The Final Foxhole (Fiction, Rough Draft)

“Dad would have liked this, I think.” Allison said, looking downward at the freshly turned soil below.  Her brothers, Alex and Jeremy stood to either side of her, and together they formed a small circle.

“Back in a foxhole again.” Alex offered, hefting the weight of the urn in his hands slightly. It was lighter than he had expected, no heavier than a five pound bag of flour, and about the same size and shape as well. He had always imagined that a human body, no matter how processed, would somehow weigh more. And even though the last year had taken away much of his father’s mass, the man had once been a six and a half foot powerhouse. Now he was nothing more than a box of ashes.

“Yeah, back in the foxhole again. Anyone bring his rifle?” Jeremy offered, trying to bring a smile to the tiny circle. It wasn’t easy, but the image of their father, holding his trusty rifle, did the trick, and a ring of smiles floated around the circle.

“I remember, he used to tell me stories, about the war. About the front, and the trenches, and the foxholes. Hell, I woulda thought a foxhole was as rugged as a castle, the way he talked about them”  said Alex, looking down at the spot of dirt between them.

“Always make sure you dig yourself good foxholes in life, places you can fall back to and defend when life gets ugly.”

“But never share a foxhole with someone braver than you.”

A round of laughs went thru the trio for a moment, before the soft silence fell on the group once more. Allison nodded to the ground, and the three of them knelt, Alex holding the urn with a tenderness generally reserved for babies.

“Back in the foxhole for you, Dad,” Jeremy said quietly, his voice floating over the cemetery grounds, even as they carefully lowered the urn into its final resting place “but don’t worry, there’s nobody braver than you.”


~ by brokenrazor on July 15, 2008.

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