The final departure 1/2

Part 1

You will not always enjoy the company of the people for whom you care most. Some of us will die sooner, others later. That illness took Kyrta’s father away too soon but he died peacefully and without any suffering while she and her mother were taking turns to hold his hand. The words of reassurance spoken and the flow of the magic energy made his journey to the other world much easier at 4:44 AM. Kyrta thought, a lucky number, remembering how fond of this kind of numbers her father was.

It is curious to observe that even in such difficult times you come across the funniest moments like when her mother was trying to remember one of the doctors’ names:
“Kyrta. I’m not really sure. I think he was called doctor Mussó, Muixíor …?”
Kyrta interrupted her: “Don’t worry, mom. I really appreciate your efforts trying to remember his name but you know this is not your strength and neither is it mine. I’ll go and ask. Then I’ll write it. Otherwise we’ll both forget and this is a serious matter. We need to talk to the doctor and to learn the diagnosis.”

Yes, they needed it, only that it did not depend on doctor Mussó, Muixíor whatever name he had but on the main doctor whose name was EnricCavalleria. Enric Cavalleria Rusticana, he said, like Pietro Mascagni’s opera, the Italian words Cavalleria Rusticana meaning Rustic Chivalry. He had added the Rusticana last name laughing about himself. Was that good news for the diagnosis or not?

Kyrta’s father was wearing a green hospital gown like the other patients. The great novelty, as opposed to the rest, were his hiking boots instead of normal slippers. He always wore them because he said they were the most comfortable shoes one could wear. He told the nurse:
“All I want is to be able to walk four hours again.”
Looking at his boots, the nurse replied: “Yes, I see.”

Hibiscus flower copy

In a few days, he died peacefully. He had no pain. It was a sweet death, which is what we all should have. The funeral too was good, where in this case, it was full of unexpected adventures. The man in charge of the funeral home was quite agreeable. He knew the family was affected by this death. However, he also sensed that although it was a big loss a bit of humor can sometimes help. It was also a good strategy to reach the necessary consensus among the four family members he was dealing with: Kyrta, her mother, her uncle and her aunt trying to agree on the poem for the funeral cards. “I like this one,” she said. “…No, no, this is the typical poem we’ve had a thousand times at all funerals. We need this one here. Look, it’s more original.”

The agreement as to which poem was finally reached. In any case, the clerk of the funeral home was satisfied with the family’s decision. Anything would be easier than what his previous clients proposed. They were Jehovah’s witnesses, who were very nice people, but they had come up with a microscopic font on a funeral card that no one could read. One had to have a magnifying glass.

The funeral was happening on Wednesday. The day before, family and friends were coming to the funeral home to comfort Kyrta’s family. Violett, who was a close friend, and her niece, took a taxi from Barcelona.
“Don’t worry,” said the driver, “I don’t know all directions but the way to the funeral home’s no problem. It’s the way I know best from here.”

Luckily Violett and the niece had already asked the price before starting what soon became a journey to the most remote streets and roads of Catalonia’s geography.
“Well, why don’t you exit here?” said Violett. “You must drive down this street.”
Her intuition seemed to work and after some time the funeral home was visible.
“Pay me whatever you like.” the taxi driver said desperately. He apologized for his inability to find the way. His ineptitude caused the price of the trip to double. However, he received what was initially established and not a cent more. Aren’t taxi drivers supposed to know where they are going? Where was his GPS?

Kyrta’s cousin, Angela, also had some difficulty trying to go to the funeral. She was intelligent and beautiful at twenty-four. She had the same ancient Greek profile you find in Botticelli’s paintings. She was a classic. Kyrta’s father said this and I agreed with him. He had also told her many times she was his favorite niece. Interestingly, he didn’t have any others.

Angela’s problem were the trains, they were not running because someone had stolen meters of overhead cable. She tried to call her father, Abel, but he did not pick up his phone. She did not know what else to do, so she ended up calling Kyrta, who said she should wait where she was. Abel would sooner or later respond wherever he was. The other possibility was to get a taxi. If Angela did not have enough money her father or someone else from the family would pay the driver when she came.

“Look, the only thing that could happen is that you arrive later at the funeral. Never mind, just get in,” said Kyrta.
Abel, finally looked at his phone and called Angela. He had to pick up his daughter.
“Yes, go and do it!” said Carolina, Angela’s mother.
What a mess! Abel felt as usual, being an enslaved chauffeur all the time! How he hated that! Angela could get a taxi. That is exactly what he had initially told her on the phone. Carolina immediately disagreed and told him to pick up his daughter. She was always giving him this kind of order, most probably because she did not have a driver’s license and ignored how stressful driving becomes at certain times, especially peak hours.

In the end, Angela was picked up by her angry and nervous father after an hour and a half waiting. For a moment, Angela thought of getting a taxi as Kyrta had suggested. Luckily, she waited for her father. Otherwise by the time Angela would have been traveling by taxi, her father would also have been driving to pick her up and their ways would have crossed in opposite directions. It still remains a mystery how everyone came on time for the funeral.

To be continued.

© November 2018 Marta Pombo Sallés

(view original post here)

19 thoughts on “The final departure 1/2

    1. Thank you so much, Bill. I like writing short stories too. There are many autobiographical elements here as in all the pieces I have posted. You see this is about a fictional character, Kyrta, and her father’s death. Although deaths and funerals are sad and painful I have provided some elements of humor. A father’s death is something so impacting in our souls that gives you the need to write and write… You will see the slight connection between this story of mine and Mario Savioni’s book Blue Emptiness, where there is also a father’s death, that of the third person narrator of the story. Of course, Mario is a great writer compared to my humble attempts here, but comparisons are hateful. Writing is therapy and pleasure to me. I do not intend anything more. I am just expectant to see how this part 1 and the coming one, part 2, will be received in the realms of

      Liked by 1 person

  1. To be frank, I am not an enthusiastic reader of flash fiction though I used to read longer text types (short stories and novels) for study purposes. However, your style and the content kept me so intensely suspensive that I read the story in one breath. Thus, I agree with many others here, who have commented, that your style is so interesting!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Newton. Your comments mean a lot to me. I just write what comes to my mind. I like that this first part of the story kept you intensely suspensive and that you read it in one breath. I wonder what you mean with my style being so interesting. I am aware of the other people’s writing styles but not of mine.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Though I had tough time pronouncing the names you’ve employed because I never came across such in India.

    I like this short story because you made a character, Kyrta and described how her life was. I like a contradiction of gloom and humor. How one moment I feel sad for Kyrta as her father is dead, and the other I smile because of the humor that you wrote.

    You write so beautifully Marta. It felt good to be in Kyrta’s shoes by the way you have written it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for this lovely comment, Preksha. I am glad you have enjoyed the first part of the story. Yes, there is sadness and humor. That is exactly what I wanted to write about. Do not worry so much about the pronunciation of the Catalan-Spanish names; I surely have the same problem with Indian names. 😊


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