Kyle Katz, Ashes to Ashes

Break-dancing pelican balances on its nose in an inch of water

“Oh, Ashley!” … “Oh, Miss Kylett” Kyle Katz dips her toes in the waters of Beneath the Surface

 

Ashes to Ashes.

By Kyle Katz

 

I mixed her ashes with lavender oil, dabbing it behind my ears. I rubbed the ashes on my fingertips and inhaled them as my nostrils replayed the memories. Ashes are God’s way of saying… it’s final. But my rituals said it is only the beginning. The tiny pentagon hatbox with her remains sat in the palm of my hand, needling its tiny fragment of bones into my brain. It was all I had left.

I scrubbed her ashes on my forearm. Exfoliates– disparaging dead skin– circulating the bloodline. Still, she glowed. Her DNA fertile.

Find someone who BRINGS you happiness!

I sat at the shore, splashing my toes in the bay. Summer with the sting of heat, showing teeth like a serpent had packed its skimpy clothes in a suitcase. Thunderstorms, winds and lightning fought till the death, as if the competition of nature bored them. Rolling clouds of a painter’s dream stuck up against the blue sky. I could smell pungent lavender that followed me when her soul wanted to speak direct.

“Makes ME happy… I heard you mother.”

I could feel the gentle slap of her white glove on my cheek.

I didn’t say makes you happy. I said BRINGS you happiness.

 

“You were never happy with him … so no advice? It’s what killed you!”

 

I ran into the water waist deep letting the baby seals swim around me. I clapped my hands and mimicked. Fish jumped high as if they were pushed upward by mermaids. A pelican made a nosedive. The prize … a big fish. I laughed at nature.

I skipped back to the shore burying myself where sun had warmed the sand.

A dog sniffed me.

“I’m sorry, my dog snapped his leash.” She pointed. “We’re the green house on the corner. My daughter was watching you and insisted she give you these.”

Little Melanie curls bounced in a giggle as she appeared from behind her mother’s flowing skirt.

 

Melanie extended her arm.

The lavender bouquet aroma rippled the water … without one stone being tossed.

“Why are you crying?”

I smiled. “You just brought me happiness, Melanie.”

 

 

 

 

20 comments

  1. Parisianne Modert says:

    Bless your mother, praise be the goddess of happiness returned, for lavender tears and sacred ashes.

  2. Jon Tobias says:

    The nature scenes remind me of the ones in Stephen Crane’s, “The Open Boat”. Nature seems to not really care one way or another for us, while at the same time it is used to show an inner battle with the main character. I like that she is brought happiness thanks to nature but not directly because of nature. In the end it is from the goodness of another human being that the main character’s sadness is soothed, though had there not been winds, the little girl may have not smelled the main character’s lavender “perfume”.

    • kyle katz says:

      Yes Jon. I believe your synopsis was quite in sync with the story. The goodness of another human being is certainly a force of nature in it’s most powerful form. Thanks for taking the time Jon!

  3. Michael Stang says:

    Fourth paragraph deserves hall of fame. You, and your writing makes me happy. Lovely go between, between the living and the dead. I think god created tendrils for a reason.

    • Mac Eagan says:

      And “Rolling clouds of a painter’s dream stuck up against the blue sky” was the best sentence in that paragraph.

      • kyle katz says:

        Hey Mac. I thought of that sentence, as I am a cloud watcher from way back. When they wouldn’t form a moving picture. I always told my Mom..they were stuck. ha. Aren’t you glad you asked? How’ s that famous daughter of yours? Thanks for reading my story Mac.

    • kyle katz says:

      Yes Jon. I believe your synopsis was quite in sync with the story. The goodness of another human being is certainly a force of nature in it’s most powerful form. Thanks for taking the time Jon!

    • kyle katz says:

      Thanks Mike. Wow! Thanks. I loved that section too. Hall of fame …so much better than the Hall of shame…which many of my framed unedited thoughts reside, to be abused at a later date. tee hee. I’m glad it made you happy.

    • kyle katz says:

      Thank you Jack for reading this and finding it beautiful. I rather liked the ending. The life of the flowers the innocence of youth. Does death continue…

  4. Stef
    Stef says:

    Nobody I know has this intimate relationship with death–intimate enough to wear it on your skin. If we didn’t fear death, how many different choices would we make every day?

    Oh, I need lavender oil, my dear Kyle <3

    • kyle katz says:

      Yes! Very good question. I think ones intimacy and passion with life while we are here is key. Do everything, push boundaries, fail, succeed, be vulnerable. But what do I know? I mix death with the sweet smell of lavender and display it fearlessly. At the end… life responded.

  5. kyle katz says:

    Thanks for reading my story Shawna. I’m not always known for my smoothness, I usually come crashing through the gate. Appreciate the feedback!

Comments are closed.