My beautiful nature moment was broken by a ten second odoriferous rip emanating from my brother.
Tammy squealed, “Perry, eww!”
I said, “I’m perfectly capable of burning the trash. Go away. Wait on the porch or the dock for the boat.”
Perry said, “We’re here to make sure you don’t burn the house down this time.”
I inhaled, as anger seethed. “Perry Lucifer Payne, I did not burn down Little Mount Vernon and you know that.”
He laughed nastily.
They followed me to a clearing, in sight of the graves. Here come my tears again.
Tammy screamed, “Eww! I smell him. The Mike guy! Eww! Oh-Donna, bury him or something.”
She charged past me and I almost sensed the island shaking as Perry tried to keep up with her. I guess it was a macabre scene. To me it was just so sad. Tragic and romantic. Mike died digging the grave of the woman he loved. My momma.
I watched my siblings until they disappeared behind the old forest fire watch tower in the middle of the island. Great. They’re running the wrong way. They’ll get lost for sure and I’ll have to find them and lead them to the dock.
When the surrealness of the moment wore off, I found myself belatedly sharing their response to the graveyard— knowing Mike’s corpse was in the open pit gave me the creeps too. I shuddered before I spun on my heels and dashed down a well worn path which looked as if it had been recently cleared by a machete.
Norma Jean galloped ahead and danced around charred cans. I set my purse down, in a thicket of greenery which I hoped wasn’t poison anything and dumped the trash into the center of a ring of rocks. I struck the match. Sulfur ran up my nostrils. I lit a couple of my used tissues and a German chocolate cake mix box. I watched as the wind enabled a nice conflagration, even if it was of short duration. When the fire died down to just a few thin gray ashes with orange embers, I scooped some sand on it, picked up my purse and trudged back to the house.
Squinting, I placed my hand over my eyes and peered at a boat in the distance. I turned toward the turquoise bungalow. “Goodbye Momma. Goodbye Mike. God speed you to your next incarnations. I love you.”
I retrieved my panty hose and shoes from the porch and footed my way down to the shoreline. The cold water made me shiver at first, but somehow it soothed me as I strolled calf deep in the ocean spray. I plopped down on the dock, waiting for the captain. “Oh shoot” I hope they aren’t using binoculars! I’m supposed to be paralyzed. Shoot shoot shot. What If I’ve blown our cover, Norma Jean?”
Perry and Tammy arrived. Perry huffing, Tammy the picture of physically fit beauty. I jealously snorted. Knowing I’d never have her taught sculpted upper arms and back.
“What took you so long?” I asked.
Tammy said, “We found another—”
Perry cut her off. “We found a path and circled the island.”
The drone of the boat’s motor approached.