Bottom

‘This is the bottomnothing could ever match this.’

Zach MacIver was only 11 years old, so really who could blame him for being so naive?

He was traveling in a hearse with his mother’s body in the trunk space behind him… 3 cardboard boxes of comic books layed beside her coffin and her only suitcase leaned against the comics that held everything else he owned.

The undertaker Carl, was dressed in black from head toe, and was driving them from his former home to where Margaret would be buried. Crying seemed no longer an option. Carl stared at the road emotionless. This was old hat for him. Death was just another day.

“The trip will be 3 hours.” Were the only words Carl spoke.

Zach wondered where he’d be living after Margaret was buried.

Decades later he was sitting in a crack house with 5 others in a moment of unbelievable silence. No one was jonesing or yapping or sharing nonsense. They were all it seemed strangely and silently satisfied. Zach sat in awe of this rarity of this moment and instinctively knew something spectacular was about to happen. He looked around at each of the faces and realized that he knew all their stories. There was rape and murder and incest and abandonment and tortured and Zach…

The realization came to him all at once. They all had one thing in common. Each of them had lost their immediate family. They all were alone even when they were together.

Zach got up and left silently. He knew he’d never be back and no one else was getting out alive. He now knew what bottom was.

Dennis Mantin

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