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She was only six when the funeral homes started sending us advertisements, all competing with each other to be the best, to win her business. To win our business, more like; six is hardly old enough to understand what's going on. It's not old enough to understand why everyone is covering their mouths with their hands and failing to hold back tears when you walk into the room, or old enough to understand why people begin to outright sob when you start talking about what you want to be when you grow up. Once it was a doctor, before that it was a fairy princess, but right now it's a policewoman.

And of course all the children have heard about the funeral homes. Cold, nasty, make their business in knowing when people are going to die. Not how, as far as anyone can tell, just...when. A lot of kids have had relatives—great-aunts, great-uncles, maybe great-grandparents—start getting advertisements, maybe been shown them to know what to look out for, but not Anita. She doesn't have much of a family. Just us and her grandparents on my side of the family. John doesn't speak to his parents, except when he has to, so Anita's only met them once or twice, and both of us are only children, just like Anita. But of course John's parents will be coming to her funeral. Everyone will be.

We did manage to decide on a funeral home. There were only two advertisements that looked suitable for children—there never used to be funeral homes like that, not in the old days, but now that the funeral homes know in advance when a death will occur, some of them made themselves…happy. Cheerful. Streamers, balloons, so it's almost like a party.

Very depressing.

Today we found out what kind of flowers Anita wants at her funeral, although of course we didn't ask her that outright. Purple ones are her favorites, she says. What kind of flowers are purple? Lilies? Lilacs? I've never had to plan a funeral before, although of course I've been to plenty of them. And I never thought I'd be planning my own daughter's funeral, not before my own or before one of my parents'.

I wonder how she'll die. I wonder if she'll be comfortable.

Anita asked me earlier why everyone was acting so strangely around her. It's funny, because I thought she'd be too young to really notice. I thought she'd appreciate the extra attention, the time off from school, but no; she misses her friends. So I told her she could go back to school on Monday.

The funeral is on Sunday.

I took Anita to the funeral home for the first time, since the funeral'll be tomorrow. She adores it. We went in and looked at the flowers that had been picked out, the purple streamers adorning the walls, the purple balloons tied to chairs. She thought it was beautiful, and amazing that everything was her favorite color. She asked me if we could live there forever, and got worried when I couldn't hold back my sobs.

Everyone was at the funeral. My parents, John's parents, Anita's teacher and most of her classmates and their parents. After the service, the children played with Anita outside on the merry-go-round while John and I wept with our friends and family.

That's when we heard the screams, and raced outside to see what was going on.

Anita was lying on the ground with one arm twisted behind her back. Her face was pale, and she wasn't moving. I picked her up, screamed her name, but she didn't respond, and rubbing her back, I could feel blood. Her classmates explained to me later that she'd spun too hard on the merry-go-round, that she'd fallen off and fell both on her arm and on a sharp stick that had been jutting out of the ground.

And it makes you wonder, doesn't it? If we'd never had the funeral, then she never could have died, could she? But she would have anyway, because the funeral homes know about deaths…

Don't they?
Today I got an advertisement in the mail for a funeral home, and I blinked at it and tried to figure out what the heck I'd do with a funeral home, and this was the result. Comments/crit/etc. are loved, as are ways I can make it make more sense.
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Daily Deviation

Given 2012-03-04
Advertisements by *Chlowo is an intriguing short story that snags the reader with the first morbid sentence and easily tugs them along to the disturbing end. ( Featured by thorns )
:iconpiespie8743:
PieSpie8743 Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
This is eerie and beautiful and downright depressing. I love it
Reply
:iconchlowo:
Chlowo Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2016   Writer
thank you :)
Reply
:icontwilightwalkers:
twilightwalkers Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I stared crying halfway through... listening to chasing cars by Snow Patrol probably didn't help...
This is really good...
Reply
:iconchlowo:
Chlowo Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2014   Writer
Thank you! Why did it make you cry?
Reply
:icontwilightwalkers:
twilightwalkers Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
idk, I guess it's just because Anita seems so sweet and innocent but she is going to die so young? It's a really good story, though
Reply
:iconfehnryr:
Fehnryr Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2014
Every time I read this, it's more intriguing than the last. I wish I could make everyone I know read this because it's truly beautiful and does lovely things to my thought process. Great job writing this!
Reply
:iconnekochibiclarechan:
nekochibiclarechan Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is a beautiful but morbidly written story. I now know never to buy a funeral home. O.O I am a dummy! 
Reply
:iconzuryfury3:
zuryfury3 Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Wow
Reply
:iconmickycorg:
MickyCorg Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
that's sad but i loved it too. well writen
Reply
:iconspiderwires:
SpiderWires Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
Welp, it's decided then, funeral homes are evil.
Reply
:iconblueberry-heart:
Blueberry-heart Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
This is sooooooo sad!!! Very well written,though!
Reply
:iconnintendo-angel:
Nintendo-Angel Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist

I think I may be a little young to understand (given that I'm only thirteen), but I would really like it if somebody could tell me what this is about since it is really well written and looks interesting. Thanks~


Reply
:iconchlowo:
Chlowo Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2014   Writer
Well, I mean, there's no hidden deep meaning behind it? It is what it is, and you can take away anything you like.

