Saturday, December 3, 2011

Sweet Sample Saturday: The Parting Gift

A short and sweet sample from the prologue of the recent release, The Parting Gift:

The dirt landed with a spatter, emphasizing the close of this chapter of their lives. She was gone now. Nothing could change that.
David couldn’t change it, but he wished he could dull the pain… somehow.
The procession of mourners offering their condolences to the two of them seemed to drag on eternally. If he heard one more God bless you both, he was certain he would lose his temper. If this was God’s blessing, David wanted no part in it.
He quelled the urge to lash out with venom as the preacher shook his hand and offered his encouragement. He smiled and nodded and said, “Thank you, Reverend. It was a beautiful service.” All perfunctory words, because in the deepest part of his soul, David wanted to scream. He wanted to rip a hole in the cloudless sky with his voice and accuse God. It’s not right! It’s not fair! What happened to your justice? Where is your love?
But he said none of those things. Instead, he swallowed them, turned to Blaine and mumbled coldly, “Let’s go home.” And without looking back he started down the gravel path to where his Model A pickup waited.
He climbed into the cab and rested his head on the steering wheel. Exhaling slowly, he lifted his head and glanced out the passenger window.
Blaine hadn’t followed him. Instead, the boy had gravitated back to his mother’s grave and stood watching the old grave digger as he refilled the six-foot hole with rich dark earth. His small frame dropped to its knees, and even from where David sat he could see his son’s shoulders shuddering with forceful sobs; sobs caused by the same heart-shattering grief threatening to suffocate him now.
David wanted to go to him. He wanted to wrap Blaine up in his arms and hold him like he used to when he was a little boy, when things were simple. Before Emily got sick. Hold him and soothe away his tears. But he couldn’t. No matter how much he wanted to, his own pain paralyzed him. He slumped back against the glass and closed his eyes.
Waiting for Blaine felt like an eternity. David wanted to get home, out of the mocking cheerful weather, and lock himself in his dark room, away from the rest of the world, so he could grieve properly and maybe sleep off his indignation, if it were possible. Somehow he knew it wouldn’t be. Already he could feel the anger making itself at home in his heart, filling the gap left by the loss of his wife.
Out of desperation, David fired up the pickup and laid his fist on the horn. The familiar uh-ooga pierced through the quiet and brought Blaine back to his feet as if the weight of his grief was fighting his every effort to rise. David watched him turn and shuffle blindly toward the truck. Despair was evident in the boy’s sagging shoulders, and his head hung low. Again, David’s heart went out to his son, but he said nothing as the boy pulled the heavy door open and crawled into the cab beside him. The words weren’t there, and silence seemed the only respectful choice.

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