Trinity Ridge Burial Options By Todd Mercer

December 15, 2014 Comments Off on Trinity Ridge Burial Options By Todd Mercer

Bear could kill with his hands, but he doesn’t have to get them dirty these days.

His Cornbread Clean-up Squad makes house calls for troublemakers, their resting places in state forest thickets, clay creek banks. When Bear is angry, and the problem isn’t just a business issue, the Cornbreads leave the corpse in the family’s water well.

As a courtesy, the old man tells the next one, “Get ready.”

If they’re smart and love life they leave the fiefdom, if smarter they steer clear of all of Appalachia. Bear is an absolute monarch, but only twenty-thirty miles each way out of Trinity.

The local mortician favors planning. He calls Bear — his best customer — to keep a gauge on incoming traffic.

Bear said, “Get ready,” to me once, and he was for sure angry. The Cornbreads tailed my car out of town and out onto the ridge proper. I knew what went on, we all did, but I didn’t save anyone from becoming worm food, poison in a well. In Trinity Ridge we fail together at that.

I left in the night, that night, messing with the mortician’s schedule. I wasn’t ready yet.

© 2014 Todd Mercer

Todd Mercer won the Woodstock Writers Festival’s Flash Fiction contest and took 2nd and 3rd place of the Kent County Dyer-Ives Prizes. His chapbook Box of Echoes won the Michigan Writers Cooperative Press contest. Mercer’s poetry and fiction appear in Blue Collar Review, The Camel Saloon, Cease, Cows, Dunes Review, and Eunoia Review, among many others.

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