Just below a slope of a hill covered in thick green grass a large crowd gathered seated on wooden folding chairs. They sat on a hard dirt surface, three mounds of dirt formed artificial hills on each side of the fissure. A young woman walked amongst them, slim figure dressed in white blouse and knee length black skirt. Her hair was pulled up and wrapped in a white silk scarf, a large diamond was pinned to the front. She wore four inch heels that accentuated her calves as she walked among those seated. Not a word was exchanged with her as she passed by gray and white haired people, wrinkled and infirmed. A man stood on a wooden platform before a podium. He was dressed in a black tuxedo with tails, high collared shirt, his slicked back hair glistened in the sun. He addressed the gathered.
“It is a beautiful day, the sun is shining and the smell of hyacinths has filled the air. “
He was joined on the platform by the young lady who began to sing, Somewhere over the Rainbow, to the delight of the crowd. As she completed her song a calm came over her audience. There was a muffled rumbling behind the large dirt mounds.
The man began to speak.
“We are gathered here today so that your lives can be considered productive to the rest of society, that you may in this place find the end of your rainbow.”
The young woman began to sing Imagine as the crowd swayed in their chairs, the rumbling behind the dirt mounds became louder and louder as the dirt fell in upon them. The workers who drove the backhoe’s smoothed out the dirt, walked the area, tucked extended hands into the soil, and added another layer of earth. The man and the young woman watched as the workers threw grass seed upon the cold dirt.
“There were hundreds of them today.” The young woman said.
“Largest crowd you performed for young lady, they loved your voice.” He said.
“They didn’t even ask why they were here.” The young woman said.
“Those gathered here today were too weak to take care of this themselves. Society cannot afford to take care of this spillage. It is just the way it is. There was no hope for them.” He said.
There was no mention of god, of eternal life, of the wonderful lives these people had lived. It was cold like the dirt they were covered in. The man walked to his car, drove away as if this hadn’t happened. The workers drove the backhoes back to the shed and the young woman found herself standing above the freshly driven dirt, alone. She walked to the top of the grassy hill, surveyed the lush fields where others had vanished. She turned to the freshly covered grave and began to sing Ave Maria, recited the Our Father and hoped no one had heard her.
g emil reutter is a writer of stories and poems. Nine collections of his poetry and fiction have been published. He can be found at: https://gereutter.wordpress.com/about/