This is the last post for Tell Me A Story. I might do something else in the future but for now I have a bunch of other projects that need some TLC.
Amber sat in the small closet. She had managed to find an old bottle of wine at the funeral parlor and had crawled into the first space she could find. Some part of her knew the cars had all gone and somewhere the service was going on, but that part was small. The rest of her was drunk as can be and wallowing in self-pity.
In her haze she heard a voice calling her name. She wondered if it would find her or if she should find it and giggled.
“There you are,” the voice said. She saw William as he opened the door to the small room. She giggled again.
“Poo, you found my hiding place.”
William smiled at her. “I had help. Now come on, your sister needs you.”
Amber slowly got to her feet and stumbled slightly. “She is dead. She never needed my help.”
William shook his head and grabbed her hand. He led her outside and in the hallway she glanced in the mirror, trying to make sure she looked decent enough. With a shock she realized there was no reflection of William.
Kadin glanced helplessly at the priest. Much to his chagrin the priest was sitting to the side, scratching his nose and staring at the cross of Jesus. Super.
He turned back to the crowd, searching for the image of his wife but there was no one. He made one last attempt to swallow the lump in his throat and coughed.
“Many of you…. Many of you know that Sarah was kind and generous. She could see the good in everything. Even me. Even this town.
“I was with her, when she died. Her last words were ‘I love you’. There is something about a person at those last moments, something that reveals who they truly are. And she was good to the core. I want to be worthy of that goodness.
“I miss… I miss her so much, but I know she will watch over this town and send love as long as she exists in heaven.”
He could feel the lump getting bigger and he went to sit down. The priest nodded and continued the sermon. Kadin closed his eyes and imagined he could see Sarah.
“She misses you too,” Someone said. He looked and saw William, smiling warmly.
“What the hell do you know about Sarah? Don’t patronize me.”
William put both his hands up and whispered soothingly, “Easy now. After the ceremony we need to talk.”
Kadin stared at the casket and tried to ignore the voices around him. There was nothing to say to this man. He did not know who William was but there was no reason to speak.
“Kadin, you cannot go on like this. You will need to move on soon or lose Sarah forever. You need to give up the ghost before it is too late.”
“What the hell are you talking about?” Kadin asked, his voice rising a little higher and now even the priest was looking at him coldly.
William looked at him kindly. “This is not real. You don’t exist anymore. You need to let go of this life and go home. She is waiting for you.”
Kadin felt his breath catch and he stood up. Everywhere he looked there were sympathetic eyes, and they seemed almost hollow. Sarah’s family had pale skin but this had to be real, right? He was not dead!
“Kadin it is ok. Tell my sister I say hi.” Amber came up behind him. Her face was streaked with tears but she held her chin up and back straight.
He looked at her, pleading with her to tell him everything was real, that she was real. He walked up to the woman who looked so much like his lost love and kissed her. He willed it to be real, willed those feelings to rush back to him. Pain meant he was alive. The touch of her lips, the bite of his teeth, it was real and solid.
As he pulled away from Amber he caught a glimpse of them in the window. Only she showed. He looked around at the crowd of people in the church, but in the mirrored image only the woman showed.
His screams filled the room and Amber fell to the floor sobbing.
Amber looked out the window for William, but no one was walking around. She shook her head, wondering how he got to his car and out of the parking lot so quickly. It was almost time to go from the viewing to the ceremony location and she looked around for Aunt Meredith.
This particular relative was prone to get drunk and dance on a table no matter how serious the event. The last family gathering had almost turned into a disaster when the table collapsed. Thankfully the wedding cake had been saved and dear Sarah had just laughed it off. Amber probably would have had a fit.
Spying the woman near a coat closet, flask in hand, Amber walked over.
“Aunt Meredith, how are you?”
“Hic – Fine dear, how are you holding ‘hic’ up?” Meredith said, clearly not drinking water. “So sad ‘hic’”
“We should get you going. Who is driving you to the church?”
“Oh are you finally getting married? ‘Hic’ I am so happy for you! Will ‘hic’ there be music? I love to dance ‘Hic’. Excuse me!” Meredith hurried away, looking both happy and sick.
Amber felt ready to cry. It was bad enough her sister was gone but this was just insult to injury. She eyed the flask Meredith had dropped. Looking around her she took a wiff. Vodka. Could today get any worse? Oh, what the hell, she thought as she took a small sip.
