The Linnet's Wings :Take All My Loves, My Love - Page 33

The Linnet´s Wings Just some words on a stone, only permanent marker he’d leave in the world. Jim had chased up the details with the council, found his brother’s unmarked grave right where it was meant to be. Five feet behind Tom Tanner, one grave to the right of Eleanor Jones. It had felt like he was following a map, except this was something far more valuable than buried treasure; the weight of a life long past. Brian had gone before he’d even been born. It felt strange now, trying to connect, to reach out in some way to his brother. It was a thought that had both immense weight and none. They shared the same middle name. She’d let that slip earlier, like it was nothing. Funny thing to have never known before... Jim was thinking of that, the bond that there’d never been, when the reply to his email came. He blinked. It was the smallest, most modest headstone he could find. How much? Per letter? He tried to think of a word, letter or number that could be omitted; but none of it could be lost. What little there was, was the entirety of his existence. Jim rubbed his face, wearily. He knew there was a lot of money to be made in death, but this was beyond him. He stared out the window. Rain splashed like little feet across the glass. Where are they go- ing? he wondered, absently. She didn’t have any mementos. No photographs. These days they did tiny plaster casts of the feet. A 3D printed face that became a sculpture you could kiss. All sorts of things for you to hold onto. And he couldn’t afford 40 characters on a bloody stone. Who was he kidding, he couldn’t afford the stone. She’d understand. Finding him was enough. He could always make another cross, and another. He could make as many as they could destroy. Brian would understand… He let that thought go, surprised by how it caught inside. You’re my brother, mate, that’s enough. Jim watched the little feet run across the glass, watched them run until they faded, until they ran out of sky. *** 33