Her father had been very specific about where he wanted his ashes scattered after he had been cremated; he wanted his ashes to be thrown from the Miami Bluff so he could mingle with his beloved sea which lay beyond the shoreline of his favourite Queensland beach. She had been quite anxious about the possibility of being covered in his ‘ash’ should the wind be blowing the wrong way.
Exasperated, he had scolded her, “Throw them during an offshore. It’s not that hard.”
She was then worried she’d get ash on the seagulls.
“Bloody seagulls!” He grumbled. “Don’t worry about them.”
She had also been concerned about needing council approval for such a venture.
Again, he dismissed her concerns. “People do it all the time. You just have to smart about it. Promise me you’ll do this.”
And because she was a good daughter, she promised.
Eventually, he did die and he was cremated. She was tense for the entire memorial because she knew that she would have to fulfil her promise. Fortunately, or unfortunately, there was a strong onshore wind that day so she placed the urn with his ashes on her kitchen table and promised her father she would get to it soon.
Six months later, the urn was still on her kitchen table.
So she moved it to the spare room, where it stayed until the anniversary of her father’s death. On this day she brought the urn back out to the kitchen table and stared at it as the televised weather report announced that today was a day for off shore winds at the beach. Realising that she could no longer put off the inevitable, she took the urn to the bluff and prepared to spill the contents into the sea.
Alas, as she was undoing the lid a well meaning lifeguard approached her to ask her what she was doing. In her panic, she threw everything, urn and ashes into the air in the hopes of removing any incriminating evidence.
She turned to the lifeguard, smiling sweetly to deflect any suspicions regarding her behaviour. However, the lifeguard wasn’t looking at her, instead he was looking in horror at the poor seagull that had been struck by the wayward urn.
“You monster,” he whispered.
Indeed for a short minute, she did feel like a monster until she remembered that her father hated seagulls. She strolled back down the slope of the bluff to her car past the whispers of disapproval, smiling to herself.