Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Challenge for Me

My lunch with Doug on Monday ended with a challenge posed by Doug. We are to both write 300 words a day until our meeting on the 10th. That's 3000 words in 10 days. Not a bad goal and not overwhelming, which I think has been a problem for both of us. So, I did my 300 tonight. Here it is. Please remember this is a work of fiction. There is no resemblance to any persons living or dead. And no, I have no idea what it means. Seems pretty useless at this point.

Maddie Walker stepped back and tilted her head to one side, studying the arrangement she'd just placed in front of the tombstone. The brilliant colors of the silk flowers glowed in the sunshine, almost blinding her. They were a nice foil against the white marble. Her eyes caressed the stone, tracing the black letters, one by one. They were daggers that scored her heart. For the billionth time she wondered if that would ever stop and decided not.

Stepping forward, she leaned down and traced the name carved there, gently rubbed the top of the stone as if she were ruffling someone's hair. Sighing, she turned to leave.

Across the drive that wound through the grounds were more headstones of varying styles, sizes, and age. She halted when she noticed someone standing beside a grave only a few rows in. Very seldom did she run across anyone at this time of day. It was a large cemetery but it seemed as if people no longer felt it necessary to honor their dead.

Continuing toward her car parked in the row of slots beside this section, she kept her eyes on the man who stood with his back to her. He was tall, long legged, with broad shoulders bowed as if a great weight rested there. She knew that feeling. Her eyes slid to the grave. It wasn't fresh. She glanced back at her own anchor. One never got far before feeling that pull. No matter where you went, what you did you could always feel it, tugging at you.

Pulling open the car door, she took one last look at the lone mourner. He was gone. She look around. There were no buildings nearby, no trees, no large monuments to hide behind. Nothing. Slowly, she turned in a circle, searching. She was alone.

A silk flower blew across the road and came to rest against her foot. Bending down, she picked it up. She always liked yellow roses. Yellow was for remembrance.

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