My blog has been sorely neglected of late. As promised here is my postcard story, but first…. A classroom exercise morphed into the back story for a small mid-western town full of characters on the cusp of decline or a push towards prosperity. Of course, the townspeople are in conflict and a body is found, stopping the new highway construction. Our little writing group each submitted a postcard story. This is mine…
End Of The Road
Riley held her mother’s hand, watching the crowd press closer. Flood lights pierced the darkness, casting long shadows. Standing close together under a big fir-tree, they shivered as mist swirled upon from the hole.
“Mom, do you think it’s someone we know?” Riley whispered.
“I don’t know sweetie. We’ve only been here a year.” Jenny wrapped her arms around Riley’s thin shoulders and squeezed. “We don’t know everyone in this crazy town. Maybe we need to move on. Some place warm.”
“But Mom, you said no more moving.” Riley wrenched free, standing angry and defiant in the gloom.
“Okay, okay. We won’t move, stay close.” Jenny pulled her daughter back into the warmth and protection of her body. Maybe, if that’s Sinclair down there, maybe we’ll stay. She stared across the chasm at the face of her grandmother-in-law Evelyn Cavanagh, the oldest woman in Bonnyville. Evelyn clutched a lace handkerchief to her mouth and leaned towards the crater. Shadows and shapes moved as the light played across the grey blanket covering a body. Dirt and rocks tumbled as the firemen climbed, pulling the stretcher up the slope.
“Stand back! Dan get these people out-of-the-way.” Chester Knight shouted to the deputy. He pushed his way towards the men, determined to see whose dead body had just screwed up three years of back slapping to get the highway approved.
“Chester, move out-of-the-way. Give the guys room.” Dan yelled back. “Let them get out of the hole.” Chester pressed towards the stretcher and slipped on the wet grass. He fell on his right knee and grabbed at the first fireman to reach the top. Chester’s solid frame toppled into the man and onto the body. Shrieks and profanities, dirt and mist rose like smoking curling from a fire. Crackling and sharp.
Jenny watched in horror as the corpse fell over exposing a pilot’s uniform. She turned Riley into her body as she glimpsed the blackened face. Evelyn sank to her knees and looked up at Jenny. Not Sinclair. Peter.
~ ~ ~ ~
A first draft submission. There were so many characters to choose from in our brainstorming class. I chose Mrs. Cavanagh, the oldest woman in Bonnyville, suspected of killing her husband and an eight year girl, Riley, living with her single mother. Chester Knight is the big contractor in town who wanted to build a highway into the town.
What a great class and group of writers. Would love to share the rest of the stories with you but I can’t. There was a ghost story, a paranormal story, a sad pathetic guy being set up and bodies piling up all over the town. I’d love to set up a weekend for my writer friends. A retreat to write, read, critique, brainstorm and eat good food. Sounds like fun to me.
Stay safe, warm and very much-loved.