by Arthur Levine

“What’s done cannot be undone…”
Macbeth Act V Scene 1

A sliver of moon peeked out from the dark clouds. Chicken tried hard to keep his mind on the shoveling.
“What’s done is done,” he told his cousin Brown, “there ain’t no bringing her back.”
“Well, it’s like you say, done is done. No use trying to undo what can never be undid!”
Chicken paused and leaned on his shovel.
“Best to just put her in the ground and leave her there and go on about our business. After all, wasn’t like it was did on purpose.”
“No sir! Weren’t like it was done intentional,” said Brown, “if you had done it intentional, then that’d be another thing entirely.”
They dug for a good bit, not paying any mind to the first few drops of rain. Then Chicken leaned his shovel against the Ford pick-up, and went behind an Oak to pee.
The rain stopped, then began again in a light drizzle. Chicken listened to the peeps for a bit, then looked up at the darkness and rubbed his chin.
“This should ought to hold her,” he said.
Brown shook that last unfiltered Camel from the crumbled pack in his overalls, then turned toward the wrapped bundle in the bed of the pick-up and eyed the hole.
“Looks plenty deep to me,” he said.
“She deserved better,” Chicken said.
“We done as best we could. It looks plenty deep to me.”
“I wish things come out otherwise.”
“Only one way things come out. Everything comes out how it does, is all.”
“There was times when things was as they should have been. Better than they should have been.”
“That’s just how it always is Chick, There’s some times, then there’s other times.”
“She just wouldn’t let things go.”
“That’s the trouble right there. If she would ought to of have, then things maybe would have come out how they might have.”
“There was times.”
The drizzle strengthened into a rain.
“I screwed up. I really fucked everything up.”
“Her being how she was, naturally things got fucked up. There was nothing intentional about it”
“You don’t get many chances. Most don’t get any. I had one and I fucked it up.”
As Chicken approached the truck, Brown paused a full minute before joining him.
The each took an end of the bundle and dropped it in the freshly dug pit.
Chicken scooped a shovel full of dirt and dropped it in the hole.
“Say Chicken, we’re doing right, ain’t we? I mean there’s nothing else we ought to should do is there?”
“You mean like say a prayer or some shit?”
“Nah…I was just saying…”
“Well it’s over with.”
“Yeah it’s over with all right. Ain’t no undoing what’s already been done.”
“Take a look, Brown. Do it look deep enough to you?”
Before he could answer, Chicken had swung the shovel hard against the back of Brown’s head and he toppled face forward into the pit.
After every shovel full of dirt the sound got a bit fainter, but when he finished Chicken could still hear, or thought he could still hear Brown’s moaning.
He threw the shovel in the back of the pickup and after he turned the key in the ignition all he could hear was the engine.
He pulled a Pall Mall from his pack, pulled the lighter from the dash and thought for a minute.
“That’s that,” he said.

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