Interment by Catherine Russell

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Agatha’s tiny grave fit her perfectly. The pink box protected the contents of her body from the assault of elements and scavenging animals. Birds would not peck her innards to line nests, crows would not steal her bright button eyes, and her cotton skin would not degrade from rain and snow. 

The family, clad in mourning, assembled in the backyard to witness the somber event of Agatha’s interment. Molly’s little brother sniggered but quickly hushed with a look from his mother. The girl recited a short prayer and placed Agatha in a Hello Kitty shoe-box, then lowered it into the hole. She threw daisies over the top before using her plastic beach shovel to cover the cardboard coffin. The deed done, everyone left except for one small mourner.

Molly planted a white cross on the grave and prayed again, hoping the funeral would be enough to put Agatha’s spirit to rest. Without a priest, she didn’t know if the doll would find her way out again. The girl shivered.

She knew she shouldn’t have used the doll to play tug of war with the puppy. If she did come back, Agatha would never forgive her.

From the back window, the puppy watched them bury her newest treat. She wondered if it was a bone.

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29 Comments

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29 responses to “Interment by Catherine Russell

  1. Randal Houle

    heh heh, I have a feeling that dog isn’t done with that doll yet.

  2. I fully expect that puppy to be on the wrong end of a zombie doll story shortly! Really enjoyed this, well written, touching and put me in mind of burying childhood pet hamsters; after they had expired I hasten to add.

  3. I really like this is so somber up until the end, when the puppy’s perspective takes over. Really well crafted, slowing revealing the reality of the story.

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  5. I’m a little creeped out by the doll, to be honest with you. One of my biggest fears are those damned dolls that come to life — and I fully expect this one to come back with or without the puppy.

    Nicely done!

  6. Cute and Creepy at the same time, kinda like Lindsay Lohan. Thank you for sharing this gem with us.

  7. Are you doing Nanowrimo again this year?

  8. Even though it had all the makings of a good horror story, it turned out rather cute. Poor puppy losing it’s newest toy, though it seems it’ll be out of the ground the first chance the puppy gets. Good story!

  9. Aw, sweet. And yet, still a tad bit creepy. Nicely done.

  10. Deanna Schrayer

    I’m with Netta, I think I could’ve handled it being a kitten easier than the doll. :)

    Well told story Catherine.

  11. This had me guessing at first, I thought things were going to turn nasty…

    Do I sense a sequel where the doll crawls out and goes on a puppy/Molly hunt? :)

  12. Good story, very real, I felt as though I were standing there at the gravesite. There is a lot of underlying depth (no pun intended) to this piece, and the unexpected twist at the end was funny but also confirms the life/death concept you conveyed so well here.

  13. Thank you, everyone, for the kind comments. :)

    Al,
    Yes, I’m doing Nanowrimo. I finally decided on my plot (again) tonight after bouncing around between ideas for the past couple weeks. I’ve already turned in my submissions here for the month of November… hehe Are you doing Nanowrimo?

    • I tried and failed 3 times, haven’t thought about plot, but I think I can turn ‘The Laughing Shade’, my ‘unseen’ entry, into 50,000 words, so yeah, I may try again. Guess that gives me this weekend to write my November pieces for here. :) Thankful, I finished ‘bad haircut’ last week.

      My Nanowrimo name is Pueo.

      • You guys amaze me — ‘already turned in my pieces for Novemeber’. Yikes. I don’t even know what next week’s theme is ;^)

        Good luck with Nano! This would be my 4th year, but I’m skipping out. I feel guilty writing new stuff with two novels 1-2 drafts away from being finished. Write hard, and have fun! Peace…

        • Al McDermid

          I still need to write for the last of the November themes (wrote 2 yesterday), but I’m drawing a blank. Hopefully, I can get far enough ahead on NaNo that can do it when the time comes. I’m actually going to use it to finish something I started long ago (tack on at the end the 5000 words I already have). If I had 2 novels in the works, I would being doing it either. :)

  14. Okay, I just put you as a Nanobuddy on the Nanowrimo site, Pueo. :)

    I think if you’ve already decided on a plot, creating a rough outline should be pretty easy. I look at November as my 30 day vacation from reality when I banish my inner editor to the Bahamas (hey, it’s a vacation for her too). LOL

    Again- thank you, everyone, for the comments. I really appreciate them.

    • I’ve added you as well. I have it more or less plotted or outlined in my head. My usual method is to just start writing. In this case, I’m going to write the background chapter first so I have a guide post.

      And good luck. For me, the fun starts tomorrow!

  15. Wonderful humor in this piece. Great idea about zombie dolls… I’d like to see that too ;)

  16. Josie Moray Lyon

    That’s a touching & gently written story – I remember doing something similar in childhood. I reckon dolls can be very forgiving – especially as it’s all in the spirit of playtime ;-)

  17. Really liked this story- but like everybody else I find myself expecting a sequel with the doll and the dog!

  18. The pacing, the setting that is sparse yet focused–so well written, Catherine.

  19. Having buried many an odd object with my daughter, I absolutely love this. Great job Catherine. :)

  20. Loved this piece. I was thinking they were burying an animal, and then the doll. The puppy at the end was the perfect light touch. Peace…

  21. Yes, the puppy is a great way to end this.

  22. Funny, but still it gave me cold shivers. Nicely done.

  23. Emelie E. Strother

    Hehe, wonder how much time passes before the puppy digs up a new chew-toy? Odd how well creepy and funny go together, isn’t it? I enjoyed this story.
    ~Emelie

  24. Pingback: Week #24 – Tombstones « 52|250 A Year of Flash

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