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Buried pleasure (standard:drama, 1203 words)
Author: Lev821Added: Apr 01 2005Views/Reads: 2406/1290Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
In the pursuit of morbid pleasure, Barbara takes things a little too far.
 



It was perhaps the death of a national figure that caused her obsession.
A nation in mourning had entwined itself into her psyche, rather like 
that of a fixation on a particular TV series, or a person. Unknown to 
her, or rather not acknowledged, like a repressed memory, was the fact 
that deep down, somewhere in her mind, there was a kind of pleasure in 
mourning. Collectively together, united in grief, there was indeed some 
camaraderie within the anguish directed at the same person, amongst the 
loved ones, and amongst those who were not loved, but were not hated. 
When the ‘nation', or those who cared, those who shed a tear, or went 
out of their way to buy and lay flowers at a certain place, went away, 
went back to their normal lives, Barbara Tristan found herself standing 
at a graveside during a funeral, looking down at the coffin in the 
earth, upon which lay a single white rose. She looked around at the 
other people there, who, like herself, barely heard the words the 
priest intoned, and felt, somewhere within her, the outer fringes, or 
reflections of what can only be associated with pleasure. Afterwards, 
when everybody left, Barbara went her own separate way, away from these 
people, all of whom were complete strangers to her. 

She lived alone in a semi-detached unkempt house, neighbour to an empty,
boarded up abode, and to all the rodents and insects that lived there. 
She was the type of person who did not much care for her appearance, 
except on the day of a funeral. She found out through various means 
where and when funerals were taking place, and turned up like a long 
lost relative who had come to say goodbye. The people who turned up at 
funerals generally only knew those in their social circle. There were 
the obligatory familiar faces, and those whom they had never seen 
before, who had some link to the deceased, whether it be those they 
chatted to in the pub, or some  distant association along a relative 
bloodline. Barbara fitted into the category of the unfamiliar to 
everybody at the funeral. Nobody would question her, because people 
just assumed she knew the deceased in some way, so therefore had a 
right to be at the funeral. She was prepared for any questions 
regarding how she knew the person being buried, and the answers would 
always be the same, should she ever need them. As yet, she hadn't 
needed one. There should be no further questioning when she answered: 
‘Just a friend'. 

Barbara had been married once, but her husband one day, decided to
perform a disappearing act, leaving a note saying he had found someone 
else. She knew he was too cowardly to confront her about it, so took 
the easy option. She guessed where he had gone, a southern resort to 
see the woman whom he had been flirting with on one of their weekend 
breaks. His leaving was, in a way, a kind of passing away, as though he 
had died. She mourned him, and in a strange, extraordinary way, and 
found herself enjoying that as well. However, with her addiction to 
attending stranger's funerals, she had increasingly found it more 
difficult to find out where they were taking place. She wondered if 
perhaps the cemeteries in her locality were becoming full, so had to 
attend those further out, the ones she had more difficulty in 
discovering information about. People in her vicinity couldn't have 
stopped dying, she thought, so why were there less and less funerals? 
Perhaps it was more fashionable nowadays to be cremated, and she 
settled on this as the answer. What could she do? How could she satisfy 
her infatuation? The answer hit her straight away, and she had to 
digest and absorb it, because she knew that in order to continue to 
satiate her obsession, she would have to commit murder. 

Who though? Who could she kill that would mean a large funeral, with
lots of attendees? Mr Benson, 86 year old great-grandfather who lived 
on his own next to the canal that cut through the town. He would be 
missed. He had lived in the same place for 52 years, and was most 
certainly a pillar of the community, so his passing should merit a 
considerable amount of tears. How she would go about it though, she had 
no idea, so spent the next few days trying to figure out a strategy. 
She finally came up with a plan that meant she could get him alone for 
a few minutes. Unfortunately, she couldn't figure out how to poison 
him, or kill him in any other way, other than staving in the back of 
his head with a hammer. Mr Benson loved bowls. It was a passion of his. 
Each week, there was a match on the green behind his local pub, and he 
would walk all of the one an a half miles to reach it. Part of his 
journey took him around the bend of what is usually a quiet road. On 
one side there was a granite wall, beyond which were expensive 
residences, and on the other, behind undergrowth, bushes and a small 
slope, there was a large pond. It was in that area where Barbara 


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