(TW: Mourning, implied deadnaming)
Barn sat at Ley’s grave. It was covered in flowers, drying in the sun. Ley hated flowers, but tradition dictated they be put there. Ley also hated tradition for tradition’s sake.
No one visited Ley anymore. Barn only came every few months, when the guilt got too heavy. Yet, there were always flowers. The graveyard put them on every grave.
Barn stared at the name engraved on Ley’s final resting place. Every time he came, he dreamed of smashing that headstone. Replacing it with something that actually stood for the person beneath.
…A phoenix. Yes, it should be a phoenix. Some sign of resurrection; a promise of a future. Barn pulled out an old sketchpad, unused for some time, yet kept in case of inspiration. He worked slowly. It had to be perfect.
He placed it against the grave, using the flowers to prop it up. It would likely blow away, but maybe that was alright. Maybe it just had to be there for a moment. Barn imagined Ley rising up, in the body of a phoenix. They spread their wings, lit with flame, and took flight.