KINDRED SPIRITS... Burying The Dead (An Original Story -- Part 1)

in story •  2 years ago

KINDRED SPIRITS... Burying The Dead
Is a story of life and death… And what happens to the people we leave behind when were gone...

"It's hard to forget someone who gave you so much to remember…"


They say, "no one you love is ever truly lost" -- actually, I think it was Ernest Hemingway. But for these two people.., that just didn't ring quite true. Not only did they lose their loved ones.., they lost themselves, too.

Maybe it was the way they were taken from them -- such a violent act, it seemed surreal.., and even 15 years later, they were still not able to let go… Or, maybe it was the all the guilt that plagued their days, filled their nights and invaded the dreams they each had, that I guess.., most people call nightmares.

Holly was her name -- Joe was his… They didn't know each other, yet somehow they were connected, only they didn't know it.., yet. But that place they first saw each other was special, somehow. He was usually alone when he sat there, just starring… But this time there she was -- she was carrying a sketch book. He glanced her way. She too, noticed him…

Her mother was a famous an artist, never really being recognized for her unique and detailed drawings, sketches and illustrations while alive (like most artists).., of old historic places in NYC. Holly was a beautiful young woman in her thirties.., and seemingly had everything going for her… Except there was a sadness about her -- behind her eyes. She had no ties to anyone.., with her mother dead -- she never knew her father…

She was a pretty open book… But what no-one knew how her mother died. People were so used to seeing them together -- they were more like best friends, than mother, daughter… and when she died, part of her died, too. You see, 15 years earlier she was on the brink of great success and recognition as an artist herself -- she had drawn a picture of one of her mothers early illustrations of an historic brownstone, that for some reason spoke to the whole city -- it captivated the whole town.

It caught the eye of New York's art curators.., and was to be displayed for all in the most prestigious art gallery in town.., on September 11th 2001. Her mother had been out of town and planned to come home early, just in time for the showing as a surprise -- her mom was so proud. Only she never made it. She was on flight 11.., the plan that crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center…

Holly had no idea what was going that beautiful morning as she readied herself for what was to be the biggest night of her life… And as she stepped out of her building to meet with the curators and make sure everything was perfect for the showing that night.., she looked up and saw a plane flying unusually low and then it disappeared.

The news was everywhere by the time she reached the gallery.., and as she stepped outside to catch her breath.., there were 2 Federal Agents waiting to break the news, that her mother was on the plane crashed into Tower 1. As if in slow motion, all time coming to a complete halt -- her body just crumbled and fell to the floor.

"Life hurts more than death…"

Joe's family was part of the NYC elite… His dad was a big-shot down on Wall St., his mother bought and curated art from all over the world, she had an eye for artist's that blew peoples minds -- discovering dozens of unknown, starving artists and launching their careers. Just like she was about to do for Holly, only it never happened. His sister was being groomed to step into the family business, down on Wall St., although she was not the best with numbers and charts.., she had always admired her father and what he did.., and dreamt of the day they would be working side by side.

Joe was a natural -- the golden boy. He started picking winning stocks when he was still a child -- literally, he told his dad to get into Apple stock when it was under $7.00 -- he made a fortune, not only for his dads firm but the many people his dad put into the stock…

Still in his early 20's.., just like the girl that lost her mom -- he was the heir apparent to the family business… Even though everyone around him assumed that was what he wanted to do with the rest of his life -- he wasn't so sure… He had always wanted to be in the bar business.., and it would be the cause of great tension between him and his dad -- to the point one night his father actually hit him -- something completely out of character.., and something he always regretted.

When Joe graduated college instead of stepping into a cushy job in the family business.., he shocked everybody and took a job as a bartender. Within a year, he was running the whole bar with great success -- literally, there were lines down the block every night of the week. And, he kept the neighborhood happy, too -- anyone causing a ruckus and disturbing the neighbors was banned, for good. He was so good at his job, one of the oldest bars in the city tried to steal him away to revive their flailing business.., but one of the things he learned from his dad was loyalty is key to.., not only good business but a healthy conscious.

One night, he asked his father to back him in opening his own bar… There relationship had been strained by his decision to forgo the family trade.., but it was a good business move.., and that was something his dad never passed-up, until now. He had the whole thing planned out -- the space he chose was an old brownstone with a bar on the ground level with outdoor space in the back and a full basement. He had all the numbers, specs and projections -- covered all his bases, just like his dad taught him.., and he still said no.

