Eternal Rest

by Goldie Peacock

Honorable Mention – Flash 405, April 2024: “Home”


Home is a funeral chapel, ground floor of our grandpa’s Chicago apartment. Our aunt gives us rides on the wheeled casket stand, luging us over pipe tobacco carpet. She jokes this should be an Olympic sport. We scream, Again! Again! Eventually my brother wants to stop and I don’t, but our aunt says, He wants to stop—we should respect that. I acquiesce, though I don’t understand why she can’t push just me.

In hindsight, I know she must have been tired, not only from our athletic trials. Tired of the umpteenth misnaming, people calling her girlfriends roommates, friends. In the casket ride days, no one tells me who else these women might be. Years later, I come out, and the tired hits me too. I mourn the obscuring of options, contortionism, theft of time. Growing up, it would’ve been cool feeling not like some twisted anomaly but another queer branch on the family tree …

… but anyway, growing up in a funeral home is cool. When a great-aunt—one of many elderly relatives on the decline during our childhood—dies, we attend the open-casket wake, and our second cousin who helps run the business sees my curiosity and says, You can touch her if you like. (Not creepy but teacherly.) He points to her arm, so I place my hand on her blouse sleeve and gently press till I understand why they call dead bodies stiffs.

This great-aunt never married. I wonder about any roommates, friends. Whose secrets will be buried with her? The priest says something about eternal rest. At the very least, I hope that means she’s no longer tired.



Judge’s Comments:
This is such a haunting exploration, a gut-punch reminder that for so many of our queer elders there was endless burying, untold strata of lovers and truths locked away.

Goldie Peacock writes stories, essays, and poems. Their words appear in HuffPost, Sundog Lit, MoonPark Review, and more. Celebrations of Goldie’s creative work include a Brooklyn Nightlife Award, a Go Magazine Readers’ Choice Award, and nominations for Best of the Net and Best Small Fictions. They live in Brooklyn and on

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