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Farewell Tour; In which the remaining McCormick siblings have a viking funeral.
Topic Started: May 31 2014, 09:49 AM (479 Views)
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“This is dumb.”

“It's not dumb.”

Riley had to admit that it was kind of pointless. They'd had a funeral for Mallory. A proper one. Sure, then they'd found out that she hadn't really died in a plane crash. But she'd still been dead by the time they found out. Riley had watched the feed. So had Jim, even though their parents had tried to forbid it. They'd seen her gunned down in a pillow fort.

A pillow fort... only Mallory would prioritize pillow forts during a fight to the death.

The four siblings sat next to the lake, fiddling about with a series of items. A lot of them were clothes Mallory had made or altered, including a prom dress that she'd made. She hadn't ended up going, because she'd ended up hanging out with other people who hadn't gone instead. She'd said the music selection didn't have enough rock in it. She'd made the dress anyway, because she hadn't wanted to pass up the chance to make something pretty. There were other items, including her old football.

“It is dumb. Why the fuck would you think, 'hey, let's hold a viking funeral.' There's not even a body to burn,” Jim huffed. He'd always been abrasive. Even more so since the plane went missing. Riley gave him a stern look for swearing in front of Caitlin and Briana, though it wasn't anything they hadn't heard before. But someone had to be responsible.

Caitlin was folding up clothes and stacking them neatly on a tiny, badly made raft. It would probably sink fast. But it would work for long enough. Her face was set, her mouth in a grim line. Briana, on the other hand, looked pale and on the edge of tears. Neither expression was one that belonged on a seven-year-old.

“We already had a funeral,” Jim added, scuffing his feet against the ground and glaring at the lake.

“We had a regular funeral, yeah. But, well... how do you think Mallory feels about that?”

Jim scowled. After a few seconds, the scowl softened a bit. “She'd hate it.”

“Right? I mean... long speeches? Formal but boring attire? Sad, dull music? Sleep-inducing boredom. She'll haunt us if we don't do it properly.” Riley tried to smile. It ended up looking like some weird grimace.

Neither of their parents had come along. Riley had felt that it was best to invite them (although he'd neglected to mention fire was involved.) Their mother had voiced similar, though gentler, objections to Riley. 'They'd already had a funeral.' She also hadn't wanted to leave Dad alone.

That was a good idea. Dad had barely moved since the plane vanished. Barely spoken. Just sat in his favourite chair and stared blankly at the wall. When the news that Survival of the Fittest was back spread, he revived a little and watched the clips alongside Riley. When she was gunned down, he went back to his chair and didn't say another word. That was a few days ago.

Riley crouched down besides the raft, picking up some of the old clothes and helping Caitlin to stack them. Jim took a few steps back, still glaring at the lake like it had killed Mallory itself. Briana stared at the lake too, but her eyes were more glassy.

When the clothes were stacked, Riley arranged other items around it. He placed the old football on top. He and Mallory had played with this football every Sunday that they could, even after he'd moved out of the house. He shuffled back to his beat-up wreck of a car and retrieved a stereo. It had an old CD of Mallory's in it. Bowling For Soup.

Riley was not a fan of Bowling For Soup.

“...Anyone want to say anything?”

He expected Jim to say 'this is stupid' again. Jim didn't say anything. Caitlin stood up, gazing down at the little raft, then cleared her throat.

“Mallory. Thank you for fixing my clothes and sewing nice patterns onto them,” she said. “And I'm sorry for stealing your leftover dinner before. And for blaming it on Briana. And I'm sad that you aren't here.”

Jim shuffled around on his feet before grumbling, “Mal, you were a fucking dipshit with a dumb sense of fashion.” Under his breath, barely audible, he added, “I'll miss you anyway.”

Briana blinked quickly a few times before saying, “I want you to come back.” She couldn't say anything else, because she started crying after that.

Riley ended up not saying anything. He just hugged Briana. Then he and Caitlin (mostly him, but Caitlin wanted to help) nudged the raft into the water. Riley made Caitlin step back, then he pulled out a lighter. Soon, the raft had a small but growing fire going on it. Riley pushed the raft away, before flicking on the stereo. A song, one Riley didn't recognise but which contained the word 'almost' a lot, played loudly.

“I raised you to have better music taste than this,” Riley murmured under his breath.

Anyone passing by would think it was just three kids and an irresponsible adult burning things and blaring juvenile music for fun. If not for the solemn expressions on their faces.

The remaining siblings of the McCormick family waited until the burning raft sank. Then they left quietly, headed back to the city, and when they got there Riley bought everyone tacos.

Mallory had liked tacos.
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