Cardboard Box in a Field – short fiction by MorgEn Bailey

The following piece of flash fiction is from Morgen’s larger short story collection (250 stories), Fifty 5pm Fictions Collection, available in eBook and paperback from Amazon  and Morgen’s online store where you can not only instantly download the collection but also purchase the paperback dedicated to you or as a present! We hope you enjoy this story…

Cardboard Box in a Field

I’m sitting here staring at a glass-topped table with a circle of flowers. Pressed ones. Real ones. Dead ones. You think they’d be more… diplomatic, sensitive.

Not sure why I’m here really. Mum didn’t want any fuss. “Stick me in a cardboard box and bury me in a field,” she’d told me once and I don’t think she was joking. But I couldn’t do it, could I? Not strong enough to move her myself, even as thin as she was, and I don’t know any farmers who’d be willing… And where would I get a box big enough? Tesco don’t do free ones at the ends of the tills anymore and sticky-taping them together would be… you know, disrespectful.

My left eye’s twitching. Tired. Overly tired. Not slept properly since…

There’s lots of organising to do so it’s keeping me busy. It’s like getting married – how I imagine, anyway – you wonder if you’ve remembered everything but then that’s what these people are for, aren’t they? Make sure everything flows.

They all look so serious. Of course I don’t expect them to be laughing and joking but it doesn’t make me feel any better.

I hope they’re not much longer. Didn’t expect they’d be this busy but then I suppose it’s that time of year, when it gets to old people. To mum. Six months shy of her seventieth too. Thought I’d be organising that not… this.

Catalogue? Really? OK.

Cup of tea would be lovely, thank you. Oh, weak please. If you don’t mind. Dunk and out. Little bit of milk, little bit of sugar, little bit of tea. Thank you.

Half a spoonful, yes please. No hurry, I can see you’re…

She was nice.

There’s a lot of choice.

Caskets. So they call them caskets. Coffin sounds so final. Caskets does have a nicer ring. Go for a light one I think, nothing too dreary. Oak. Beech maybe or… cardboard! Oh mum, they’ve got cardboard.

Type of service. Don’t suppose they do one without religion. She wasn’t a believer in all… short and sweet. It actually says “short and sweet”. That’ll fit her to a ‘t’. 5’7 at school but shrunk since then.

They’ve even got locations. Wow! They think of every… Two cemeteries. The out of town, definitely. That one looks… third option? No! Seriously? No way. A field. A specially-apportioned field overlooking the lake. Sold.

Oh, hello. Thank you, I’ll be careful. I usually let it cool. I’m not one of these…

It’s very comprehensive this catalogue.

I have, yes. The ‘Garden Casket’, short and sweet at Lakeside View. Thank you.


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