Kadin felt his blood boiling. He paced the small room and tried to calm down. He was not even sure why he was reacting this way. That man with Amber was a complete stranger but for some reason Kadin had the urge to just tear him apart. Every gut instinct screamed danger and there was no logical reason why. Even before he saw the man Kadin’s skin had begun to crawl and he felt a chill down his spine. Despite the anger he could still feel that unnatural cold feeling all around. What was happening to him?
This whole day was odd. Half the time he kept forgetting Sarah was gone and the woman in the room was his ex. It was even harder with the collage of pictures up. They even had the most recent photos of Sarah, taken during vacation. With Amber standing right by them the similarities were ridiculous.
It was amazing she was even being civil after what he had done. One of these days he would make the time to apologize. For now he needed to just hold it together. As he walked back into the main area he saw most of the people were headed out the door. The bearers were getting ready with the hearse and he felt his stomach flip. This was the last time he would be able to look at his wife, the last time he could say he loved her. His throat tightened. Hold it together, he told himself. After the speech you can go home. It’s almost over.
The procession arrived at a little church in the middle of town. This was where he had grown up and they had settled down. God knows why, he had hated living here but something about the small town had called to Sarah. So they ended up settling in Kadin’s old family home after they had died.
It was when they were going over the legal documents after Sarah’s death that he discovered her last wishes were to keep the house on the lake. It did not matter that he wanted to sell it, Kadin would follow her wishes to keep it up. It was not his only property at least. He had actually included the lighter side of the story in his speech about her, how she saw the good in everything, the potential. She had even seen into his soul, seen the damaged angry man inside and soothed him.
When everyone was at the church he listened along. His cue to speak came and he stood next to the priest. He fought against the lump in his throat and looked for Amber, for the one woman who could help him. She was nowhere to be seen. Shit.
Ok everyone, hope you enjoyed this latest post. So tell me, where is Amber and what is she doing? And anyone who wants to decide what Kadin looks like feel free to post a link to your favorite man candy.
See you in a week!
Ok everyone, thank you for the comments. It was had but I decided to use the advice of Emma.
The woman who died is Amber’s sister Sarah, and she died because of Amber but we will not find out how just yet. I have the idea written out already but I think I have a fairly good stage being set up.
Enjoy Part 2, all 600 words of it.
Kadin walked into the parlor. Amber was already there, make up fresh and a smile plastered to her face. It was the same smile Sarah had, when she was trying to put on a brave face; genuine and it barely hid the misery underneath. Even now, after all these years, he still had to remind himself they were not the same woman. No, Amber was as different from her twin sister as possible, in every way except looks.
Sarah had been kind and gentle. Her heart had been big enough to love even him and it hurt that she was now in a casket. She had a way of reaching everyone and even the gruffest man at the homeless shelter had paid his respects to this woman. She was a true part of the community, involved in everything and never tiring. She gave more of herself than anyone Kadin had ever met.
Amber on the other hand, she was the brave one. Restless in a small town in the back woods of Maine she had made her way south to the city of Boston. From there she became one of the top students at her school, with the potential to do anything. That something involved becoming a lawyer at his practice, and a ruthless one at that. Amber had developed quite a reputation in the court room by the time she was 30 and it was no secret she could face down any adversary. Once upon a time it was that ruthlessness that had appealed to Kadin. Until one weekend, he had come home to meet the family and everything changed.
He fought against the tightness in his throat as he remembered the first time he met Sarah. It had been summer, the 4th of July reunion. He had planned on proposing after asking for Amber’s fathers approval. They had been the first to arrive that day and she had gone upstairs to freshen up after the long drive. He was waiting in the office when Amber walked through the door and he had given her a long kiss, not holding back for the sheer excitement of what he planned. A not so subtle cough distracted him and he found Amber looking at him.
In shock he had jumped away, looking back and forth between the two Ambers.
“Kadin, I would like you to meet my twin sister, Sarah,” his girlfriend had said, her tone unhappy.
Sarah blushed. “Pleased to meet you. Do you plan to greet all our family members that way?”
Kadin smiled but felt his palms get sweaty. “I am so terribly sorry, I thought you were…. I mean Amber never said…. Wow you look alike.”
Amber huffed and walked over to Kadin. “I hope you saved some of that for me. After you brush your teeth.” Something in her face made him gulp and he suddenly felt like he was on the stand.
