Carefully, Alan made his way along the rocks that peppered the ground. In the crook of his right elbow, he held a bouquet of roses which he gently removed and placed on the tombstone in front of him.
Dry-eyed, he stood before the grave of the man he had only known as his father through a picture. Head bowed, he spoke in a monotone, almost as if he was afraid of disturbing the other corpses that lay in the ground beneath his feet. ‘I hope you’re okay, Pop. We’re doing fine. Nana came home yesterday from the hospital. She seems better but the cough hasn’t really gone away. Mom’s working double shifts too. I made the team. Coach says I need to work harder though.’
Pausing, he kneeled, picked up a blade of grass and pocketed it. Without saying good-bye, he turned and moved three rows away to a grave that looked different from the rest. It had no tombstone, no marker and no name. On top of a mound of crudely dug earth, someone had traced an ‘X’.
Alan stood before the spot and dropped the blade of grass on the shabby grave. ‘I’m back. I don’t even know why I keep coming back. Yet, I hope one day I can understand why you killed my dad even before I had a chance to know him.’
My theme for the Challenge this year is
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