A Gracious Death
A Halloween Tale
I will always be there…
Everyone knew my wife Suzie Quinn Andrews. The word on everyone’s mouth was…gracious.
What a gracious woman. A woman of particular style and grace, able to capture an entire room just by entering it.
But so gracious.
Warm, welcoming, hospitable. Never one to harp on her looks, but one to look after others. Taking in strays of all sorts, from broken-winged birds to hungry little mouths on Thanksgiving.
She was a giver, a laughter, a lover of life and the things in it. Those little things others missed were her miracles, the light that danced in her eyes.
So when the train derailed that spring Saturday, I came home happy for the delay. One more day with my Suzie before heading up North. One more day to see that smile that dimpled her cheeks and brightened her beautiful face.
I never expected to find her in between tangled sheets, her arms wrapped around that Bowen boy, her golden hair askew, her parted mouth releasing butterfly sighs…
They blamed the Bowen boy. He was always of no account, always pestering the good women of town with his sly smiles and perverted suggestions.
I watched him hang without a word of protest before I buried Suzie next to my mother, and buried myself with her.
I squandered my earnings on the grandest tomb in the cemetery, a testament to the gracious woman that everyone knew and loved.
My statue overlooks her grave, more real that I, broken with grief and regret while my body carries on, wasting away in a gray and ugly world.
In time I will be gone, the truth buried with the both of us. But the statue will be there, always be there.
By her side…
Story: A Gracious Death, by Bard Constantine
Image shot in Hollenback Cemetery, Wilkes-Barre, PA
Happy Halloween all you ghosts and goblins, wizards and witches!
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