All Stories, General Fiction

Desert Dust by James Bates

The middle-aged, balding man sitting behind the desk at the Arapahoe County Funeral Home looked up as I walked in. He smiled a greeting. “Good morning.”

“Good morning,” I said, trying to be polite since I really didn’t want to be there. “My name is Sam Jorgenson. I think I talked to you earlier this week. I came for my father’s ashes.”

“Ah, Mr. Jorgenson.” He nodded, his face taking on what I figured was his practiced look of sad commiseration. He stood up, came around his deck, and extended his hand. “Nice to meet you,” he said. “Yes, we did talk. I’m Jack Benson, the director here. May I offer my condolences.”

I shook his hand. It was dry and cold to the touch. “Thank you. Nice to meet you,” I said.

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