at sixes and sevens

I have returned to the funeral of my brother[1]

Off to my left a line is beginning to form- separate from the stoic pillars my parents have become.  Within its linage shadows can be seen, shades on the move, carrion birds jockeying for a better view of the kill.

The significance of this line- more hands to be shaken, countenances to be blurred, visages to be seen, and all in the name of family.  Tears and condolences, meaningless words tossed like pebbles in endless piles before us, piles with no real depth, dimension or height, yet by themselves, seemingly able to reach overwhelming proportions.

For my parent’s sake I wish they would all just leave.

For my family’s sake I wish they would all just go away.

For my sake, they could all go to hell, each and every one of them.

As you can clearly see, I am more than ready for all this to end, this charade, this event… this clown’s spectacle of remorse and pity.

And still, there is no easy answer-[2]


For one brief shining moment the shadows recede… great seas of darkness part and color to my world is restored, both sharp and pungent.  In a world gone black, I yearn to break free, to shake off such weighty chains, and just when it seems to be yawning there before me, freedom sweet freedom, stretching forth its gilded hands of hope in a razors edge of promise, it is gone again- and the sea of darkness crashes once more upon me, washing away all forms of love, hate and jealousy.  In its wake, the black sands of bitterness and grief obscure all pathways and covet every footstep.  Needless to say, amidst such dark tragedy I let the next wave overtake me.  The need and desire to fight, I let slip away.  More than anything, I desire to drown, once and for all within its icy unforgiving depths.  In doing so, in accepting this truth, I am letting the waves overtake me, as I am yanked closer and closer to the abyss, the very precipice of disaster.

There is a place there, where the sandy bottom of the seashore falls away without warning that before me yawns an eternal night of loss, an endless torment of grief.  I take one more step that direction and I shall utterly and truly fall.  And yet, this brings me so little relief and even less comfort.  As if the very act of indulging in ones orgies of sorrow might somehow cleanse one’s self of grief, but hey, what do I know; like I said, I am only thirteen years old- new to time but old in the world[3].  So in the end I turn my attention to those around me, dramatis personæ.


My parents bless their hearts; handle their grief like a double-edged sword, one that is razor sharp and as unwieldy as hell.  In their hands there is no caution, only damn the torpedoes full speed ahead.  They swing it like there’s no tomorrow, indifferent to who or what they might strike or cut down, lost in a berserkers rage of grief and loss.

As if hewn from the very earth beneath us they stand behind me, cutting off any and all hopes of escape or rescue.


As for my grandparents- my Mom’s as my Dads are dead -what can I say… bitter, cankerous, a couple of drawn up old prunes.  What few words they have to offer are swung like clubs, battering one wall after another down, till in the end all that remains lies exposed, naked and vulnerable to the carrion of the world.

Much like Aries, they stand off to my left, just behind my mom.


Then there’s my Aunt Sarah, Mom’s one and only sister, young, blond, vivacious… the one with the entire world seemingly at her beck and call- If she weren’t always on her back with her feet pointed to the sky[4]I have to ask, ‘what gets into a woman’s mind to be like that,’ other than ‘the world’s oldest possession.’

As luck would have it, Aunt Sarah is standing just off to my right, directly behind my dad.


From there the list only grows on and on, a festering tree of rot with branches seemingly reaching for the heavens while at the same time digging its roots deeper and deeper into hell.  Like cockroaches discovering that all the lights have been turned out, they come a-crawling and scurrying, our ‘relatives,’ both takers and non-takers alike.

As far as I was concerned this list could end right here and now, no need in going on any further, but then again, who knew what fruit waited on the branch or vine, what sack of vile pestilence awaited the unwary and unprepared, for you see generations within a family can grow long, and reach just as far back as they can stretch forth…

I guess what I’m trying to say, is that everyone else is either dead or gone, or at the very least should have been either one or the other- anything but both.

[1] Don’t give up on me yet.  I have not given up on you, now have I?  It is all about to make sense…

[2] There is hope to an end however.

[3] Before Women’s Suffrage I would have been banned, one hundred fifty years before that and I would have been burned at the stake.  Heretic I am, born of forked tongue, child of the devil.  Spells, many… but my weapons are Words, magic in their use, parole in their simplicity.


[4] Atypical slut, it would not surprise me if she hadn’t already offered my father some sort of solace, Lord knows she’s offered it to any and all other willing male members of our family.


Author: S.M.Muse

Bestselling author S.M Muse writes, fun, action-packed adventures full of everyday magic, and darker than Mid-night foes. His characters are clever, fearless, and resilient, but in real life, S.M. is afraid of spiders, things that go bump in the night, and roughing it in the great outdoors. Let’s face it. S.M. wouldn’t last ten minutes in one of his books. S.M Muse is best known for his Heir of Nostalgia fantasy series, and soon to be Urban Contemporary thriller, The Summer People. Visit him at

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