Why is it that when you ask the dead a question, it’s usually relative who answers.
One Good Urn Deserves Another
By The Train Tracks
by Jana Winston
For the Warren’s Ashes Award
“It’s too difficult,” said Brayden
“Just hold it there, OK.” Ducky bent in the gravel crafting arcane symbols with a stick.
“This is bullshit,” said Red. “You can’t speak to the dead.”
“Quiet,” Ducky raid a finger. His arms stuck like branches from the sleeves of a volumous T-shirt. “The train’s coming.”
The three boys were lined up in a row and as the train rounded the bend (with still the little train bridge to cross), Red began to chant.
“Sesthhwatha mer harkadium. Sesthhwatha pern yaptul”
“Geez what is that,” said Red.
“It’s the Mohctan language of the dead'” said Brayden, his arms still raised with the urn of ashes quivering in his hands. “If you’d come to more meetings you would know.”
Red leaned forward and let a bit gob of spit slide from his mouth to land smack bang in the middle of a six pointed star traced in the gravel. “Know what?” He said.
“Mohctan,” said Brayden, sweat clearly visible on his forehead now. “The language of the dead ”
“Kahzeet Sesthhwatha,” said Ducky, he was dancing around on one leg now, an index finger placed on either temple. The train was bearing down on them. The driver hooted his horn once. He was probably used to kids goofing around by the tracks.
“Hurry up!” said Brayden, his arms shivering.
“Sesthhwatha Harat Bilu,” said Ducky, dancing even more wildly now.
“This is ridiculous,” said Red.
The train blew past and Ducky screamed “Now!!”
Brayden swung his arms, intending to hurl the urn. Hurl the urn he did, but not before it’s lid slid off, narrowly missing Brayden’s head
As the urn spun into the air, in a kind of deliberate slow motion, the opening came to face its thrower, disgorging its contents all over him.
The last carriage of the train passed them by. The three boys stood there, Brayden in the middle, Ducky and Red either side, staring at him.
“Phahh,” Brayden puffed grey dust into the air.
Red inched closer and removed a little tan tube from his friend’s hair.
“Ah Brayd,” he said. “Where exactly did you get these ashes.”
“From my Dad’s study. He smokes like a pack a day.”
Red flicked the butt to the ground. “Smoke if you got em,” he said.
“Sesthhwatha,” muttered Ducky.