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A rural tragedy (standard:drama, 1039 words)
Author: siromahAdded: Oct 30 2006Views/Reads: 1799/1103Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
A sad story for a young kind who lost his grandfather.
 



A RURAL TRAGEDY 

Siromah 

The carter flourished his whip and viciously lashed the donkey. “Move,
you sluggard.” 

In the cart was a cheap wooden coffin. A few bunches of flowers lay on
the dead man's chest. For his journey to the next world, he was clad in 
his uniform of a colonel of the Yugoslav army, with all his 
decorations. Three elderly women, a middle-aged couple and an 
eight-year old boy were walking in the cart's wake. The boy reached 
down for a handful of mud, made a ball and flung it at the black bird 
that was cawing on a roadside tree. Startled, the crow flew off. “Stop 
it! How many times do I have to say it?” The young woman, her face 
haggard with grief, slapped the child's bottom. “Look at you. You look 
like a chimney sweep. I can't believe you did this to your new 
clothes.” 

The urchin made a wry face and sobbed aloud. His wails startled a small
lonely sparrow. “Shut up! Shut the hell up!” The man gave him a fierce 
look and the boy froze, whimpering quietly and trying to wipe his 
tears. “Don't cry, honey.” The woman wiped away the child's tears and 
hugged him. “Be a good boy.” 

The child threw his hands around her neck and stopped sobbing. “Move,
Marko!” The carter lashed the donkey and adjusted the hood of his 
raincoat. “Damn funeral!” 

The rain kept pouring. The sad procession finally reached the old
Christian cemetery. The carter jumped off the cart and opened the rusty 
iron door. The hinges gave a painful creak. A crow flew over the 
cemetery and perched on an overturned gravestone. The carter led the 
donkey by the reins. The child started to cry again. “I want home!” 

“Be patient, honey,” said the women and kissed him gently on the cheek.
“We will be going home soon.” 

The man frowned and raised the collar of his cheap overcoat. “Can't you
make him stop whining? He's getting on my nerves.” He glared at the 
boy. “What a mollycoddle he is!” 

“Why don't you leave the kid alone,” she flared. “He's cold and he's
soaked to the skin, that's why he's crying.” Suddenly her voice was no 
longer soft, it now had a steel ring, and the woman's beautiful brown 
eyes flashed angrily. The man muttered something and hurried on. He 
stumbled into a stone and fell flat in the sticky mud. 

“Damn it!” he swore, spitting mud. “Fucked weather!” 

He tried to stand up but he slipped and fell back on his face. He swore
angrily. 

The child laughed, staring at him wide-eyed. For an instant he forgot he
was hungry and wet and a smile flashed on his face. 

“Mom, look,” he laughed. “A scarecrow.” 

“Hush, be quiet,” she reproached him and gave him a gentle slap on the
back. “Your father...” 

“He is not my real father,” the boy interrupted and frowned again. 

“How... how did you know,” the mother gasped and looked at him
suspiciously. 

“Granny Maria told me: he is not your real father, your real father left
your mother when you were three years old... Is that true, Mom?” 

“Listen, honey, we'll talk about it later... I can't carry you, you are
too heavy...” 

“Let him walk,” the man broke in. “Look what a big boy he is.” 

The boy splashed happily in the mud and started humming a tune. 


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