(Can I ask you how you got to this? I've noticed a sudden influx of comments and favorites and was wondering...)
Reply
:iconnintendo-angel:
Nintendo-Angel Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
It was on the popular page and I decided to give it a read~
Reply
:icontokiratokia:
tokiratokia Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2014  Student General Artist
:(
Reply
:iconirorus:
irorus Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2014
I really love this.

thank you
Reply
:iconchlowo:
Chlowo Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2014   Writer
Thank you. <3
Reply
:iconi-just-want-to-be-mi:
I-just-want-to-be-Mi Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
man, this will stick with me for awile.

Reply
:iconchlowo:
Chlowo Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2014   Writer
Thank you. <3
Reply
:iconcrisbehrmann:
CrisBehrmann Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I like the whole timeline of fate concept, really brilliant stuff. Good job.
Reply
:iconchlowo:
Chlowo Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2014   Writer
Thank you!
Reply
:iconcrisbehrmann:
CrisBehrmann Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You're welcome :)
Reply
:icononigirifreak:
onigirifreak Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
One word:  Amazing.
Reply
:iconchlowo:
Chlowo Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2014   Writer
Thank you. <3
Reply
:icononigirifreak:
onigirifreak Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Welcome!
Reply
:iconmaximumelricride:
maximumelricride Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This has brung tears to my eyes because its so powerfull
Reply
:iconlixir:
Lixir Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2013
I had reached my wits end this helped me get back on my feet miracles really do exist just think of all the possibilities
[link]
Reply
:iconnazifabdullah:
NazifAbdullah Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Local Mom lost 57 pound in a week
[link]
Reply
:iconsnowyblack:
SnowyBlack Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
this is really powerful and amazing, fantastic work. its quite moving
Reply
:iconchlowo:
Chlowo Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2013   Writer
Thank you so much!
Reply
:iconninthincarnation:
ninthincarnation Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
This provokes some intriguing questions, and casts doubt into which we take as a given. What would the potential to see others in this light do to us as a society? As people, and as consumers/retailers? Insidious, cathartic, and semantically meaningful. Great work
Reply
:iconchlowo:
Chlowo Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2013   Writer
Thank you very much!
Reply
:iconninthincarnation:
ninthincarnation Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
:) my pleasure
Reply
:iconmizosazai:
Mizosazai Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2013
that was brilliant!! very original and well written, i loved every word ^_^
Reply
:iconchlowo:
Chlowo Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2013   Writer
Thank you!
Reply
:iconpoeticperfectionist:
poeticperfectionist Featured By Owner May 7, 2013   Writer
The concept here is brilliant and delivered beautifully, the plot twist at the end as well was fantastic. I'm lost for more words other than I loved it, great work!
Reply
:iconchlowo:
Chlowo Featured By Owner May 13, 2013   Writer
Thanks so much!! ;u;
Reply
:iconpoeticperfectionist:
poeticperfectionist Featured By Owner May 14, 2013   Writer
you're supremely welcome! (:
Reply
:iconthepumpkinqueen712:
ThePumpkinQueen712 Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
So. Kind of... well lets just say, I'm an overly-superstitious kind of gal, and this as been the equivalent of a gun barrel in my peripheral vision... shabby comparison, I know, but best I could come up with. So thanks for renewing my traitorous superstitious gland's glamour.
Reply
:iconakky3210:
akky3210 Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
WOAH...
Freakish. Tragic, and beautiful, and scary, and perfect. WOW. I'm just...speechless.
Reply
:iconchlowo:
Chlowo Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2012   Writer
Thank you very much! : D
Reply
:iconakky3210:
akky3210 Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
You are very welcome! :highfive: It's a truly stunning piece. I'm jealous--I haven't even finished my big short story yet. If that makes sense. *rolls eyes at self*
Reply
:iconchlowo:
Chlowo Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2012   Writer
Well, this piece is over a year old now so. =) What's your short story about?
Reply
:iconakky3210:
akky3210 Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
It's a Christian fiction piece about a man who is being put to trial for murder (amongst other things). The first half is in my gallery.
Reply
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May 6, 2011
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