Things got very heated that night, as Joe accused his dad of being jealous of him and not backing his venture out of spite. Some things were said, in the heat of the moment that both of them regretted but never voiced their apologies… Since that night, Joe had little contact with his family.., and in the back of his mind it bothered him greatly.

Sept 10th, 2001.., that night Joe received a phone call from his dad asking him if he would come by the office at 1 WTC for breakfast, he had something very important to discuss with him. This was very unusual.., and Joe had wanted to see his dad for awhile, to apologize for some of the disrespectful things he said, the last time they saw each other -- so he agreed.

Little did he know.., the whole family would be there, to present him the bar he always wanted… And not just the bar -- his dad bought him the the whole brownstone that housed it. You see, his father had secretly been to the bar Joe tended at a few times.., and watched his son in action, behind the stick. He was floored at the speed, accuracy and charm his son possessed behind the bar… And when he saw the look in his sons eyes, the smile on his face -- he knew he was wrong the night he turned down his business offer to back a bar for him.

It was a Monday night when Joe got the call from his dad.., and agreed to meet him at the office at 8:30am the following morning… But Monday nights at his bar was one of the busiest night of the week -- the party usually going on well after 4:00am… It was a throw-back to the 1980's when Mondays were the best night of the week to go out for the "ultra-cool" -- no bridge and tunnel people.., since most of them had to work the next morning. It was a brilliant promotion and the the city people showed up in huge numbers.

Joe was running late, he only had a chance to close his eyes for about an hour… When he hopped off the train it was about 8:45am -- it was a beautiful morning and Joe looked up to at the sky and relished in the sun.., then he heard an unfamiliar noise and saw an airplane flying way to low.., and it slammed directly into tower 1 -- the tower he was to meet his father in…

Not believing what he just saw -- he ran towards the towers, as everyone else was scrambling past him trying to get away from all the falling debris… He was met at the entrance by about a half dozen very large police officers, stopping him in his tracks, not allowing him entrance. As he was arguing with the officers.., Laura, his fathers long-time executive assistant grabbed him by the arm pulling him away before he got into a physical altercation with the cops…

When they were a safe distance away (right across the street) they both looked up at the tower in flames.., and they both could see it had hit the building almost directly where Joe's dads office was located… Not believing their eyes they starred up at the smoldering building, when all of a sudden they heard another explosion -- the south tower had been hit by another plane -- their city was under attack!

Laura had been trying non-stop to reach someone -- anyone from the office on the phone to no avail.., while Joe just starred in shock. Over an hour had passed in what seemed like just a few minutes -- when they heard an unholy roar coming from tower 1.., and then it started to collapse… Tears streaming down his face, he just screamed out "NOOOOO."

Covered in debris, screams coming from everywhere.., barely able to see through all the dust filling the air… Laura took Joe's face in her hands wiping the dirt away.., and looked him directly in the eyes -- and gave him the bad news… "Joe, your mother and sister were in the office with your dad… They were here because your dad wanted them to see the look on your face when he told you he bought you the bar you wanted -- the whole brownstone is yours…" Joe crumbles to ground.., as debris continues to fall all around him…

And now 15 years later.., there they were -- both sitting in the morning light starring at beautiful historic brownstone. He would sit there from time to time -- never once going inside. She would come by the same spot almost every month, sketch book in her hand -- never once opening it. Something kept drawing them back.., something not of this world.

To be continued…

Stay tuned for Part 2.., and see how these two people, from very different lives.., both dealing with their own demons connect.., and try and move on…


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Good storytelling, you had me hooked from the first few paragraphs and kept my interest through to the end! I'm looking forward to Part 2.


I'm looking forward to the next installment. I have to admit I still feel a shock of grief seeing anything about 9-11. I was a NY resident for about 40 years. My father was in the city when the towers fell. Thankfully he came home, but many people in our local neighborhoods did not.


I was born in Little Italy and I live in Hells Kitchen, now. I was stuck in Los Angeles on 9-11 with two other NYer's and we were freaking out -- trying to get back to the city -- but it was on lock-down!
Thanks for reading merej99 :))
Glad your Dad was okay!