By Sandra Arnold
“Hi! How’s it going?”
“These pears are on special, by the way.”
“Are they? Right.”
“So how’s your day going so far?”
“Not that great actually.”
“Cool! Got any plans for this afternoon?
“Well, I’m meeting the Natural Burials people. Jake said that’s what he wanted. He didn’t like the idea of formaldehyde.”
“Right. D’ya want the fish separate from the meat?”
“Fantastic. Good to see the sun again, eh?
“They wrap the body in a linen cloth and bury it just a few feet in the ground.”
“Dog roll in a plastic bag?”
“Just leave it out.”
“Been a cold winter eh? Okay if you’re into skiing, I s’pose.”
“They plant a sapling on top.”
“I’ll just put that cheese in with your milk and butter.”
“In time it’ll grow into a big tree. One day there’ll be a whole forest there. Birds will make their nests and raise their young. A walk through the forest will be filled with new life. Jake said that’s what he wanted.”
“These oranges look awesome, eh? Australian or New Zealand?”
“The thing I’m really sad about though is I’ll have to put the house on the market. Jake was such a handyman. He built the house himself when our fourth was on the way.”
“Full trolley, eh? Expecting visitors?”
“Kids and grandkids coming back from Australia for the funeral. First time we’ll be together in… oh I don’t know how long.”
“That’ll be $300 please. Got your Flubuys card? Awesome. Enjoy the rest of your day.”
Sandra Arnold is a New Zealand novelist, short story and non-fiction writer with a PhD in Creative Writing. Her work has been widely published and anthologized and has won and been short-listed in several literary awards.