Today’s daily prompt: Ready, Set, Done!
Our ten-minute free-write is back for another round! Tap away on whatever comes to mind, no filters attached.
My short story series, inspired by NaNoWriMo/NaBloPoMo and the daily prompt.
“If anybody would like to speak a few words, please do so at this time.”
Connor only attended the funeral for ten minutes. Like Father, he wore a black suit and tie. Mother wore a simple black dress and a long coat. The three of them solemnly stood at the back of the group, listening to the muffled sobs around them. Father and Mother’s eyes were glued to the floor, their necks cracked to a stiff angle.
Connor had never been to a funeral before. He wasn’t sure what to do, how he should be standing, where he should be looking, or if he should be saying anything at all. Even though it was another crisp, bright morning, he felt like he was looking at a sea of black. And in the midst of all the darkness, Samantha’s brown ponytail gleamed under the sun. It did not move or sway from any movements. It remained perfectly still like a straight line of light to the bottom of the Earth.
Connor stared at her ponytail for almost the full ten minutes. He wanted, very badly, to see her face. Connor had only seen Samantha cry once and that was when she failed her math test in fourth grade. Even then, he had found her in the narrowest corner of the school, a place he probably wouldn’t even have stumbled upon if he weren’t chasing a stray cat that day. The image of Samantha crying was hazy in Connor’s memory.
Stevie was not still like his sister. His shoulders continually trembled up and down, the faint sound of his crying clashing against his sister’s silence. Suddenly, he spun around to leave, his arm furiously wiping away fat tears from his cheeks.
He stopped and his green eyes flashed at Connor again.
“How dare you come here? Get out. Leave! Now!”
Stevie was snarling at him like a dog held back with a leash. A hushed silence fell over the group and necks swiveled to their direction. Connor’s eyes peeked behind Stevie’s shoulder. The ponytail twitched but her neck did not turn to look at him.
“We wanted to offer our condolences. Please let us stay for the ceremony.”
“This is your fault! My dad is dead because of you!”
Connor had to push against Stevie’s flailing arms to stop him from pouncing on Father. He was tall for a fourteen-year-old, but his lanky body fought vainly against Connor. His eyes flickered to Samantha’s ponytail for help. Her neck was turned slightly to the right, revealing only the side of her cheek and an outline of her nose.
“Stevie, stop it.”
But Stevie wouldn’t stop, so Connor and Father and Mother had to leave.
The three of them got into Father’s car and sat there in silence. Connor replayed the events in his mind- the sea of black, Samantha’s ponytail, Stevie’s snarling, and Father’s apologies.
Father placed his head on the steering wheel and a deep sigh resonated from his throat. His voice croaked. “What can I do?”
Nothing. Connor knew Father could do nothing to bring Samantha’s father back. A part of him felt sorry hearing the desperation etched in Father’s voice.
Another part of him hated him for driving that fast on that crisp, bright morning.
To be continued…