Laying Down an Old Friend

by A.J. Brown

With our bodies enveloped by the chill of the frigid air the two of us dug the hole large enough so the small casket would fit in it with room on all sides for us to stand in the hole as well. We talked and dug, dug and talked until, finally, it came time to lay the home made wooden box in its place where it would remain for as long as the world rotated. After placing the coffin in the open grave I looked up to see Sam crying, his shoulders hunched and his face in his hands, his breath billowing up above his head. I inhaled letting the cool air fill my lungs and pushed myself from the hole, careful not to step on the coffin, and went to him. Go on up to the house, I said, I'll finish burying Cargo and I'll be up there when I'm done. I watched him into the house and then turned back to the grave, my heart heavy and tears in my eyes as I lifted the shovel and tossed the first bit of dirt onto the casket.


A.J. Brown, married with two children, is a southern boy with a penchant for the dark side. (Click here to make a donation to A.J., half of which will support 6S.)