Concise Prose. Enough Said.
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By Case Miller

When our father died, the debate became should we or should we not shave him. The man hadn’t shaved his beard since his first mayoral campaign in 1967.

"We want to see his chin," my sister and I said. As daughters of a politician, we felt we could demand anything. My mother wouldn’t hear of it.

"Would Castro's daughters suggest such a thing?" my mother asked.

We stood in Walgreens collecting the materials.

"Get the electric one," I said. My sister threw the packaged razors on the floor. "Can't you act civilized?" I asked.

"I've always hated you," she said.

She was the pretty one.

We slipped into the funeral home in the late afternoon. The heavy doors were tinted. The mortician led us to the basement where my father's body was held.

"It's exciting," said the mortician.

My sister touched the mortician's candy-colored tie.

We sheared the beard with scissors first.

"Exploration requires courage," said my sister. “And honesty."

"I know that."

After we finished, we were concerned. High on my father's cheek, close to his ear, was a tattoo. It was little and green and in the shape of Texas.

"Texas was first with Dad," I said.

The mortician came up behind me.

"Mother of God," he said. “He looks fantastic." The mortician rested his hands on my hips.

My sister stared at my father's body and then at us. She appeared doubtful.

I didn’t want to move.

"Now we've done it," she said.

Case Miller is moving to Florida from Mississippi. He has placed work with Eyeshot, Opium, The Shore and others.


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