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Sunday, November 4, 2012

NaNoWriMo Sneak Peek: Sarah's Grief by @mawauthor


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My name is Michael Allen Williamson. I am an aspiring author. I've written 2 self-published children's novelettes under the pen name, Professor MacKay. However, my NaNoWriMo work is under my real name.

Sarah's Grief

Written by Michael Allen Williamson



http://professormackay.com/


Note: I have marks like ### in the text because they are points I'm not sure about and want to return to them later.

NaNo Excerpt


Storm clouds brewed overhead and familiar faces filed into the church sanctuary. Sarah looked up a the dark clouds and wondered why she always thought it cliché when movies showed it raining at funerals. *Seems fitting, actually.* Even if the sun beat down on her, it would still seem fitting; like an angry fire burning down. She never imagined that she would be attending her own husband's funeral at such a young age. She was glad it was gloomy; it didn't seem right that the world should continue to enjoy balmy, beautiful weather. Sarah's life had become dark and now the world ought to be also.

Standing in the foyer watching the black figures launch protective umbrellas against the onslaught of water from heaven, Sarah suddenly felt very ill. She turned and ran down a side hall to disappear into the mundane hallways of the church. Posters for Sunday school events, pictures of happy kids, banners celebrating "Jesus, Wonderful Counselor" just all seemed wrong. She ran into the bathroom and slumped against the wall. She buried her face in her lace-gloved hands and began to weep. The world was cruel and unfair. 

*Why would Will kill himself?* It just didn't fit him. After fifteen years of marriage, she thought she knew him pretty well. Sure, he had his bouts of depression, but she never had the sense that he was suicidal. Lately, things seemed to be going well. There was no reason to suspect that Will would kill himself on Thursday and she'd be at his funeral on Sunday.

It seemed to her like days of sitting on the floor of the bathroom, sobbing. She didn't have the strength to go on; but she had to. She had her kids to think of. She had to continue to raise them. She had to continue working. She had to continue to live. She had to keep on taking care of things... by herself. This couldn't be happening. This can't be the way life was supposed to go. Suddenly, the thoughts of suicide that had crept into her mind were obvious. The insidious little whispers made themselves known. *Damn it! I'm not a coward, am I?* Then, yelling without realizing it, she yelled out, "Am I?"

"Are you what, dear?" A kindly woman asked standing just inside the doorway. Her face was familiar, but Sarah didn't immediately recognize her. 

Sarah straightened up and wiped away the tears and sniffled. "Nothing, I'm sorry."

"Don't be sorry, dear, and don't pretend everything is okay. You are in mourning, and that is all right." The kind woman forced a smile. It was obvious to Sarah that this woman was grieving, too. Then, Sarah realized who she was. She was Will's grandmother from Minneapolis. *How strange to be survived by your grandmother.* "Oh, Edith, I don't know what to do. I..." Sarah burst into tears again.

Edith moved with an elderly place to Sarah's side. It looked like she contemplated sitting on the floor next to her and then thought better of it. "You will sit in the front of the church and weep. We will weep with you. You will comfort your children in the best way you can and stop trying to pretend you have it all together." They sounded like wise words, but they didn't have much effect in encouraging Sarah.

Sarah carefully pulled herself up while carefully handling the awkward funeral dress she wore. There was no point in pretending, just as Edith suggested. She gathered her things and followed Edith into the sanctuary and to the front row. As she approached the casket, she looked in to see the lifeless body of her love, her mate, her husband, her children's father, the man who had abandoned her. The collar of his suit covered the strangulation marks on his neck and he looked peaceful and serene. She broke down sobbing again, hanging on the edge of the casket. Minutes past and the gaze of the ###funeral-goers started to burn into her back. She started to gather herself to sit down and when she opened her eyes, she saw the tiny white triangle of paper peeking out from her husbands suit pocket. She reached down, pulled out a small strip of folded paper and opened it. It merely had the letters ###"ASIN: ############." The letters "ASIN" seemed vaguely familiar to her, but the paper seemed like nothing more than a tag of some kind. Without thinking, she tucked the paper into her purse as she turned to sit down in the front row.

Sarah didn't remember much of the service. She either sat in a daze or weeping uncontrollably. She hugged her kids as they also sat in a daze. She listened to the foolish people pretending to care.

"It really was a lovely service..." *No it wasn't you stupid hag, my husband is dead!*

"I'm so sorry for your loss..." *Bullshit, you selfish old man!*

"I always worried about you and Will..." *Are you seriously that idiotic!*

"I know it's hard to understand, but the Lord works in Mysterious ways..." *Shut the hell up you blowhard bafoon!*

"When I lost my husband..." *Ugh!*

"It won't be soon, but someday you'll look back and..." *Oh, for the love of...*

"Hey, there's this book you should read..." *Oh, give me a break!* "...It's called, ###**Ignore What Everyone Says and Grieve** by..." *Really? So, I should ignore you too?*

The parade of fools continued for hours and as the sun set, Sarah finally returned home with her children and her mother. She looked at her mother's face who returned the look with understanding eyes as if to say, "I'll get the kids to bed, you go ahead and rest."

Sarah wearily ###slogged upstairs, unzipped her dress and flopped on her bed. All the propriety of staying neat and her usual bedtime routine seemed completely unimportant. Within moments, she was asleep.

*BLINGK* The notification sound penetrated her dream and woke her. She reached over and picked her phone up from the bedside table. She turned on the screen to see what app had decided to wake her. Nothing. Her eyes inexplicably looked over at Will's bedside table to see his tablet sitting there with a blinking light. *Oh, my God, I've got to shut down all of his online accounts!* Her curiosity overpowered her grief and she powered on the tablet screen to see a bunch of notifications. She tapped on the email headline that read, "Use your Amazon Promotional Credit before it expires..." She opened the email that explained that Will's $5 credit would expire at the end of the month. Out of boredome, or habit, or curiosity, she clicked on the link and started browsing the Amazon site. 

*What was that book? ###Ignore What Everyone Says and Grieve...* The title was intriguing and she searched for it. *Only two and a half stars* She scanned the reviews on the page and then scrolled up to the top. Suddenly, something caught her eyes. "ASIN:..." Right there in the middle of the page were the letters that looked so familiar to her. With some unknown vigor and motivation, she frantically looked for the piece of paper she found in her husband's pocket. *Did I just throw it away? What did I do with that?* She quietly tiptoed down the stairs to her purse and dumped it's contents on the kitche table. She sifted through the miscellaneous items until she found the little piece of folded paper. She quickly darted back up the stairs to her bedroom, turned the tablet screen back on and tapped in the ASIN number into the search field.

### **Kara's Grief by Barry Willis** There was no product picture, no reviews, and no description. *What is this? Who would put this in Will's pocket?* The name Barry Willis sounded familiar, but she couldn't figure out where she'd heard it. Her curiosity beckoned her to buy the book, but her grief and cynicism urged her to avoid it. *Just some gimmick some sick-o is foisting on me.* She sat the tablet down on her husband's bedside table and turned out the light. Thoughts of all the effort she would have to go through to cancel her Husband's online accounts, cancel his cell phone... all the work that he left for her to do. She eventually fell back asleep, but it was a restless sleep.

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