Saturday, August 20, 2011

Requiem in Brass


Just got home from another lovely wedding, so I'm scurrying to get my Saturday Centus on the books. Ms. Jenny has generously offered 150 words this time around, which means my word count is right on target today. (I seem to manage that more easily with prose than poetry.) As always, the prompt is in red.

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Requiem in Brass
©2011 Susan Noyes Anderson

If I die young, I wanna be buried the old-fashioned way,” Cynthia said, “with a wake that goes on forever and a passel of mourners, boo-hooing like there’s no tomorrow.”

“Don’t forget the jazz band funeral procession,” was his cheerful reply. “Hey, if ya gotta go, you might as well do it in style.”

“Makes sense to me,” she beamed. “But make sure it’s the real thing. I’ve always wanted to visit New Orleans anyway.”

John knew she’d been kidding…They’d been kidding…But wasn’t there an element of truth in all humor? Especially black humor, and that humor had been blacker than either of them imagined. Now, absent any other indication of his wife’s wishes, here he was in the French Quarter, carrying a surprisingly heavy urn behind an assortment of trumpets and saxophones, wishing it weren’t 110 dripping degrees.

The wake? Lengthy. The mourners? Numerous and tearful.

(Check, check, and check.)

But small consolation.

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32 comments:

anitamombanita said...

definitely a party. I'm planning to die young at heart, since it seems I've already passed the if I die young stage...LOL

Ames said...

I'm past the dying young age too. And I'll be cremated and have my ashes scattered to the winds. That way I can soar with the birds.~Ames

Heather said...

Love the music, it brings me right back to Louisiana. In fact, if it was playing at my funeral, I think it would be just fine. By the way, I am making some cajun red beans and rice.

As for the story, I really love your work.

Respectfully Submitted,

Matthew D. Anderson

Darlene said...

Oh my, that was a little sad for me this beautiful Saturday. I missed reading your blog this morning. Why? because you hadn't done it, so while Dick is taking his nap after we just got out of the pool, I decided to check out your centus. Yes, it was there, but not a happy one. Darn! It was well written, but why did Jenny have to give such a sad few words........Oh well, I will just have to forget and go on with my day. Why is it I hate to read about anyone dying anymore? Could it be that I am contemplating my own journey in that direction? When I think about all my contemporaries who are dying or having already died, it gives me pause, but I am refusing to dwell on it. You know why I am determined to live to be 90!

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

What a great, sad piece with a final line that says it all. Very nice, Sue.
xoRobyn

yaya said...

Sad story but true...we should talk about those last wishes..the ones that will put the final chapter about US to rest and not just the dreams that may never come true. Although I'm much better at the dreaming part!

karen said...

Sad... But I'd like to have everyone at my funeral party telling every last ridiculous funny story they knew about me. To me, that would be a great send off, along with some happy music. So maybe this story isn't so far off - we just don't like to think of it in terms of ourselves or loved ones I guess.
Darlene - you just hang in there, darlin' - You'll be 90+ because you've got a lot to experience yet!

Kristin said...

Sue! You can even write a sad story well! I think those are the hardest, you managed to pull me right in.

Kristin

cj Schlottman said...

Sue, If you have ever been to New Orleans and joined in a funeral march, you will know that it is a party to die for! (Sorry).

Namaste..........cj

Tgoette said...

What a mixed bag of emotions! A wonderful piece this week, Sue! Loved this!

Dazee Dreamer said...

*standing and clapping like mad*

I loved this. It was sad, yet true, yet awesome all rolled into one.

Connie said...

You amaze me! Fun to read and listen to the jazz music!

Cherie said...

I thought the prompt today was a little dark for a happy,sunny, summer day but I am enjoying seeing the different directions everyone is going with it.

Amy said...

That is how I want it. Minus the mourners. I want a New Orleans style complete with jazz band, and lots of smiling and laughing. Beautiful, Sue. As always. I really think I sound like a broken record, but it is still true.

Nonna Beach said...

Touching, loving post Sue !

This is a conversation everyone should have and plan for. Sweet that he followed her wishes to the letter, so sad that it offered no solace or comfort !

Jo said...

You never fail to make me feel something with your writing, this piece was no exception. wonderfully done, and i have the whole procession in my mind!

Myrna Foster said...

I love that you captured humor and sadness and gave us such an intimate glance at both characters in so few words.

And I'm sorry the WriteOnCon link didn't work for you. Their servers were down due to heavy traffic the first morning, but they did something to fix it. If you still want to check it out, they archive everything. Robyn and I went through, picking and choosing the topics that interested us.

Daydreamertoo said...

Awwwwww I can't imagine one of those type funerals in THAT heat. Sheesh.
Great use of the centus.
Been to New Orleans in August, it was HOT.

PⒿ @ $ € € ₦$ ₣®0₥... said...

That was a stab in the heart...even though I suspected it was coming.

I, like Ames, will be cremated and scattered...ashes to ashes, dust to dust........

Bethe77 said...

NOW! That is going out in style!
Great write!
Blessings

Brian Miller said...

smiles...i would def like a party for people to celebrate..a bit of sadness for him in that last line...nice accompanying music as well...

hope you had fun at the wedding...

Grandma Honey said...

You ARE creative Sue. But I understand your mom's comment.

I like to think of death as just a graduation. They are still with us, just graduated to the other side...the much better side.

Judie said...

I have that song on my funeral list! Oh, and dancing! I want lots of dancing. Sue, you always come through brilliantly with these!!

LeAnn said...

This was interesting! First, I hope I get to attend my own funeral. I will sit on the casket in a red dress. I have heard that we are responsible to know what happens to our body. Second, I want a casket with a window and pull curtain in it. I am very claustrophobic. Finally, I don't want the casket locked; when I am ready to get out I want to be able to do it quickly. This is just some of my hospice nurse black humor.
Basically, I do hope the party is fun!
Blessings to you and keep on enjoying the moments!

jfb57 said...

Wonderful! I've seen those funerals in New Orleans & they certainly look great fun!

Joy For Your Journey said...

Oh that was so sad. As always it was well written, but a bit depressing. I am wondering why your story went that direction.

Madge said...

That was really sad, but very good.

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Oh My! I was so shocked that she DID die young. Very well written. I felt myself in N.O. laurie

Jean said...

Great short! Really enjoyed it.

Rek said...

I loved the built up and the subsequent truth...you have a way of narrating tales.

Jenny said...

Sue ! Brilliant! Absolutely perfect! I gotta come up with some new superlatives for you, girl!

You just rock everything!

Someday I'm going to use a prompt and instruct that it be a badly ...ummm.... never mind.

I have a good idea!

ha!

Love your writing. Love your heart.

Farmer's Wyfe said...

The way you write reminds me of one of my favorites: O' Henry. Your start draws one right in, and I HATE when it ends!!! (I love reading your mom's comments in the comment line as well. She always ads to it...and I can see where your spunk and love of life comes from. :) )

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