The Funeral Pyre
by Karen Schauber
Katherine meanders down the hallway. Plush carpet
her footsteps; no one notices she has left the room, or the first floor.
Relatives and friends of the deceased come and go; booze flows, condolences are
offered, plates of canapés and crudités passed around.
The street outside the house is littered with
two-doors, and luxury sedans. Someone has blocked the driveway; a commotion
breaks out. It is a perfect cover. Katherine steals away. She knows the house
inside and out: its three bedrooms with en suite, well-appointed living room;
cook’s kitchen; Juliette balcony
off the master; laundry chute from the second floor linen closet; and double
tennis courts out back, as if it were her own. She helped make many of the
décor choices when Lauren first bought the lakeside home after her divorce was
beeline to the master bedroom’s walk-in closet, Katherine places her hand,
expectantly, on the ebony box inlaid with pearl, sitting
on the lacquer dressing table.
Lifting up the lid, she catches her breath; the brilliant shine is
dazzling, intoxicating. . . .
throws the Audi into reverse, Katherine glances back at the house; she has no
regrets. Giddy, she pulls away from the curb and decides she will return later
for the Sultanabad rug, and the Thompson Jack
the highway, she cocks her hand just so, and the light catches the diamond’s exquisite
She cannot believe her good fortune.
In her reverie, Katherine
does not notice
or hear the tanker truck barreling toward her at interminable speed.
Schauber is a seasoned family therapist, practicing in Vancouver, British
Columbia. Her early writing is nonfiction and details three decades of
psychosocial and analytical cases. Flash fiction is a new and welcome
adventure for her. Fictional short stories are much more fun to read and
write! As an emerging artist, Karen hones her craft at home and at the dog
beach on the west coast (when it’s not pouring out). The upcoming Group of
Seven Flash Fiction Chapbook is her first editorial novella-in-flash
venture. http://GroupofSevenFlashFiction.weebly.com. Karen’s flash fiction can be read in Spillwords, Blood Puddles,
and AdHoc Fiction. She can be reached directly at: http://karenschauber.weebly.com