Summer Short Story #5
(Prompt: Write in the first person perspective, try in the present tense. Describe an event and how it affects the narrator. Include “journey” per the WordPress daily prompt.)
(Ten months prior to meeting Dr. Gadson, three weeks after the fall of Septmet’s tomb.)
They lay them to rest today, and I can only observe from a vantage hidden. My father, General Altman, all those soldiers… so many men. My heart pours grief as I cry among the angels and think of ways to join their ranks. A single thought stops me, though, as the final mourners empty from the Black Chapel Cemetery.
If I perish, by my own hand or another’s, I will have no marked grave to hold my body.
They think me already dead, crushed by the weight of fifteen meters of sand and stone. There, before me, lying to the world, my headstone lays next to Father’s—the casket occupied by a symbolic rose.
Rosamond Elizabeth Wadsworth is hiding. Lizzie Worth goes to St. Giles this day, and they will have her for as long as she can stand. I think this as I lay atop the mausoleum roof, hiding behind the angels at its corners. I think it strange and realize I am not myself, will never be myself again. I wonder how I’ll fair in a poorhouse. It is not what I’ve been raised for.
But I must leave. The cemetery is not meant for the living to stay.
“Father, I love you.”
I whisper to him and close my eyes. I don’t open them for many minutes. The sun is too brilliant for such a day as this. Noon is upon me, and I must make my way further into New London. The journey scares me. Traveling unseen to follow my father’s body seems but someone else’s actions, a tether upon which I was drawn. Now that singular mission is complete, I am anxious and weary. Heartsick, I think.
I’ll be heartsick for a long while.