Sunday, May 28, 2017

Another Sneak Peek

Hi guys,

I thought I'd post another scene from my current work in progress. It hasn't been edited, so keep that in mind.

***

Beth agreed to stay with Kavan while Tess went to the funeral home. She surveyed the building as she drove up. It was a large, old home in the middle of the cemetery. The home rose up—a yellow monolith with white columns and painstakingly shaped topiaries—as Tess maneuvered her car up the narrow drive.
She parked her car and walked between the large columns into the pristinely kept building. The mingling scents of flowers assaulted her nose as she stepped inside. The carpet itself was adorned with flowers and scrolls. She curled her lip as she stood in the foyer, waiting.
A young woman, she was probably close to Tess’s age, turned a corner and approached her. “May I help you?”  She held a clipboard in her arm.
“Yes, I’m here to see, um, visit, my husband. Michael Bello?” Tess shifted her weight from one foot to the other. She felt hideously unattractive in her dark jeans and heather gray long-sleeved T-shirt. Her wavy hair had not cooperated, so she’d tied it back in a tight ponytail at the nape of her neck.
The young woman turned up the corners of her mouth, but didn’t quite reach a smile. “Right this way.” She led Tess into what Tess assumed to be a viewing room; she’d never been in a funeral home before. There was a half-open coffin at the far end of the room, amid several large groupings of flowers. The walls of the room were lined with small sofas and chairs, all of which didn’t quite go together, although they didn’t clash, exactly.
“I’ll leave you alone,” the young woman said. “Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you. Oh, my name is Summer.”
Tess nodded and Summer left the room. Tess stared at the shiny black coffin without moving. She and Michael had picked it together just after he’d completed his training as a firefighter, but it didn’t seem real seeing it there on the stand. At the time Tess had thought it silly that Michael wanted to make arrangements, just in case. Tess had been adamant that she’d never need them. Now, Tess felt as though if she closed her eyes and opened them again, the entire scene would disappear and she would be back at home with Michael and Kavan, laughing at her boys as they wrestled and laughed together. She closed her eyes for a long second and then opened them. The coffin was still there, gleaming under the florescent lights.
Tess took a tentative step toward the coffin, and then another. Slowly, she advanced across the room. She rose up on her toes to glimpse Michael’s body inside the coffin but couldn’t see him. She took another step and could just see Michael’s profile. She took another step and could see him fully. Her hand flew up to her mouth to stifle the gasp that had risen to her lips. Her eyes filled with tears that spilled onto her cheeks.

The side of Michael’s face was burned and blistered. His skin was pale and the hair near the burn was shorn closely to his scalp. It must have been scorched, so they had taken a razor to it. Tess’s knees gave way under her. She turned toward the nearest sofa but fell with a clunk to the floor. Her head was swimming. Her vision went black and a wave of nausea came. She fought to remain conscious by willing herself to take deep breaths. After several moments her vision returned. She pulled herself onto the sofa and sat there, staring at the carpet.

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