|The Cigarette Blues (standard:Flash, 830 words)|
|Author: Wishes||Added: Nov 03 2009||Views/Reads: 1657/0||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|The people that are lost.|
The sun shone through the gray canvas of the sky, piercing the looming clouds overhead to provide some rare rays of warmth in the brisk fall air. Autumn burned leaves hung in red and gold mosaics from the spider web boughs of maple trees. Occasionally, a strong gust would set the leaves whispering and cause them to spiral to earth in fiery vortexes. Between two uniform lines of maples wound the gray serpent of a concrete path. On either side of the road were single file rows of smooth gray stones. Some of these were merely a smooth slab of rock laid in the ground, others stood like small sky scrapers that towered above the rest of the line, and a few were composed of carefully stacked and polished granite pieces with ornate statues upon them. Into each of the stones were the careful etching of names and dates. In the distance, a man could be seen cresting the top of a hill and starting down the path. The man continued for a distance past the rows of trees and sea of stones. His black coat billowed behind him as the breeze picked up. From below the broad brim of his black hat were two eyes set like pale ice that were focused only on the path ahead of him. His short brown hair stuck out from the sides of his hat and bordered a face that was devoid of emotion. Suddenly, the man stopped. For a while he simply looked down to his right as the autumn leaves swirled around him in a crimson cocoon. Then, he stepped off the path and knelt by a plain round stone. Slowly, he reached out and touched engraving on the face of the stone before hastily standing back up and continuing down the path. Withered vines wrapped in a tangled mess around the black iron bars of the fence that enclosed the graveyard. Within was a sea of grave markers that stood like chess pieces in their orderly rows. The squeal of rusted iron hinges rent the air as the front gates swung open and a figure entered the cemetary. The person who had entered was a teenage boy of about seventeen years. He dressed simply in a t-shirt and jeans. The orange shocks of his hair fell to partially obscure a his dust colored eyes and the weary smile he wore. He walked, as he had each year for the past ten years, forward twelve rows and then turned and continued five columns to his right, passing crumbling spires and dilapidated mausoleums. At last, he came to a stop beside a headstone. He sat on the green grass in front of it and traced his fingers along its markings before placing a white rose atop the grave. He let his mind drift back to the memories of his mother. The boy in the graveyard sat up slowly as he heard the screech of the gated entrance. Eventually, he heard soft footsteps approaching from behind. He looked up to see a man in a black coat standing next to him, staring at the gravestone. Surprised, the boy spoke, "What are you doing here?" "I've come here every year. Same as you," the man replied. For a while, they were both silent. Then the boy questioned again, "Do ever regret those days?" "Which days?" "The days when you two were together. The day she left you." The man touched the ring that he wore on his left hand and then replied, "No. Not even the day she left." The two were silent a while after that. Then, the man took a cigarette and a lighter from his coat pocket. He lit the cigarette and drew a breath from it. Almost imperceptibly, a soft rain began to fall The boy was surprised and asked, "I thought you had quit smoking." "I did," the man replied, "but back when your mother and I were dating, she told me, one time, that I looked cool when I smoked." The man laughed, "In fact, I think that's the only time she even complimented me on my looks." He smiled and, looking to the gravestone said, "That's why, every year on our anniversary, I smoke a cigarette in front of her to see." After a few minutes, the man finished his cigarette and ground it into the dirt. He turned and said to the boy, "I have to go now, so I'll talk to you later." With a swish of his drenched coat, he left the boy in the graveyard and continued back down the maple lined path beyond the gates. The boy sat alone next to the grave, staring at the bent cigarette as it became swallowed by the muddying ground. The thousand lines of rain falling around him seemed to join the memories he had lost with the name on the grave. They fell from the stark heavens and joined the moisture rolling down his face. Tweet
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