Cities and suburbs, real and imaginary.

Friday, October 1, 2010

who dead

Jiri was too old for it: they needed him with the cattle. Kuma was eleven, and she could do it. Chindri, as well, was really big for his age. Chindri could carry a cattle prod with one hand and swing it around, setting off all the lights and noise. I couldn't do that. And, it was my grandfather that died. I had to go, because it was my family. Chindra and Kuma were just coming along to help me.

We started at Chindra's family farm, just for practice. He swung the cattle prod into the air, and set it off. It screamed and sparked. I shouted out Who dead who dead Simsa Sandrallah Simsa Sandrallah Simsa Sandrallah who dead who dead Simsa Sandrallah Simsa Sandrallah... I shouted until someone came from the house with an apple.

It was Chindra's father. He handed it to me. Good to know. Good to know. Walk tall, and be a good boy for your grandpa. He was a good man.


I took the apple. The yellow flesh was still fresh, but it was out of season for apples. The skin was going to soften and wilt. Bruises and brown patches will rot out from the core. I wasn't hungry, yet, so I gave the apple to Chindra. I didn't want to eat it. I thought if I bit into it, I might be sick.

We took the footpath past Chindra's farm. When we got home, everyone would know my grandfather was dead. He was a war hero, and respected in the community, but I only knew him when he was sitting in the back of the kitchen, staring down his nose at the rest of the family. He didn't like to turn on his hearing aid. When he did, he never said anything nice. Who dead? He's been dead a long time, like that. He's been rotting like an apple, dead off the tree and slowly darkening from the inside.

***

the fragment ends here, and i know not if it will become something or if it will die on the vine.

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