catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 11, Num 23 :: 2012.12.21 — 2013.01.03


Home sale

Resthaven Memorial Cemetery, 4th level, head to head crypt, comes with a deed & your own lettering, value over $13,000; asking $7900. ###-###-####.

It turns out that setting a price on a crypt is unlike using comps for a two-bedroom cape.  So Stacey landed on the price she needed: $7,900, to fund the last press through her dissertation, and the freedom to resume her life.  Even if that meant starting with unemployment.  She was nearly past her committee’s last, trivial objections.  Any delay to earn a few bucks might embolden them to find new ways to make her fail.

The empty tomb passed to her through an uncle’s estate after cremation made his planned head-to-toe burial a waste.  She regaled many of its story over the years — always on site — usually including her favorite bit about Uncle Jimmy’s bayou roots and high water tables, his claim to royal lineage and a belief that kings always must lie proudly above their subjects.  People went back with Stacey time and again, because it was like crawling inside with a flashlight turned into her shadowy face and having all of it, and her, coming to life.  After a decade of moves, a friend told her that the plot was the closest thing she had to a home.  To his relief, she laughed.  Which she followed up with a proclamation that the crypt would one day read, below her boldly lettered name, “Go forth, from here, and conquer.”

When the first bite on the classified came, Stacey asked no questions.  She immediately penned that last school check and raced to the crypt for one more retelling of Uncle Jimmy the King for the universe to hear.  Before she could speak, a sharp wind blew her into a shivering ball.  The story departed, leaving her silent, exposed, and suddenly aware that she really had nowhere next to go.

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