“You gotta be tough to farm,” he always said, but she was sure she saw tears in his eyes as he carried the stillborn alpaca away.
The cigarette burn scars on his arm screamed “I hate you, Dad!” The tears on his cheeks as he touched the casket offered a rebuttal.
She visited his hidden grave every year at this time to lay flowers. Always cautious that no one followed, as officially he’s only missing.
He took her away on his new boat, gleaming with polished wood and leather. She came back alone, smelling of saltwater and bleach.
He set the time portal for 12 minutes ahead and stepped through. Stumbling out a moment later, he gasped, “There’s nothing up there!”
She didn’t cry till she saw the obituary. It was as dry as a bone. No plot twist, no climax or character depth. She knew he’d have hated it.