Ash by Shaima Saleh

Posted on March 8, 2014 by

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“Look, it’s simple; books are just like films. By the time you’ve had so many bad ones, you know what you want. There is no wrong literature, you need the whole package. You’ve got to go with the flow.”

 

“Well, if you’re so convinced, why don’t you deal with the flow yourself? I’m about done with you and with this situation.”

 

“Have you lost your walnut? There will be no flow-mo. It’ll wash up before your wife regrets another day with you. Might as well shag it in your sister’s wedding while blowing into a vuvuzela.”

 

“It’s not a vuvuzela you’d be blowing.”

 

He utters a single syllable of laughter, “that’s just about the only smart thing you’ve said all night.”

 

“Yeah, well,I’m aiming for the jackpot: figuring out a way to get rid of you and your catastrophes.”

 

“Ooooh, 4-syllable words. I’m impressed. Almost too impressed to miss your indication that this is all my fault.”

 

“Indication? Weird. It felt more like a declaration.”

 

“ ‘Declaration.’ You are so American, you basically shit Bruce Springsteen songs.”

 

“Jealous, princess?”

 

“More like sorry but not actually sorry because I’ve already exerted all my apologetic energy on the fact that you are a human being.”

 

“And here I thought you would have a conscience and be sorry about what you’ve done.”

 

“What I’ve done? Oh, of course, of course, because I was the one who clubbed his head gracefully to his demise.”

 

“You’re the one that told him his daughter looked like a sex change gone wrong! While she was there! At her birthday celebration!”

 

“You’re the one who told him if he had any dignity, he’d put her down!”

 

“It’s not my fault he’s sensitive,” he said in dismissal.

 

“Neither it is your fault that he has a circulatory system, right?”

 

“You know it.”

 

“Are you actually made of bricks? Does sarcasm just disintegrate when it hits you?”

 

“Bricks!That’s it! We don’t have to wash him down the current!”

 

“You mean‘it’, the body. ‘He’ is past tense.”

 

“Shut it,Semantic-Romantic. We burn him. We build something like a barbecue grill, fill it with wood, let it shine, and here’s your roast.”

 

“Setting your disturbing redneck lifestyle aside for a second to reflect on the mass of consolidated shit that is the essence, you’re going to ignite this man to the afterlife? Wait, wait, wait, does fire operate differently in America?Does it not light? Is it not the World’s number 1 cause of smoke there? Or do you just not have the concept of darkness or the sense of smell? Because if that’s the case, I’ve got to admit, you are one incredible species.”

 

“We’re definitely superior, we’ve got a “plan” concept over there, it has time involved, which will pass until the daylight so we can burn him. As for the smell, Coco Chanel, he’s flesh. Folks will think some nice, old family is having a barbecue.”

 

“God, I can almost smell your craving for his flesh. And sadly not metaphorically.”

 

“Can you shut your hole for at least 5 seconds in respect for this man? Or are you too much of an asshole you can’t stop talking shit? We may be dead human skin but the man’s a major.”

 

“How do you know that? Oh, God! Have you stalked him? This is premeditated murder! You’re human skin gone wild!”

 

“Calm your tits, they’re already poking my eyes out. I checked his wallet; Major Tom something. Well, Major, rest wherever the hell you want to rest.”

 

“Probably not the best obituary.”

 

“He’s burning, so…”

 

And so they waited the night out, and a portion of the sunlight until the sun was high enough. They assembled their bricks and laid their cadaver in a nest of hay,wood, and cheap gasoline. The flame took hold of Major Tom until he was nothing but grey.

 

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?”

 

“Paying him respect.”

 

“By putting him in a jar. Oh, was he your honey?”

 

“An urn,” he said scowling.

 

“And you’ll display that on your mantel piece with all pride and dignity, showing the missus that you’re Mr Manly McManaman, right? Then you’ll write a little Blues song, and it’ll catch on in the South, and since you all are bloodthirsty maniacs no one will bother to charge you. Ah, the sweet life of the homicidal.”

 

“I’ve got a plan. A Southern plan.”

________________

 

A couple walk into a funeral home in search for the perfect urn. They’re a little too unremorseful to be there, but they try their best to show remorse.

 

“Which one do you think he deserves? I mean, they’re all urns but one has to have character.”

 

“Well, he’s not actually going in it, is he? It’s just symbolic. Something in his memory.”

 

“What about this one?”

 

“Too neoclassical. He wasn’t that kind of man.”

 

She picks up a blue-ish urn and struggles with the weight, “I think this one would do,though it’s heavier than what I had anticipated it to weigh. Let me have a look- Oh! Look, there’s sample ash in it. What do you know? Retail people are actually keen to service. What do you think? Good enough for Uncle Tom?”

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