The Funeral – By Rinat Harel

Clad in black, we headed to the graveyard. A dark swarm carrying a fair lady.

Evening was approaching. With the sunset at our back, our procession advanced through the cemetery grounds. Weeping willows bowed their crowns before us.

On our way we paid our respects to some old friends: Woolf, Borges, Proust, Carol-Oats, Coelho, Morrison. Their handsome headstones gleamed in the soft magenta air.

Over the cemetery wall we could hear voices. Dressed in their shimmering bells and whistles, the new heroes, Gossip and Entertainment, were revealed. In the quiet grounds, their resonating jeers trailed behind us.

We carried on, holding our lady high. Our arms did not tire. Shrouded in white, she was but a feathery billow undulating in the dusk.

As we lowered her to the ground, the muslin peeled away from her face, uncovering delicate features, her ashen skin, and bloodless lips. Though ancient, her splendor remained unchanged since her early days, millennia before.

We stood around the freshly dug earth. The air was thickening with nightfall. An owl called from a nearby tree. A lingering silence ensued.

Literature is dead, we mumbled in disbelief, when the first fists of dirt fell into the gape at our feet.

Rinat Harel, picture

Born and raised in Israel, Rinat moved to the U.S. in 1991, shortly after graduating from college. She holds a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in fine arts. Having grown up in a war zone, where reality often takes a form similar to one of Kafka’s stories, her writing often intertwines the real and the surreal. She keeps a literary blog at: