While You Were Away
POV Character: Phoebe Mortimer
Main Character: Frank Mortimer
Other Character: God
It's Phoebe’s birthday today and also the one year anniversary of her husband, Frank’s death. Some people might consider this is a bitter thing to say, but Phoebe doesn’t miss him. For one thing, he was a whiner, complainer, and grumpy - just an all around Archie Bunker type. He was a fat plumber with butt crack by trade, who never found much time to fix their drippy faucets. He died on the living room sofa watching a baseball game, drinking a 12-pack of Bud Light and eating from a bag of Cheetos; while his wife was at Sudsy Laundromat washing his clothes because he was too damn lazy to fix the washer.
It didn’t surprise Phoebe, too much, to find his fat ass dead that afternoon. She knew he wasn’t breathing so she threw a blanket over his gelatinous body. The sight of him in his t-shirt that defied covering his belly and XXXL boxer shorts made her flinch. Then she called the funeral home down the street and said in a matter-of-fact tone, “Frank is dead. Come and get him.” After she hung up, she drank Frank’s last beer, put the laundry away and thought about whether she should go to her job the next day at the Save-N-Go. It occurred to her now she would, in all probability, have to work there until she died. “What a bummer,” she said aloud.
Phoebe noticed all the birthday cake was gone. He hadn't saved her a single measley piece. In silence, she cursed him out about his bad habits catching up to him. “And now I have to pay a real plumber to fix all the things that need fixing.” In the end it was all worth it.
Today Phoebe Mortimer, on her 61st birthday, won the lottery. She laughed and screamed with joy, and then slumped to the floor.
Was the story different?
The POV change made a huge difference in the tone of the story. Originally written from Frank's POV - right before his death as he is watching baseball, he doesn't feel well and knows he may die. At first he is angry because Phoebe isn't there to care for him, but then he realizes she has always been there for him and he has not been the best husband. From Phoebe's POV we see that she is conditioned through her marriage to Frank and has become droll and doesn't expect much joy, until the lottery. I began to like Phoebe's POV more and more so I'm rewriting the whole story until she finds the happiness she deserves.