Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Jack Slink's Untimely Departure From The Land Of The Living

"What happened to the poor bastard?" a woman in a black dress asked a man standing next to her among a crowd of people wearing black clothes.

It was a funeral. A dozen of men and women have gathered around a freshly-dug ditch.  

"They say young Jack 'Slinky' Slink had an accident," he replied, without raising his eyes from the coffin that was being brought inside the cemetery.

"Died of severe head trauma, or something," his friend standing to the right pitched in with further explanation.

"And his intestines got tangled up, or something," a man standing to the left added. 

They haven't said anything else for a few moments. The coffin was being slowly placed inside the ditch by three men – six feet in total. 

"He was reckless, no two ways about it," one of the men said after the pause. "Used to toy with danger. Sooner or later it would catch up with him."

"Nah, I heard he got mixed up in some shady business," another woman approached the conversing group. "You know, drugs and alcohol. I saw him tripping a few times. It finally got to him. He was feeling empty inside, he once told me. He wanted out. Some mobsters chased him down and pushed him down the stairs. He couldn't handle it. They made it look like an accident," she said.

Nobody replied. They didn't know Slinky that well. Most of them only made a passing acquaintance as they saw him rolling up and down the streets, trying to get by. Slinky, a stunt performer, played in many low-key movies where the paycheck wasn't overly fat.

"Pretty ironic he died in spring, huh?" a man offered, to relieve the awkward silence.

"What's ironic about that?" the first woman asked as she adjusted her hat.

"It's Slinky we're talking about here." 

The coffin was finally put inside the ditch. Bruce Springsteen's song stopped playing. The priest said some things nobody listened to and they left, grieving for another half an hour.

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