Death isn't always a one way ticket....
The silver hearse rolls through the gate to Sunset Ridge cemetery, cars pull aside, doors closing one after another, pallbearers lineup awaiting the funeral Director.
A sunny, autumn day with a light wind blowing, leaves falling from their branches, old monuments lean, and graves sunk. How sad, buried and forgotten. Many broken hearts passed through, and many show to get noticed and that’s the world, one must put on to carry on.
Funeral Director stepping from the hearse, and directing friends and family to seats underneath the tent rather surprised quickly everyone seated a cue to get this moving. He motions to his assistant.
The assistant opened hearse doors, rolling out the brown casket, instructing pallbearers where to stand, and with a count of three the casket lifted, making the way to Ashley Katherine Strom’s final resting place.
The clergyman speaks a few words, words spoken so softly mourners straining to hear. “And let not your heart be trouble; you believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”
Reverend Thomas Hooks isn’t sure what words to say comforting an odd group of grievers for no tears do you see. It’s just hurry up get it over, but nonetheless he makes his rounds shaking hands reminding them the Lord will give them strength, stepping back, shaking his head with sorrow as mourners disperse into the crowd, laughing, and hugging Helen Williams the mother of the deceased.
To his right a group of grievers and the love they felt for Ashley expressed in their sorrows, and it torments his soul watching cars continuing to pull into the cemetery only to see the tent being disassemble, chairs loaded up onto an banged up flatbed Ford truck. He wipes the sweat from his brow with the palm of his hand, the corner of his eye one moaner catches his attention, and not sure he should approach for a dark vibe bounces off her. Gripping his King James Bible as funeral goers walk by thanking him, shaking his hand and still he kept an eye to the one he wishes to approach.
Dawn Chandler, a complex individual, a loner with few close ties, some shy away due to her odd dark visions, manuscripts and poems. Very few know her, and those that do wonder if they actually know the real person. She has many faces and one never knows which person she’ll be today, which makes her unpredictable.
She glimpses around appalled. They seem not to get her in the ground quick enough, seems more like embarrassment than grief.
Mrs. Callaway watches colleagues closely, worried how this has affected them. Dawn is somewhat odd, contrary, but she can’t figure her out. She hopes she keeps her head and not end up doing something stupid.
Betty stepped along side Mrs. Callaway and they nod at one another watching the crowd diffusing. She doesn’t understand how Helen can remain calm, but everyone handles grief differently. Even though, she knows Helen and Ashley were far from being close. A love and hate relationship come to mind, and while she thinks about it, it was more hatred than anything, somewhat sad though, today she buried her only child. She cannot even imagine how that must feel. What does one say in a time like this. No matter how you look at it, no matter what life the girl lived, it’s sad she ended her life. She’s often wondered what drives one to take their life.
Her eye cuts toward Dawn, and that brewing glare only means one thing, she’s going to have her hands full for she loves her booze. She wonders how she’ll handle this curveball life pitched.
Hunter is a close friend to Dawn, and worries how she will handle this for she doesn’t handle changes well. Ashley was her muse in writing. They shared that passion. Ashley famous for her poems; Dawn well known for her dark manuscripts, as well as poems. It is a black letter day in Dawn’s life, many lives, those that loved her, and she was loved. Sadly, she rarely felt that most important emotion love.
She watches people, some laughing, and some crying while others stand stunned and numb. The emotions expressed today aren’t wrong for each handle grief in they own special way. She’s sure Dawn’s will consist of drinking, writing among others things. Ashley’s death won’t be swept under the rug and forgotten, and knowing Dawn, she will not stop until she finds an answer that will give her comfort. Hopefully that will consist of writing, and how she hopes others let her be, let her handle healing in her own way on her own time.
Michelle, Grace and Annette close ties and coworkers. They wonder why Ashley felt she had to leave the world. She never spoke of her past much but when she did, very selective.
Annette cannot shake Ashley’s facial expression, angry and vengeful. She made a statement, even in death.
Dawn takes a step away from the grave, eyeing everyone, which isn’t a good vibe for she’s angry and shocked the service ended quickly.
Some expected that from Helen. She’s a cold-blooded woman if you listen to town talk, and some don’t voice either way, it’s best to stay out of family affairs, although some in Dover thrive being a gossipers. Who needs a local newspaper when you have loose tongues?
Helen a hard woman, a jealous woman, jealous of her daughter she disowned years ago. Ashley tried getting her approval with every little thing only to hear harsh words and disappointments. Today, that war between them ended. It ended in a sad, sad way, and many that hold guilt will be haunted.
Helen watches, as they lower the casket, the last ray of light or air until the day of resurrection, coming of the Lord.
Within she’s angry that Ashley Katherine made a final statement, a statement that embarrasses her to the bone. How will she ever live this down? What will the town people think? She has no way of thanking her for making a first class jackass out of her. If she could wring her neck, she’d wring it.
Hunter stopped a few feet away hearing Dawn mumbling, ‘I’ll bring you back, I’ll bring you back, no matter what I have to do, I’ll bring you back.’ A cold sweat breaks out just hearing those words filled with meaning.
Dawn looks up long enough to see Her, and then back at a covered grave.