THE BURIAL

A short piece with a twist to lighten lock-down.

The golden glow of dawn smudged the horizon and filtered through the trees. A few sleepy tweets welcomed the new day as the birds woke up. I’d found the perfect place to bury him but I’d have to hurry before the crazy joggers began their morning rituals. I dug, forcing away roots and ground litter, wanting to make his grave deep to prevent him being exposed by carrion eaters. I hauled away the wild jasmine that flapped in my face, its delicate perfume made my stomach churn. It had been a hard night, with wails of grief and rage-driven tears.

Most of the time I’d loved him but sometimes he drove me mad with his constant random chatter. It would have been okay if he’d talked sense, but even during his most affectionate displays he would mutter nonsense. Then again, he loved the heart-shaped biscuits I’d made for him. Even when I got the ingredients wrong, he always ate them and never complained or tossed them aside in disgust.

With the hole big enough I opened the trunk and viewed his body. Around his neck blood had pooled on the waterproof sheet, congealed as thick as honey with the surface wrinkled by the movement of the car.

My heart twisted. He deserved his end. He shouldn’t have cut me.

Was I doing the right thing hiding his body in the trees? His absence would be noted and questions asked. I would need to answer with my emotions under control. I didn’t want people to talk about my moods or suspect me of murderous actions. I could just imagine it. There’d been times when I’d threatened to kill him, often publically, to people who couldn’t keep their mouths shut. They would gossip and exchange comments in whispers, with furtive glances in my direction.

Steeling myself, I poked his soft and doughy chest, watching for signs of life. He lay there, silent and still. I lifted him, wishing I’d put him on a diet months ago. Too late now. He was never going to cut me again. I struggled to get him to fit in the hole. My curses rose until foul language coloured the morning air. His razor sharp claws snagged my leg as I threw him down. In death, he managed to cut me one last time before I threw dirt over him and stamped on his grave.

 I’m never going to get another bloody parrot.

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