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Ruth Elizabeth Petroff

"Funeral" by Ruth Elizabeth Petroff

SciFi/Fantasy text 9 out of 22 by Ruth Elizabeth Petroff.      ←Previous - Next→
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i don't even know how to preface this. i guess if you're really intent on finding out what the symbolism stands for, you can email me. but i think it should be fairly obvious, then again, this is the author speaking...this is the embodiment of one of the hardest times in my life...
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The procession moved slowly down the aisle. The glass coffin lay in front of the altar, and the procession moved toward it. Flowers, trinkets, mementos and kisses all fell into the open casket, onto dead bodies. Threurtohn lay without moving eyes closed and oblivious to the ceremony. After the procession had moved to their respective seats, the service began. The lid to the casket was now closed, and Threurtohn was no more a part of this world. The service consisted of no words, as words could never fully explain what had transpired, or why they were gathered where they were. Instead the mourners sat in stony silence as the requiem curled high into the spires of the cathedral. Deep organ music and grieving voices lifted to the skies together in anguish. Floating high above the shadows of the high ceilings of the cathedral, they traversed air and light as an offering, a plea, and a sigh of resignation all at once. It was a sunlit day, and in the space above the heavyhearted, the light came in as different colors, tainted by the stained glass windows that decorated the vastness of the cathedral’s towers. Dust particles swirled in the air current and reflected the sunlight in the old cathedral. The music, now high above the people, continued its ascent, losing sound, but never losing the feeling of loss. And so the air in the holy place thickened with sorrow until it was hard to breathe.

The casket sat in front of the empty altar.

Two people attended the service.

One man was bleeding heavily from his right side, as he sat alone in the pew. His face was ghastly white, and the blood seeped from his wounds through his clothes. He sat at the edge of the pew, and he gripped the armrest with white knuckled force to keep the pain and grief from overwhelming him entirely. His blue eyes were rimmed in red, his long brown hair mussed and unkempt from despair. Tears ran past his face, down his neck until they formed a wet ring around the collar of his shirt. He made no sound, he did not sob. He looked directly ahead, staring at the casket and hoping to revive the dead with his intense glare.

A woman sat on the other side of the church. Her left side was gashed and bleeding, her face marked by violence and tears. She wept uncontrollably, and she shuddered at the pain that racked her body. She seemed oblivious to the blood that covered the pew she sat in as her life drained freely onto the seat. She sat naked, covered in only her blood and her tears. She could not look at the casket; she closed her eyes and moved her face upward with the music, praying dear mercy that what she witnessed was not real.

But it was all too real.

It is hard to say how long the service lasted. The mournful dirge played on and on, and the hymn never sounded the same twice. It meandered like a lost thought, and the music played on.

The man was the first to stand. He limped to the casket a final time and kissed the glass. As his hand touched the cold glass, he finally wept loudly as he sank to his knees and screamed in agony. Walking to the altar had been like pouring salt in his wounds, and now he lay dying, unable to move from his prostrated position in front of the altar. And he was ready to die.

The man’s screams woke the woman from her faint, as she had fallen into a deathlike trance in her seat. She startled and looked around, bewildered for an instant. Then painful reality returned to her soul, and she limped to the altar to see if she could help the fallen man. The nearer she drew to the center of their attention, the more overwhelming the intensity of the situation became, and it became harder and harder to walk, until she fell unto her knees and crawled to where the fallen man lay. Upon reaching the glass coffin, she too fell to her face and wept uncontrollably. And the two fell unto each other in their grief, but still no words formed between them.

The sun moved in the sky, and set, and slept, and the moon rose. Now moonlight traveled, cold and stained, through the cathedral. The air had chilled in the night, and finally, the two people stirred. They had slept in their weariness and pain, and now they woke, weak and tired.

They helped each other to their feet, and walked, limping, out of the sanctity of the cathedral. The casket still lay in front of the empty altar, and it would forever, as an offering. The woods were quiet when they walked out, and the spires of the cathedral rose into the dark clouds of the evening.

The requiem played on as they left, infinitely, a wail and a plea.

They parted ways in the clearing in front of the church, and so out of death a new life began for each of them.


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4 Jan 200045 Jevan Sinnock
Oy. I'd forgotten you posted this and was quite confused when I saw the name you'd given it, then I noticed the file name and went 'Oh lord.' ::hugs:: I still remember quite clearly reading this the first time.... :21its and looks at the story, then decides that maybe he should just shush and move on::
16 Jan 2000:-) Lucy Barabas
*bows in respectful silence.*
24 Jan 200045 Theron
I dont know how to comment on this one... It touches ever so deeply... ever so.... and as always wonderfully written
7 Feb 2000:-) J. King
It's like Hyperion, but not. Hell, it's not at all like Hyperion; I just have nothing better to say. Perfection (well, almost).
28 Feb 200045 Jevan Sinnock
Alright.... Well.... Let's just say that Queensr˙ches Promised Land album isn't exactly the best to be listening to while reading this. Emotional emphasis is upped just that much more ::will be back to read this again when he won't said music going through his head::
30 Apr 200045 Jevan Sinnock
Such time past, and I still don't really know how to comment to this one :21its and thinks about it, then just shakes his head:: But I guess that's ok. You know my thoughts already.
4 Sep 200045 Madeline Jane Quirk
*finally breathes in after holding her breath* this is beautiful, in a dark way. The whole story is a metaphor... the people cut up, the collapsing at the casket, helping each other to move on. very, very well written... I can relate to this alot.
17 Dec 200045 David F. DuTremble
... *thinks in deep silence* ... Cannot comment ... perfect ...
1 Nov 2001:-) Roman Roz
Yeah, breaking up, we've all been through it.
This is beautiful... I guess you can't say much about it, you either get it or you don't.
22 Nov 2002:-) Kevin Jared Hosein
This here..."Funeral"...this is...I'm speechless. There is no word to reflect its superiority. This story is needless to say..spectacular, one spectacular metaphor for what could be more than one thing. The descriptions you used blended in with the emotions perfectly and also the words you used.., "dirge", "requiem", "cathedral"...they gave the story a darker touch. I loved this story.

5 out of 5.
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 • Created by: :-) Ruth Elizabeth Petroff
 • Copyright: ©Ruth Elizabeth Petroff. All rights reserved!

 • Keywords: Boy, Break, Cathedral, Die, Funeral, Girl, Music, Spire
 • Categories: Angels, Religious, Spiritual, Holy, Magic and Sorcery, Spells, etc.
 • Views: 533

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