Black Umbrellas


Image of storage crypt (minus mist, which I added) credit goes to Maynard Life Outdoors.

Green note: this is a #fridayflash first and a second-time stab at micro-fiction. Reading some of Thom G’s work back in 2008 spurred me to try it the first time and this time it was Debi O’Neille’s guest post featuring drabble-writing expert, Madeline Moro-Sommante.


Black Umbrellas

Rain chased a heavy mist from the valley to the cemetery above. It swept through the headstones and the old storage crypt where a sad crowd gathered to wait for their cue to join the committal service.

They stood there on the hill, gutted and hollow-eyed in the curtain of rain, watching the hearse and a line of black limos arrive below.

Pall bearers spilled out of a limo and carried the coffin to the lowering device above the open grave.

Black umbrellas ballooned in unison as the family stepped from their cars in black heels and hats with netting and suit coats and slicked-back hair.

The crowd waited as the family took their seats by the grave while the pastor rocked heel to toe, fingers interlaced ’round a bible held tightly atop his great belly.

They grew impatient and began to circle the crypt as the pastor droned on and on and finally they heard the words they’d been waiting for, “We commit his body to the ground, earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust…”

And they swept en masse toward the grave site and through the family as the mist had swept through the headstones, and they hovered translucent over the coffin to welcome the newly deceased to their realm of souls.



22 responses to “Black Umbrellas

  1. This is very nicely descriptive, and has a really poetic feel to it. I particularly liked the opening line about the mist, and the comparison with the ethereal beings at the end.

    Welcome to Fridayflash.

    • Thank you kindly, Steve, for the welcome and the feedback : )
      A tendency toward stream of consciousness starts up the poetic business but it also wars with brevity… I figure my next FridayFlash post will either be further practice creating tight, sharp micro, or an acquiescence to the stream with a 500-1000 word entry!

    • Midst, mist, clever, clever but not as clever as Blood Angels – just got back from a visit there and…how shall I say? Can ya front me some brain cells?! I’ll take all you’re willing to part with ; )

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  3. Beautifully executed Miss A. I expect nothing less. I loved the black umbrellas ballooning at once like a black shroud. Stunningly descriptive; I felt as though I was there. Exquisite ending.

    • Oh marvelous, Miss Jules! You know it ain’t a party ’til you get here with the scones and tequila. Now we can really let loose, get all irreverent, don our fins and snorkels and do the Loco-Motion, Little Eva style :-D

    • OK good, but do you mind if we start off slow? It’s been a hard day. So how ’bout I be Vincent Vega and you be Jules Winnfield–or vice versa, it makes me no nevermind since they’re both kickass–and we crash an apartment and bust up some hamburgers. Then we’ll do a fridayflash as if nothing happened!

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