He had not spoken to Sarah much that weekend. Every time he went near her his legs turned to jelly and he would stammer out a greeting as though he was back in high school with a new crush. He never was able to talk to Amber’s father and within a month of returning home Amber had left. It took another two years but that same ring had ended up on Sarah’s hand.
He looked over at Amber and she met his eyes. She nodded once and they walked silently to the casket together. He had just knelt down when there was a wail behind them. Both turned quickly, angry at the interruption.
Ok readers, I hope there is better turn out this time. I need to know who wailed and why. Is it a relative? Is it an angry ex lover? Is it someone about to accuse Kadin or Amber of murder? You tell me!
And don’t forget to check out Amber West with her own Tell Me A Story series.
- Tell Me A Story – Part 1 (jenniferjrandolph.wordpress.com)
Thank you Amber for the input. I will keep the introduction short and sweet. This is Part 1 of the Tell Me A Story series.
Each week I will post on Monday the latest in the series. At the end of each post will be the next part I need. You, the readers, will tell me what to write next.
Remember, even if I do not choose your input this round it may show up later on so be on the watch. For this, the setting is dawn on a grey lake. Also I will be using the name Kadin.
Please note, I will be a little more graphic for this story. Curse words and the occasional violence. I am so tired of being vanilla for Twilight.
He sat on the edge of the lake. It was not the first time and much to his anger it would not be the last. It was certainly the saddest. God this sucked.
“Kadin, come inside.” A voice said. It’s owner sat next to him. Her eyes were red, and her eyes were glassy. She sniffed and looked at him.
“I cannot do this alone. Please, come inside.”
He looked back at the house, lifeless in the dawn light. Soon enough relatives would be running about, getting ready for the ceremony.
He sighed. “Amber, I cannot do this. I cannot look at them all and say this was peaceful. I cannot lie to their faces.”
“You don’t know what happened. Look, just let it pass. I want this to be over.”
“No!” Kadin shouted, his voice startling a still sleeping rodent. “Damn you, we both know she was murdered and I will not just let this pass.”
She rounded on him, fresh tears on her face. “Don’t say that. Don’t you fucking dare. If you had the guts to take care of this in the first place then she would be alive. It is your fault she died now you had better be there for the funeral.”
He grabbed her arms and shook her. “You think I don’t know that? What the hell gives you the right to judge me? You. Left. You took off the first chance you had and hey, I am the idiot for staying behind.”
“Fuck you Kadin.”
She ran into the house and Kadin let her go. He knew what it cost her to say those words and he knew he had to speak before the casket. But it was not fair. Amber had no idea what it cost him to be here, to speak at this funeral for the woman he loved. Amber had never cared, not once. No, she had made her way into the city and had made a name for herself. His once promising career was down the toilet these days.
He turned back to the lake and watched the sun come up. He wanted to cry. Everyone expected him to be brave, to be strong but damn them all, they were just watching. They had no idea what had really happened. Hell, he did not even know. One minute she was alive and the next dying by his side. Now he was stuck with this house.
“I can’t even sell the damn thing,” he said, despair threatening to overcome him. She had a sense of humor even he could not figure out and she knew what this place meant to him. Why she thought leaving it to him was a good idea he could not imagine.
Over the lake a loon called, the sound sending shivers down his spine. He turned and went inside. Time to write a speech, he thought.
In the next part we have the funeral. I need a few details.
- Who died? Name and relation
- What is Kadin’s job?
See you all in a week!
- Tell Me A Story – How it Begins (jenniferjrandolph.wordpress.com)
Good morning and Happy Friday!
So my latest project involves everyone joining into the maddness and helping me write a story.
The idea comes from Amber West who is doing a really cool story on her site. It really brings readers and writers together in a fun way right?
Basically, every Monday I will post the latest installment. At the end of each post I will ask a question. You are asked to comment on what you think the next part of the story should be. I will pick the comment and include it for the next part.
Keep in mind that even if I do not pick your comment I may use it later on.
No this is not Choose Your Own Adventure. Well, sort of. You are choosing my adventure. Er, I choose yours?
Anyway, first the basics. In the comment section please give me a setting for the story to take place. I will choose the one I feel is best and use it to start the story on Monday. You can be as detailed as you like, bonus points if you offer a name for the protagonist (I am terrible with names).
Good luck everyone, and don’t forget to check out Amber’s posts as well!