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Colton Hamshire

"Last Goodbye" by Colton Hamshire

SciFi/Fantasy text 4 out of 10 by Colton Hamshire.      ←Previous - Next→
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An old gravedigger lays his dearest friend to rest.

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Last Goodbye

Last Goodbye

While dusk drained the colors from the sky, the old gravedigger tossed the last of the loose earth on the grave. For many years he dug the resting-places for the dead. He figured them all to be the same--just another hole in the ground, but now he realized they werenít all the same. Now he buried his old and dear friend, a fellow gravedigger. He never thought digging a grave could hurt, but it did. Not only did his old bones crack and pop, or his thin wiry hands ache, but his heart cried out in agony. Even in death their friendship would not fade, the gravedigger knew that. They had been companions since their youth when the cemetery had been nothing more than a few unmarked graves of travelers to now with its now present state of hundreds of tombstones and elaborate mausoleums.

He stuck his shovel in the earth and braced himself on the tool. He wiped his dirty face with his sweaty forearm. He watched while one of winterís small snowfalls came down from above spotting the cemetery white. The death of his friend seemed fitting to the old gravedigger. Most of natureís creations perished in winter; no fruits grew, flowers withered, water froze. He had died in winter and, in that, his death seemed natural, part of the season, but he knew when summer came new life began to spring up. The gravedigger knew his friend would not return with the new season. A cold wind swept through the cemetery, taking the old gravediggerís slight feeling of comfort with it.

Murder wasnít natural.

The seasons, they were natural--not murder; to have your throat cut in the streets isnít natural. The people in town didnít care. None of them came to his funeral, and he and his friend had been at every one of theirs. It wasnít right. Life wasnít right. The old gravedigger sat down slowly eyeing his friendís grave somberly.

"There you are, old friend," he said. "Best resting-place Iíve ever done if I say so myself. Fit for a king, but made for you. Oh, yes, old friend, I guess this is the end, eh?"

The old gravedigger coughed and his entire body shook. "My old boneís arenít what they used to be, I say. I canít lift a shovel like I used to. It takes me twice as long to dig a hole, but someoneís gotta do it, right?" He paused, almost expecting a reply from his departed friend. His heart sank to his stomach; his hands started to shake as he remembered his last moment with his friend. With teary eyes the old gravedigger said, "Iím sorry about fighting with you before you left for town. Iíd take it back if I could, but I canít. Iíve gotta live knowing I hurt you, and how long that is I donít know exactly. It canít be that long. My body is about to give out soon, I can feel it." He rose to his feet as best he could, wobbling as he did so. "Iíve been around death my whole life," he said, looking around the cemetery. "Dug a lot of graves, but never did I get accustomed to it. I donít think anyone could." He paused, unconsciously expecting a reply again. "You used to talk so much, always talking, most of the time about nothing. You were louder than those drunken dwarves that are always walking around town, remember them?" He chuckled aloud. "I used to wish that youíd just bite your own tongue so youíd be quiet, but nowÖ" the old gravedigger wiped the tears from his eyes, choking on his next words. "Iíd do anything to be able to hear your voice again. You were my only friend, and this is where I have to say goodbye for good."

The old man freed his shovel free from earth, covered in dirt and aching all over. He kneeled down and kissed his old dear friend goodbye.

←- Barroom Brawl | Second Dawning -→

15 Jul 2009:-) Mary Ann Zachar
wow, its been a while since I last wandered through this gallery. Nice piece, I also liked the comment on the funerals. It seems like there isn’t much said about their life together or even about his friends murder though. I was a little curious to hear more.

:-) Colton Hamshire replies: "Thanks for coming back for a visit. I wrote this piece for practice a while back. Maybe one day I’ll write more about the gravedigger."
22 Sep 2009:-) Alexander dannath Damien
I really have to stop reading your stories, because every time I think I love one the best, I read another and go on a fit of squeee, like there’s no tomorrow.
What I love most about your writing (and what I loved the most in this story) is that you make your characters seem so real I truly feel like I’m listening to real persons and not just reading about fictional characters.
You are really an amazing writer. Thanks so much for sharing this with us.

:-) Colton Hamshire replies: "I’m glad I can offer something worth reading to Elfwood. It’s good to know that my characters are more than just words on paper. That you feel they have realistic qualities about them. Thanks again for taking your time and reading some of my works."
30 Nov 2009:-) Morgan A Grover
Short flash fiction tends to be one of my favorite mediums, and you have done a wonderful job here. I think, personally, the diction of your writing is what has set it apart for me. This is the second story of yours that I read (I will head over to comment on the other). You capture the setting and characterizations with simple word choices, such as the opening line. "While dusk drained the colors from the sky..." You captured nearly all of the emotions of the story in that single line. Well, at least for me anyway 12

Very well done.

:-) Colton Hamshire replies: "Thanks for reading. I’m glad you liked what you read. I do enjoy writing the short scenes like this and it feels good to know that people are reading them and enjoying them. I hope you get the chance to check out some of my other stuff as well."
4 Jan 2010:-) Shaina Couch
I don’t tend to read and enjoy sad stories but this is an exception. 12 You put so much emotion into this story I nearly started crying for the old gravedigger. Job well done! 2
23 Feb 2010:-) Mandy marie good
Very insightful.
23 Sep 201045 Anon.
elfwood. as anon i bid you goodbye. what do you call a black man with pink hair??? GHANDIFLOSS!
23 Sep 201045 Anon.
never fart in a wet suit
23 Sep 201045 Anon.
13 being pleasured
23 Sep 201045 Anon.
stephen hawking has been diagnosed with a seriuous illness. They dont know whether to send him to the hospital, or PC WORLD!18
22 Oct 2010:-) Ethan Childress
Nice job. This piece had a solid tone. Well done and thanks for sharing.
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'Last Goodbye':
 • Created by: :-) Colton Hamshire
 • Copyright: ©Colton Hamshire. All rights reserved!

 • Keywords: Death, Friendship, Hope
 • Categories: Fights, Duels, Battles, Warrior, Fighter, Mercenary, Knights, Paladins, Self made up Fantasy/SciFi Animals
 • Submitted: 2009-05-18 06:02:27
 • Updated: 2009-05-18 06:09:58
 • Views: 642

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