Crane (Jane Doe Six Sentence Stories)

Becca finishes her lunch, reluctant to go back to the office and forsake the cool, green quiet of the cemetery, when movement stops her short.

Workmen are returning to the scene of the funeral, the mourners long gone to someone’s house, gone to vegetarian quiche and cake and punch and discreet nips of whiskey. Becca peers through the trees as the workmen load stands and vases of flowers into a van, followed by the slender podium they surrounded, then return to the graveside, a small, right-orange earth-mover waiting behind them.

She hears the squawk of machinery, sees one of the men operating a lever, the casket moving lower, then stopping, the man gathering straps that had been hidden under the casket, misstepping at one point to sacrilegiously stand on the coffin, flowers sliding off as he wobbles for balance.

Well, no wonder they rush everyone off before they actually lower the casket into the ground–how very industrial burial has become, with its cranes and backhoes! Definitely cremation when her time comes.

Photo: carolynabooth

The Six Sentence Stories flash fiction linkup and blog hop has been handed off to Girlie on the Edge.  Many thanks to Ivy for the work she’s done hosting SSS, and I’m hoping she’ll now have time to write some sixes! I’ve had a blast with Ivy and I’m looking forward to Girlie. Feel free to join us; we have a lot of fun. (This week’s cue was “crane.” I know my take on it is a little weird but that’s what happens when you have a weird dream after trying to write something all evening. Go where the Muse takes you.)


Author: Deborah Lee

I like trees, dreaming, magic, books, paper, floating, dreaming, rhinos, rocks, stargazing, wine, dragonflies, trains, and silence to hear the world breathe.

8 thoughts on “Crane (Jane Doe Six Sentence Stories)”

  1. Nicely done! Hey, weird dreams can be useful, no? 😀
    Before my office re-located a few streets over, we were situated next door to a funeral home and adjoining cemetary. A lovely cemetary (how else can I say it has pretty trees, winding paved lanes lol), I’d go walking there on my lunch. There was a single entrance, one exit. A couple of times, I got caught walking at the far end when a procession of cars would be driving up the hill or and people would be walking over from the funeral home to stand graveside. That was my cue to exit stage left! I’m happy to say I was never there while the casket was being lowered.


  2. You get the prize for best use of the cue word this week! And you are totally right, burial is a very industrial thing, I have stayed more than once to watch the final completion and it’s not easy to witness. Papa Bear and I have also long since opted for cremation!


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