Graveside Prayers

Graveside Prayers by Little Dangle

  A whipping wind swept itself into the opening car doors where it nestled amongst the tear ridden seats of the cars parked orderly on the side of the road. The drooping foliage of the weeping willows mirrored the sagging faces of those who came to pay their final respects. The trees, almost hidden even the tallest tombstone, emerging from dampened meadow, settled atop a modest hill. Scattered silhouettes of the mourners began to merge together, under wide arched ebony canopies, moving slowly up hill, while a sky made of tight wool was being wrung out of its remnants to soak the patched grass below.

  The canopies combined to form a massive roof whose most obvious leak would be the center, the deep, condemning grave they were all gathered to see.
  My dear brothers and sisters, happy is the corpse that the rain falls on. While we cry our tears of sorrow over our dear friend, brother, father, grandfather, Larry Thompson, we know that the heavens, too, today are crying tears as they take our brother on his journey upward to be with God. Before I commend our brother Larry's body to this earth, I invite any of the family members who might have one last thing to say to please speak now. said Father Seamus O'Malley.

  What Id like to know Id like to know is where in tarnation is his sister Loretta. She knew him better than anyone. She should speak first! inquired a loved one, who seemed to have been holding in the question for quite some time.

  Faces were stamped with a stunned expression even though the same thought had already been lingering in their minds. The woman who had earlier forced herself through the tight mass of bodies to be in a more commanding position than the priest, thought it proper to change the subject.

  Hush, you. She snapped at the man. Sweet, free spirited, Larry. I feel so honored to be the first to speak. Truthfully, I have'nt any idea when our bond actually came to be. I like to think of it as the time you first walked by my garden. Ill never forget your words, Farmers Almanac says its gonna be a dry summer. Water often. Ill have you know I watered twice every day all the way through fall. I- I planted a tree named after you Larry. Ill ensure Larry gets plenty of water. The lady choked up on her final words and backed away to a less commanding position.

  Several voices interrupted each other, then stopped out of consideration. Father O'Malley smiled and motioned for the handsome man in front of him to have his say. The others who were interrupted obediently stood silent.

  Hey good ol'  Laringsky. Its a burnin'  shame you had to go before me. I'm sad that we were'nt never much of friends when we was younger. Its real respectable how you grew to be such a caring man. Ya used to be so uncomfortable with yourself  when you was real young, ya know? It was my pleasure to be with you for your final years that you spent bein' comfortable and happier. I'm glad you got a good final years in.

  Everyone stood quietly for a moment, unsure if the man had anything left to say. A fly flew from one mourner to another, being swatted by several black hats.
  Hey, wasn't it weird how whenever we went to Grandpa Larry's, his sister Loretta was the only one there instead? butted in Larry's granddaughter. Her shrill, nonmelancholic voice caused great contrast in the atmosphere.

  Her mother squeezed her shoulder, and whispered in an even more piercing voice than her daughters, Mind your tongue!. Her attempt to keep things orderly was to no avail.

  No, c'mon Aunt Margie. Lets put all our cards on the table about this. Interjected cousin Lennox, who has always been the devils advocate of the family.

  Oh c'mon Lennox! Do I seriously need to tell you, a 30 year old man to mind your tongue as well? said the mother, frustrated that the burial was not under control.

  Nah, hes right. sounded a voice that came from the last umbrella. I don't care much that she never comes to my Christmas dinners whenever Larry does, but being absent from the burial of her own brother Larry?! protested a rugged female voice from the furthest umbrella.

  She  has always been weird about certain things. Mostly nice though. Speaking of dinners, she often has me over for dinner at her place. She lights candles, wears her best clothes, and makes an unforgettable meal. Its strange though that she claims her recipe for Chicken a la King as her own. I clearly remember Larry making it for me when I was younger. I do admit that its sad that she is not attending Larry's funeral, in all honesty. exclaimed Larry's daughter.

