside the fence has an aura of hallowed ground. Colin doesn’t know if each grave holds the life of someone important, or someone who was special to someone else. Seven erect tombs on the western side of the cemetery have inscriptions on the doors. The tomb doors were open, debris rising up covering the entryway to most of them. He lets out a long sigh. In proceeding towards Luke’s grave, the air feels heavy on his lungs, forcing heavy breathing. Colin looks around, observing other broken gravestones, some extremely old and dilapidated. Those graves are speckled with a granular substance, making them difficult to interpret or read. The cemetery ground buckles slightly under his feet. Colin smells nothing, other than the cold, still, calm air. As he approaches the grave, his steps grow smaller. Finally, the grave marker comes into focus. The flat, pewter headstone at the base of his grave is decorated with ornate marble lettering declaring this place to be the final resting place of Luke Madsen. Dropping to his knees, Colin rests his trembling hands on the ground, while his soured stomach tumbles around, making him momentarily woozy. He reaches into his jacket pocket and removes the deed and “intent to sell” forms. He clutches them tightly in his hand, while staring at the name of his father on the headstone. Colin closes his eyes, trying to picture Luke at the funeral home and his reaction to it being sold. In that moment, Colin recounts how Luke knew everyone. Colin could ask him anything about any family member in town and he could tell me who their parents are, who they are married to, what they do as an occupation, and if their parents are still living. Luke put the community first, and they loved him. The Madsen home would be filled at Christmas time with succulent, mouth-watering cakes, pies, and candies from many of the widowed women in town or the surviving children or grandchildren of the parents Luke helped bury over the years. They gushed about him, and Colin and his father, along with Owen could never go anyplace without Luke running into someone he knew.”

AVAILABLE AT AMAZON

 

Advertisements

One thought on “AN EXCERPT FROM MAKING ARRANGEMENTS BY ELIOT PARKER

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s