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Christian Contemporary Fiction

Crash! From the impending clouds, a massive blast of lightning cast a flash of brief, white light over the graveyard. Very dramatic, bit unnecessary. Marnie stood there and quivered. Maybe it was prophetic.

Marnie had been doing her usual morning routine chores, with a chirpy heart. She woke up, the sun rose, she welcomed the day, and thanked the Lord for blessings. Marnie was always the one with the savior mentality, relied on for being calm and supportive. Then the old-fashioned landline had rung. Who was this?

The telephone??? A long lost relative, with the traditional opening line. "What I rang about....." Marnie dreaded the end of that sentence when she heard from any of her scattered family relatives. They stayed together, but apart, touching base. They were like a family of strangers, still with the common bond of being siblings. Marnie was the quiet, complicit one, building bridges, after their scary mother of the baby boomers had done her thing. Usually, no news was good news at their age. Similarly, no bills are good bills. This was basic philosophy. "Oh, Namaste, motherf.....ckers," Marnie thought once more.

Oh, that news was not so bad. A very old relative had his number come up at last. There was some obligation to attend his funeral. Marnie sorted her black weeds. She kept them in her spare room cupboard. It was always a challenge to see if the black jacket and slacks still fitted.

She presented at the sanitized funeral parlor, to be surrounded by people in her family. None of them had seen each other since the last funeral, whenever that was. They quickly decided why. Family Christmas was long gone, celebrated by only a token card. Marnie and her sisters all had their own lives and circle of friends, for all the special days in the year. "Loose lips sink ships," Marnie told herself, wondering why she could think like her mother. " She gazed at her family, did anyone mean a word they said? "My God," she thought, "isn't it amazing how the flab has piled on."

Soon, the funeral attenders were discussing gardening, recipes, doing all the meeting and greeting. Then it was on with the show! Marnie was aware that this celebration was not all about her or her sisters either. Still, at today's family funeral, the floral displays were lovely. Everyone was respectful. The token representative of a branch of Christianity mouthed appropriate platitudes for yet another of the relatives who was never too religious. Or had he lapsed, so long ago, waiting for something? A Christian man, did Marnie follow in his footsteps? At church, it was no-show Marnie and her relatives.

The coffin looked very expensive. Great. They signed the mourners' book. No one killed themselves and went with the newly deceased. This was all part of their ageing, attending bereavements. After the eulogy, Marnie and her family ended up standing around, juggling coffee or tea, with some biscuits or little sweet cakes. It was funny how everyone was so glad to see each other again. "A good send off," they all agreed, mouthing their ritual family form of their own platitudes.

Everyone was catching up with the latest hatched, matched, and any other dispatched. This was heaps of family fun. What was going to happen next, as storm clouds rolled across the sky? The deceased was going to be interred. So the older ladies all nipped on the loo, before driving to the graveyard. The senior males did their prostate thing, older bladders, you know. A few air kissies, none of them could change the past by sniveling.

"We must get together soon!" No one meant a word they said. Marnie and her sisters knew damn well that they would see their sisters, cousins, and any surviving aunts and uncles only at the next funeral. "And no wonder!" Marnie silently told herself. She quietly prayed for the repose of the late one's soul, hoping he had found his good ole days he was always taught about in his early faith.

On the flip side, of course, some renegade in the younger generation in her immediate family might do the unthinkable and get married for a change. Marnie and her sisters agreed that might never happen. In fact, it was, "No immediate danger," all her nieces and nephews implied, driving away in their flash cars, with their rugrats and significant others. They were all heading to middle-age themselves. That was perfectly normal for the years they were living in. No one much was playing the wedding song. They seemed to have themselves all sorted, whether they even reproduced. Some had a 'one and done' cute little offspring, then resumed with sorting the mortgage. It is all different strokes, or storks, for different folk these days. They had said, "No way, Jose!" to little twin brothers. Marnie and the other golden oldies did not wish to be their fun police. All doing well, that was the main thing. So were the older survivors, so were the survivors.

Marnie silently told them, "Stay away from that wedding in the church, do not be dumb bitches. You shall turn into right little witches, like old Aunty Marnie here did!" She had had a tough life, but made it through with Jesus, who never left her side. She now believed in authentic love, or perhaps she had been very stiff. These days, she was feeling blessed by grace.

So what happens next, after this funeral? Marnie personally believed in the afterlife. Maybe this late departed relative had woken up in a better world, the promised land, with no more oncologists, or painful medical issues and treatments. He took his place in Heaven, forever in eternal love, timeless, gazing at the face of the universe.

Not everyone was going to wake up in the morning, or shall get to bed at night. Not one of the graying baby boomers knew when their number was going to come up. So Marnie had chosen to make the best of every situation, even if it was one of those awkward funerals in the family. Marnie hopped into her car to drive to the graveyard, as thunder boomed above. Her wheels were really her other broomstick. She realized she came from a long line of strong women, a witchline. All their cars were brooms. That was that, as the lightning flashed over the tomb. It had been heaps of family fun. Well.........

October 21, 2022 19:07

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2 comments

Tommy Goround
21:23 Nov 02, 2022

Pardon. My comments seem to have just been deleted. They were long. We need to change the character from the beginning to the ending a little more. The writing ing flows very well. It is smart and witty. Consider the narrator falling in love with their sister again and maybe her sister dies at the funeral. (The Christian witch trope was not exactly fleshed out).

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Andrea Doig
15:40 Oct 29, 2022

An interesting read… family dynamics explained in a lighthearted and easy reading way. I enjoyed your style and the story flowed nicely. Thank you for sharing x

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