Unfinished #6

People have started to die differently. We watch them first lose their color and then their entire bodies until there is more air than person. There’s the story of the man who can’t kiss his wife or his children or his poor mother, who’s been wearing black since the “plague” started three months ago.

You see that? A plague, Dad says, pointing at the television.

It’s the same as a natural death, our neighbor says, only people literally fade away.

Some people have tried giving their vanishing loved ones funerals because they can’t deal with the pain, with the unnaturalness of this new natural death. They don’t bury their loved ones because what would be the point? Instead, the bereaved wait until their loved ones are barely visible, stick them in the family minivan, and drop them off in the cemetery, which is now home to a small community of vanishing people. All day long, they wander among the dead and the almost dead until one by one they’re gone. The teenagers have stopped sneaking into the cemetery with their ouija boards and voodoo dolls now that the grounds are actually “haunted.” Instead, they watch each other carefully, their white skin and black lipstick, for anything fading. They meet in the schoolyard, stand on opposite sides of the fence, and take turns running through each other. The sadness of their deaths is erased by the pleasure of each other’s dim bodies. 

From “Gramma”


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