This is my second try at writing a short story. It was more difficult than the first, perhaps because I had to make up more of the story. I was inspired by the sight of two women standing at the gates of the cemetery near where we camp. I'm getting ideas every where I turn, and should carry a notebook with me. And yes, Jo Ellen, some of them are happy! I'm looking forward to your comments.
Note: I updated it to change the ending, but left the old ending for comment. Which is more impactful?
They stood at the cemetery gate, its weathered roof protecting them from the grey drizzle. They were sisters, but aside from these few minutes every year on their mother's birthday, they rarely saw each other. As children they had been inseparable, but when they were older something had happened. Neither could remember the exact details, but the hurt still lingered.
The smell of decaying leaves scented the air with a sickly sweet smell that reminded them of death. Hardly glancing at each other, they spoke only of the triumphs of the previous year, not willing to let the other know of the tragedies and discomforts that had also passed. Their conversation soon faltered and they turned away from each other. As they walked away, each felt an urge to turn back, to get back what they once had, but neither did.
Every fall they repeated this ritual, placing flowers on their mothers grave, superficial conversations, each woman wanting to reach out to the other, but letting the moment pass, unwilling to make the first overture.
She stood at the cemetery gates alone, its roof shading her from the bright sunshine. Spring had arrived, and sunny yellow daffodils poked their heads along the church wall. Buds on the trees were swollen with life. She recalled one spring when they had gone to a festival, with bright flowers and music surrounding them. They had shared a freshly made cinnamon bun.
Slowly, she walked between the headstones until she was in the right place. As she stood at the foot of the freshly dug grave, a memory of she and her sister as young girls skipping down the road, holding hands and laughing, stuck in her head.
She sighed and turned away, tears of regret tracing down her cheeks.
Slowly, she walked between the headstones until she was at the right place. As she stood there at the foot of the three graves, one freshly dug, a memory of she and her sister as young girls skipping down the road, holding hands and laughing, stuck in her head. Reaching out, she took her sisters hand; they turned to each other and smiled, skipping between the grave stones.
The minister of the church thought he heard laughter, but saw nothing but a glimmer of light when he looked out of the window.