Name: Sierra Granillo
In his will, Jim Adame asked for a simple ceremony to honor his death. He had requested a cremation and the “jubilant tossing” of his ashes over the brown, shrub-speckled peak of Hayden Butte, so that he could look over the city of Tempe, Arizona, nestled cozily at its base. And, in his exact words from the legal document, so he could “flip those racist, bat-shit crazy assholes off for all eternity.”
He had not, apparently, accounted for the wind. Or maybe he had planned on it, for a gust had blown his coarse, bony remains back into the blubbering mouths of his relatives with as much poignancy as any “fuck you” from a ghost could convey.
The will explicitly read that “sprinkling the disgusting remnants of my former mortal shell is for pansies. Don’t treat me delicately now that I’m dead.” The inhalation could’ve been avoided, though, if Richard “Dick” Adame—Jim’s older, crankier, and more alive brother—hadn’t thrown his handful of Jim straight into the path of the wind blowing back at them.
The entire family simply had to deal with the consequences of his actions by sputtering and wiping the soot from their eyes. The powder fused with the tears streaming down their cheeks, forming a sticky, gray paste that everyone felt awkward rubbing off onto the backs of their legs.
Everyone except for Marvalee Adame, who found the situation so hilarious, she doubled over in hyena-like laughter at the exact same instant the rest of the group had screamed.
After receiving stupefied looks from the others in the funeral posse—and only after she noticed the looks, at that—Marvalee straightened her back and coughed into her fist. A smile still stung the corners of her lips, and even though she was trying her best to be serious, she couldn’t help the giggle that hinted at the far reaches of her voice.
“Sorry,” she said, holding her other hand up in apology. “I just think that, y’know, Dad has an odd sense of humor. Joshin’ you from beyond the grave… that’s great, isn’t it, Auntie Janis?”
Said aunt, who looked perhaps the most emotionally-distraught out of the group, burst into an undignified sob.
Marvalee coughed again. “Well. You know. Better place and all that.” She needed to at least act like she was having a miserable time, she figured—lest she give Aunt Janis a heart attack.
Uncle Dick, after making sure his sister wasn’t dying (she sure as hell sounded like it), turned to Marvalee and gave her an only partially-judgmental look.
“I’m not throwing him again,” he grumbled under his breath, his words hidden behind his bushel of a black mustache now pepper-gray from ash. Jim had worn a mustache, too—at least, he had in the picture haphazardly taped to the side of the ash box.
“Well, just don’t throw him like that again,” Marvalee said. “Throw him perpendicular to the wind, or off to the side. Doesn’t take an engineer.”