“Dad, do we really have to do this?” I asked. I was pretty skeptical about burying pet corpses to resurrect them, and I never even liked Fletcher when he was alive.
“You keep quiet boy,” my dad growled, “Fletcher was the only thing keeping this family together.” I had no idea what he meant, since we bought Fletcher two months after the car crash that killed most of our family, but whatever. We all grieve in our own ways, dad by killing our dog and then trying to bring it back to life.
“Okay,” he announced after a while, “we’re nearly at the Indian burial ground.”
I groaned. “Native American burial ground, Dad.”
“Sorry. You know I come from a different generation. I didn’t mean to be racist.”
“It’s not racist so much as culture-ist,” broke in a Cherokee priest, emerging from the shadows. “Although of course there is some middle ground.”
“I’m really sorry about that,” my dad said again.
“You shouldn’t have to apologize for contributing to a constructive dialogue.”
There was a long pause as our gazes turned to the dead dog my dad was carrying. “Can you use your magic to bring it back to life?” he asked after a while.
“Of course not. Those holy verses are metaphorical.”
“Tell me more.”
And he did tell us more, explaining many of the common pitfalls people face on their paths to God. A few hours later we walked back to town. Our dog was still dead, of course, but we felt alive with the knowledge that we had kicked the shit out of that priest.