The Path to White Tank County Cemetery

Writer Author  Jean Madigan
Christian Article : Life  - Fiction  Yes

Christian Author Writer The Arizona sun peeked shyly through the silvery white clouds framed between the mountain peaks. Sheriff Joe's teenage chain gang trudged along the path to the White Tank County Cemetery, their leg irons rudely interrupting the pre-dawn silence. Every Thursday, their job was to bury the dead indigent and homeless who hoad died during the past week. The Sheriff reckoned this burial detail to be in his version of scared-straight therapy, This ought to curb the little punks of their propensity for waywardness. Besides, it was cheap labor. And he didn't want them to end up dead like this, but wouldn't speak it aloud. He had a reputation to maintain, afterall.

The lawman uttered a short prayer commending the souls of the departed to their eternal fate, while the prisoners would bow their heads and thank God it wasn't them in those cheap white boxes. Sheriff Joe told the stories of the dead, as their holes were being dug, filled with a box, and covered again with dirt. Their family and firends had long since discarded the ones about to be buried.

Jack the Juicer, age unknown, chose alcoholism as his way of coping and could often be seen sleeping in his cardboard box, under a Bird of Paradise bush, near the I-10 freeway exit ramp. People rushed too and fro from work and could see him there.

Bugsy Olsen, age 43, shot himself, rather than endure the effects of lithium prescribed for his manic depression. Bugsy had lived on the street since he was 18.

The last to be buried this week was Rebecca, age 20, prostitute. She was killed by her pimp because she became pregnant. It was his child.

Life for these three was prematurely snuffed out forever. They would never again see the sun rise or set, see a dog wag its tail, or hear a mourning dove sing its plaintive song. With each shovel of dirt, the delinquent teens heard about the consequences of taking the wrong path. These dead souls had given up their right to ever have the power of choice again----to live or to die, to take the left fork or the right. Sheriff Joe wanted the teens to see.....we pass this way but once.

@Jean Madigan 2004

Editor's Comment:

About the Writer Author
State: Arizona
Country: United States
Profile:  Click here! has been given permission to use all materials and content found on this website. All contents of this Website are subject to Copyright protection. Please contact the Christian Writer by email for permission to use their work in any manner.

Most Recent From This Writer

Inspired Still - Designs by LaVellaK

Design Challenged? No worries! Among many design services I offer, I'll gladly design hats, t-shirts and more for you or your organized Special Event. Email me at for details!

Photgraphy & Design by LaVella Kraft


Make personalized gifts at Zazzle.

Select Article or Story