REVENGE

  

The aunt was alone in the house. Her footsteps clapping through the rooms, the ring of bowl and spoon on the table. Her house now. Water boiled magnificently in the teakettle. Upstairs. Yet climbing the stairs, entering that room, was as if she ventured into a rough landscape pocked with sinks and karst holes, abysses invisible until she pitched headlong.

The box holding the brotherís ashes was on the floor in the corner.
"All right," she said, and seized it. Carried it down and through and out. A bright day. The sea glazed, ornamented with gulls. Her shadow streamed away from her. She went into the new outhouse and tipped the ashes down the hole. Hoisted her skirts and sat down. The urine splattered. The thought that she, that his own son and grandchildren, would daily void their bodily wastes on his remains a thing that only she would know.

-- Annie Proulx, The Shipping News