Honourable mention in the 8th Annual Geist Literal Literary Postcard Story Contest.
Scattered Kiwi’s ashes today. Off a beaver dam.
His therapist delivered the eulogy.
Dr. V stood atop the dam and freestyled it. Kiwi, friends called him Kiwi, lived life without boundaries, sacrificing all notion of diplomacy and tact in order to… remain true to himself. Three passions drove the man: finding a woman, avoiding psychopaths and growing tomatoes. He succeeded at one of these.
Doctor-patient confidentiality doesn’t extend to eulogies.
Kiwi’s boss, Charlie Colter, spoke.
Found Kiwi under a bridge. Gave him a job. Never arrived late, never filed a WCB claim and voted against unionization. Employee of the decade. Telephone sales. Got a vacancy now, so if anyone knows of someone I’ll be taking resumés at the reception. Look for me by the brownies.
Charlie skipped the part where Kiwi dated a co-worker for nine months. Thought her name was Rosemary.
It wasn’t. Rose Marie.
They broke up.
Kiwi wrote a document, photocopied and bound twenty-five copies and handed ’em out to the staff. Called it “O is for Umbrella: Identifying Psychopaths in the Workplace.”
Rose Marie wasn’t at the funeral.
Cinnamon showed though. Waitress from down at the pub where Kiwi spent Fridays, and most other days. In four-inch heels and a lime green spandex skirt, Cinnamon made her way across the dam. A heel broke through.
To the backdrop of angry beaver chatter, Cinnamon eulogized.
Kiwi never got with me. He tried though. A lot. Asked me once if I wanted to see his greenhouse, said I could help him diddle the tomatoes. I thought he was joking. Twenty minutes later I was sorry I said so, ’cause he told me all about it.
Said, tomatoes are shy creatures. You gotta seduce them. Paintbrush works good. Told me to dip it in the pollen of one plant and paint it on the flowers of the next. Then he goes on and says, like all creatures in the process of mating, a little love goes a long way. I swear it.
The girls didn’t believe me but it’s the God’s honest truth. Even told me he brings a radio, tunes in soft oldies, and pollinates by moonlight. Insisted the overall flavour of the greenhouse is enhanced. Apparently all the plants, even the cabbage, love a good romance.
I reckon Kiwi had a better track record with tomatoes than women.
Us girls miss him though. He was a real good tipper. I’m wonderin’ how much that job pay? ’Cause I’m real good at talkin’ on the phone and I promise not to vote for no union. And I like brownies.
Dr. V held up a hand for silence and tipped the urn upside down. Kiwi floated down from the beaver dam. He danced on the air, settled on lily pads and among the bulrushes, and drifted into spiderwebs.
A beaver tail slapped the water.