She wasn’t the first girl to smile at me, but I forgot about the others when she did. We were at my grandfather’s funeral. I was there out of familial obligation. Personally, I never liked the guy. He was an unapologetic racist and a drunk. The only surprising thing about him drunkenly driving his car off an overpass was that it took him so long to do it.
So I didn’t think too much of pulling out a pack of Mentos and popping a couple in my mouth. She smiled seeing me acting like a kid. I wasn’t sure who she was. I hoped she wasn’t related to me. Her long black hair hid half her face and her black dress was more appropriate for a club than a funeral but you won’t find me complaining.
After the funeral she said, “Can I get one of those?”
“A casket? Sure. My understanding is we all get one eventually.”
She let out a small laugh. “I meant one of your candies.”
“Oh.” I pulled the roll out and gave her one.
“So how’d you know the deceased?” I asked thinking ‘Please don’t be a cousin. Please don’t be a cousin.’
“You just go funerals for the fun of it?”
“No. My uncle died. I was trying to go to his funeral but I got the day wrong. I thought it was today. It’s tomorrow. So I figured as long as I was here, I might as well join in the festivities.”
She chewed my candy. We looked at each other.
“So…” she said with a smirk, “Come here often?”
“Every chance I get.”
“Are you busy tomorrow?”
Words by Jack Cameron
Illustration by Ossaín Ávila Cárdenas
About 15 Minute Stories
It’s good for writers to write every day, but it’s easy for life to get in the way of that. One solution I read about recently was to write a 15 minute piece of short fiction every single day for a month. You may not have time to doNaNoWriMoevery month, but if you like writing, you can always find 15 minutes.
So for the month of January, I’ll be writing and posting pieces of very short fiction that I took 15 minutes to write. I’ve asked that my friend, Ossaín Ávila Cárdenas join me by taking 15 minutes to draw an accompanying image for each story. Ossaín is one of the owners of a local zine shop in Tacoma calledThe Nearsighted Narwhal.