The Hollowling

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This service was dragging on far longer than it should. We should already be when they tell everyone to leave so the family can have a few moments alone with their loved one before they’re buried.

I give the preacher a pointed look before flipping my iWatch over to see the time, but to my disappointment, I see only ten minutes as passed since the start of the service.

Softly, I sigh and say to myself, “If I think it’s dragging than Nan definitely would think it was dragging.”

Nan never cared for the dull. She wanted a bang, something to be memorable. She always told me that if I wasn’t doing something that they wouldn’t talk about the next day, then I was doing something wrong. She always wanted to be so memorable that she implored to me that the day she died I better plan a party instead of one of those dreadful funeral services that all her friends are having at the time - a tad morbid, but that was Nan. She wanted something for us all to get down and ‘jiggy’ with it.

I’d always laugh when she said that, making her flush and repeatedly ask if that was the right word for today’s day and age for partying. Asking what us ‘youngins’ would call it.

And always I’d wave a hand and tell her, “Yes, Nan. You’re all up in the cool, hip lingo.”

Which made her smile in triumph as she waltzes away, practically clicking her heels in victory.

“What are you smiling about, Elizabeth?” my mother hisses beside me.

I practically lurch out of my seat hearing her stern voice in my ear. Whipping my head around I’m greeted by my mother’s brown eyes and an expression that as a child would have me running for the hills, but as an adult makes me want to mock it right to her and say something snippy for an insult to injury. And I do.

My voice whips out at her that I can almost hear the crack against her face, “I’m smiling, Mother, at the thought that at least when I die Nan won’t be there to kick my ass because I didn’t do as she wished for her funeral.”

Her lips press into a thin line and I wonder if she’s debating to say something snarky back or leave it as it is.

We have a silent stare-off until she finally looks away, shaking her head in disappointment.

But out of the two of us, I’m the only one truly disappointed in the other.

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