Friday, August 10, 2007

Reprisal - revised

There was no yelling and screaming here. No one belittled or demeaned her or reminded her of her failures. No one compared her to her perfect sibling or blamed her for the other’s problems. This was her refuge. She escaped the emotional brutality of her youth here and on rare visits home, she always returned.

Her mother’s letter surprised her. The instructions were specific. The casket should be wood – not just any wood – mahogany. The pillow should be silk. There should be two days of viewing before the funeral. Burial should be in the old cemetery in the family area. Her perfect sibling would oversee the actual services and more important details. Commands not requests – as always.

The woods were tranquil and quiet – a sharp contrast to memories of her nearby home. Her old path was overgrown with dead leaves and branches upon which the tiniest forest creatures dined, but she knew the way to her special spot. Sunlight filtered through the green canopy and the scent of pine, earth and wildflowers combined to remind her why she always loved coming to this cool, crisp haven as a child.

She noticed the small creature staring at her in the distance as she opened the cardboard box and pulled out the plastic bag. “Lunch,” she said as she scattered the ashes across the decaying tree stump.

As she walked away she thought, “Screw you.”

Is this better? Honestly!

4 comments:

Church Lady said...

Better, but needs a smoother transition from 3rd to 4th paragraphs. How about (and I'm not rewording, just re-ordering some of your stuff):

There was no yelling and screaming here-a sharp contrast to memories of her nearby home. Her old path was overgrown with dead leaves and branches upon which the tiniest forest creatures dined, but she knew the way.

She always loved coming to this cool, crisp haven as a child. No one belittled or demeaned her or reminded her of her failures. No one compared her to her perfect sibling or blamed her for the other’s problems. This was her refuge. She escaped the emotional brutality of her youth here and on rare visits home, she always returned.

Her mother’s letter surprised her. The instructions were specific. The casket should be wood – not just any wood – mahogany. The pillow should be silk. There should be two days of viewing before the funeral. Burial should be in the old cemetery in the family area. Her perfect sibling would oversee the actual services and more important details. Commands not requests – as always.

She opened the cardboard box and pulled out the plastic bag. “Screw you,” she said as she scattered the ashes across the decaying tree stump.

****************

That re-ordering and deletion of some sentences is just my opinion, and a novice one at that. But you still need a smoother transition.

Very creative and emotional vignette. I hope you get it edited exactly the way you want it. I wish there were a thumbs-up emoticon here. Nice job! ;-)

Cheers,

The Anti-Wife said...

Thanks CL,
I like what you did. For me it's not about getting it just the way I want, it's about getting it the way it flows best and is most compelling. This is a real learning experience for me and I appreciate all opinions.

Bernita said...

Yes, better.
Is your "small creature" a chipmunk, a vole?

The Anti-Wife said...

Bernita,
A small creature with eyes big enough to be noticed. In honor of Miss Snark, maybe an evil squirrel.