I'm not sure if it's the warmer weather, or more sunshine or what, but some of the novel writing has been flowing again. I've had several new scenes come together, and several more get rewritten to fix timeline issue.
All along I've known that Dwen and Les strike sparks. Several times she's said she isn't sure if she wants to shag him senseless, or just punch him out. Les has his own issues, and I'd also known there was something that Dwen said or did that helped him to resolve those issues.
When looking at the timeline I realized that a funeral service was scheduled, and that would be perfect timing. So here's a portion of that scene for your delight. Copyright Keith Cartmell, of course, no other usage is implied or authorized.
Les and Dwen got out of his car, and joined the other people walking to the top of the hill. Unlike her usual casual disregard for the weather, Ronnie was bundled up in a parka, complete with hat, scarf, and mittens against the raw March wind. She was still sick, and Belinda hovered nearby.
Les shook his head. “Poor Ronnie. She still blames herself.”
“I know,” Dwen said. “She doesn’t want to listen to anything different. I think when your time comes, it comes. If she’d been awake and had her visit with Audrey, maybe the driver of that truck would have been delayed too. Or if not that truck, it would have been another, or something else. Something Audrey said a few weeks ago, I think she believed something like that too. I’ve never met anyone so serenely happy.”
“The whole death in Samarra thing. Yeah. At least it was quick. More than anything else I fear getting captured by the medical system, kept half alive, too sick to live but not allowed to die.” Les shivered, and it wasn’t just the wind.
Dwen thought about it for a few steps, then reached out to tuck her hand into Les’s arm. She pulled herself in close beside him and curled her arm around his, holding it firmly.
Les didn’t know what to think. “Are you ok?”
“Oh yes. Times like this it’s nice to be close to someone. It’s your first funeral, isn’t it?”
Les just nodded.
“Not me, and I’m sure it’s not my last.”
“I suppose so. I didn’t know Audrey that well, but something about her friends is different. The polite thing to say is that I wanted to pay my respects, but - “ Les trailed off.
“Yeah. I think it’s important that she introduced us to her friends. I don’t know how I know that. Maybe not so much you and me, but Ronnie. I was watching her during that first party and some of the occasions since. Maybe this is melodramatic, but I think knowing these people is life or death for Ronnie. She needs something or someone, and I think one of these people is it.”
“I got a piece of that too. I liked them all and got really good vibes from Ed. I don’t think we’re going to be best friends or anything but there’s a connection. With Ronnie, it’s like I could feel a puzzle piece, knowing it belongs but not quite fitting in. I hope it happens.”
“That’s a good way of saying it.”
They joined the small crowd, standing next to Belinda and Ronnie. All of the lab and office staff from the plant were nearby. There were some other people from the City as well, plus people assumed to be friends and family.
Two people were huddled tightly around Audrey’s husband Thomas, and their two small children, Erin and Jordan. Dwen knew they were Audrey’s best friend Betsy along with her husband Edward.
When the time came, Betsy stepped up to a small folding table. It had an urn and a condolence book on it.
“Hello everyone. I’m Betsy. Thank you for coming. Nobody wants to be standing around in this wind any longer than we need to, no matter how much we loved Audrey, so I’m going to get on with it.”
She gestured to the tall man near her. “Thomas asked me to speak for him; he is still overcome.”
“Audrey was my best friend and the freest spirit I’ve ever known. Some people are weighed down with the burdens of life, but Audrey was the opposite. She brought happiness into the life of everyone that she knew, and made it easier for them to carry whatever burdened them. It seems only appropriate to scatter the remains of her body to the wind and sunshine, where her spirit already is.”
She picked up the urn and carried it over to Thomas. Together they walked over to the edge of the hill.
Betsy looked around and said, “We’re downwind of you all, but mind the eddies. We love you Audrey.” Thomas opened the urn, and scattered a handful of ashes to the wind. Betsy did the same. The two children were coached to do so as well, then Thomas and Betsy scattered the rest of the ashes. They swirled on the wind, spreading out down the hill.
Dwen could feel the tension in Les’s body. She turned to him, and whispered in his ear. “Whatever it is, Les, let it go on the wind. It’s dead. It has no hold on you. Let the wind scatter it like Audrey’s ashes. You are free.”