Friday, September 12, 2008

The Never-Ending Story: Chapter Four

This is a meme that Ruth started to create A Never-Ending Story. I have written a Chapter Four based on RevDrKate's Chapter Three. You are invited to either write a Chapter Five from here or take off from someone else's previous chapters. If you want to do a Five from this one, here are the rules: Put a link to this post. Label the Link "Chapter Four." and to Ruth's "Chapter One." Write your own installment and label it "Chapter Five." Remember to leave it unresolved. Come leave a comment on this post when you're done. If you want to follow one of the other threads, head on over to Ruth's blog where there is a box dedicated to this meme. You can find links to all the chapters in process and pick a thread to follow.

Chapter Four

Unconsciously I reached for my coffee, but my hands continued to shake and I promptly spilled it all over the front page of the newspaper. “Pull yourself together,” I said to myself as I gathered up the paper to throw it in the trash. “You need to get ready for work.”

As I went about my morning routine, I couldn’t help but be preoccupied. My daddy died when I was eight years old and I had spent many years trying to put the circumstances of his death out of my mind. Like most children who have lost parents, I had to deal with his absence over and over throughout my life. There were so many “should have” moments—moments that he “should have” been there for. I missed him when I learned to drive, when I brought home my first boyfriend, when I graduated from high school, when I bought my home after I landed my job and M&F Insurance. I had learned how to handle those moments, but I still couldn’t quite come to terms with the intricacies of his death.

Mother didn’t like to talk about those days and as I got older I had more and more questions. I learned very quickly that I should keep those questions to myself. And now Jim Hartman’s phone call brought all of those questions back—starting with the day Daddy died.

I remembered that day. After the phone call that left Mother pale and shaking, she took me by the shoulders. “You need to be a brave and good girl. Daddy’s been,” her voice wavered and she seemed to struggle to find the words. “Daddy’s been in an accident. I need to go see to him.”

Mother and Daddy had rarely left me home alone. “I don’t know how long I will be. If you get hungry, you may make yourself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Have an apple and some milk too. Do not answer the phone or the door. You may watch TV until I get home.”

“But...” I started to say.

“Be a good girl,” Mother said, “I will be home as soon as I can.”

I fell asleep watching TV that night and as I woke up, I could hear Mother whispering on the telephone. Even half asleep, I knew I wasn’t supposed to hear, but I heard bits of Mother’s conversation. “…a guard outside his room…yes, there was a gun…multiple shots…a gambling scheme…he must have been involved…no, I don’t know the details…he never regained consciousness, Jim said.”

“Jim said,” I suddenly said aloud. That thought snapped me out of the fog as I pulled into my parking space. I looked around at the empty parking lot. “Damn, it’s a holiday. M&F is closed today.”


Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

Hi Silent. I'm so glad you decided to add to the meme. You've added some interesting complexity to her father's death, and you've done a great job leaving the reader wanting more. Having the narrator suddenly remember Jim's name is a great detail for creating suspence. Just who is this Jim and how was he involved in her father's death?

Terrific addition. Thanks for playing along.

RevDrKate said...

Woo-hoo!!! I have been hoping someone would pick her up! The "rules" said of course no consecutive chapters and me being a rule follower....but I may now continue the story cuz she's haunting me! Thanks and stay tuned.....

Therese said...
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