  Maybe she finally realized that she isn't much to look at and shes embarrassed to be seen here. It was the right of God to give her those sausage fingers, that masculine face, and that big boned body. And even if she never had those features, no man would ever want to court with her. Shes taller than all of them! exclaimed one of the church ladies whose emotions were pushed over the edge by the pesky fly.

  Speak no ill of Loretta Thompson! ordered the head of the parish council of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Church. Shes the salt of the earth! Why when she comes to mass everybody bows as she makes her way to the front pew! She may have sausage like fingers, but those are always tipped with a glint of tangerine nail polish which goes with her tangerine lipstick on her constantly pursed lips. Why, I bet you women are also jealous of her fashion sense! For every mass she has the most beautiful church hat to match the color of her shawl. And certainly, standing at six foot one she towers above most men, but I can tell by the way she wears those orange five inch pumps that she embraces her height. She walks down those church isles with pride despite the fact she is definitely not the most graceful woman in the congregation. She never needed a man, she is an independent woman for gosh sakes!

  They were close, even though they never spent time together. I even caught Larry once wearing tangerine lipstick! It takes a strong bond of friendship and love for a man to agree to have a makeover! I'm sure Loretta is mourning in her own way. reinforced another member of the parish council in a soft voice.

  The lady's voice of reason was accepted, causing Lennox and the rude woman to grow timid for making Larry's sister the topic of his burial. Those who wanted, said their heartfelt goodbyes whilst everyone listened. With each person who spoke, the sky became clearer, but there was always one large, thick, mass of condensed rain above them.

  Ashes to ashes and dust to dust. We commend our good friend and brother Larry to the earth. Father Seamus said.

  He then stepped away from the tombstone and approached the casket. People were eager to see the tombstone, curious if they made it into Larry's epitaph. Once the tombstone was no longer behind the curtains of Father Seamus legs, they read,
Loretta Thompson
  Mom, why doesn't  the rock say Larry? inquired Larry's granddaughter. Her mothers mouth was paralyzed in an open position.

  Seems your grandpa is gay, little girl! laughed one of Larry's less close friends. He was the only one who had the ability to find the situation funny since he never knew Loretta. Some were crying, and others were too consumed in thought to have any further emotion. No mind could settle on what to feel. The clues which were formerly overlooked of the woman behind Larry and the man behind Loretta, became apparent as they massed in the mourners minds.

No, hes transgender!

Acceptance people! Acceptance! Jesus accepted everyone, even Mary of Magdala a woman of ill repute! Shouted Father O'Malley, whose voice went unnoticed.

A transvestite more like!

A Gay! Hes a gay!

  No one felt comfortable standing by the tombstone. The truth it stood for was too much for them to fathom. A flood of bodies poured back down the hill, following a disgusted and well respected woman with a powerful stride.

  Father Seamus O'Malley stood atop the hill, the only one remaining by the casket. He clutched the rosary between his thumb and forefinger then made the sign of the cross. He blew a kiss which sailed with the wind to forever rest in the coffin.

Larry my dear, Loretta my darling, sleep well my princess. I will see you on the other side.

  The trees tracing the graveyard were now home to small gems of sparkling rain droplets. As car doors shut, Larry was lowered deeper into the earth, tree branches arching over his grave. His small, plack of a tombstone pierced the sky, with its name, Loretta Thompson, forever engraved.

Montgomery's Short Stories
Montgomery wrote over 500 short stories in her life time, most of them being written while she was working as a teacher. Her short stories stray away from styled she uses in her novels. Here are some of the aspects of her short stories.
    Very few characters
    Usually only one or two descriptions of nature, to set the tone
    Extremely imaginative story line (Very important)
    Usually a large amount of dialogue
    A unique plot
    Usually about one to five pages long
    Characters have distinct personalities
    Complex language that at times you have to read slowly to grasp
    Poetic language in her descriptions
    Narrator rarely describes a characters physical appearance. It is left up to the characters
Uploaded 01/15/2011
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