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  • Rhiannon Futch, Author

First Chapter of A Vampire's Fate, available for free

The funeral went on forever. It was all I could do to stay calm while the pastor read off trite crap for the mourners. Now that they’re gone I can tell Charlie how I really feel. “Damn you for dying, you bastard. I know your mom would say I shouldn’t talk ill of the dead, but who gives a rat’s ass what she thinks today? Not me. How could you leave me like this? We’re supposed to grow old together, you fucker. I am only 40! THAT. IS. NOT. OLD. You weren’t old either! 41 is not old and you should still be here. With me.” I shove my knuckle in my mouth to stop the sob that wants to break free, “How could you leave me like this Charlie? Fuck you for eating all that

crap while I begged you to eat better. Fuck you for refusing to exercise. Fuck you for ignoring me and the doctor. How do I live without you asshole? Answer me that? How the fuck am I supposed to go on without you in my life?” The tears flow from my eyes and I let them go unchecked. Who’s going to say anything to the widow about her makeup running down her face? Nobody with a brain in their head, Prudence would slap them silly. I glance over at Prudence, waiting with our friends by the limo. They all look worried about me. I guess I can’t blame them. I would worry about them if they were standing by a dead husband’s grave telling him off and crying. My black dress hides the tears that fall on it, mostly. Someone told me I look too Morticia in this dress today. I told them to go fuck themselves right as Prudence hauled them off for a talk. My sister really is the best in so many ways. As for the dress, it is Charlie’s favorite. I probably won’t wear it again after today since he won’t be there to whistle at me and say crude things. “Fuck you for leaving me, Charlie. You were supposed to stick around and keep me from being alone, that was your whole damn job. I have to go now, there’r assholes waiting to gather in our house and eat food. I’ll come see you real soon.” It takes a few more minutes for me to leave him there in the ground. I eventually muster up the willpower to turn myself away from his grave and walk toward my friends.

***

This reception blows. His parents have made it all about them and that would be fine except everyone feels bad for me now and they all feel the need to come talk about it. I don’t want to talk about it. I don’t want to talk. I want them all to go away and leave me to wallow in my misery. Natasha, Memré and Prudence have been great about steering people away from me but more just take their place. Prudence wanders back over, Charlie’s boss Steve now steered over to and talking with three other coworkers. She asks me if I am okay. I laugh and am shocked at the harsh sound that comes from my mouth. Serious now, I tell her, “No. I’m not ok. I hate having all these damn people here in my house and his parents haven’t been here in years till today but they are acting like it is their place. I just want to chill out. Maybe get really drunk. I can’t deal with these people.” Prudence nods, her lips compressed into a thin line, “Then they are all going to leave. Go hide in your bedroom sis, lock the damn door.” With that she marches off to battle, collecting Natasha and Memré on the way. I make my way through the house to our bedroom, stepping into the blissful silence, I shut and lock the door behind me. I don’t even make it to the bed to sit down before I hear my mother-in-law, Jacki, at the door. It sounds like she is angry about having her petty show disrupted. I don’t care. I strip off the funeral clothing, laying the dress he loved carefully over a chair. Stepping into the closet, I grab some sweats and a tee. I need the comfort right now. Jackie has moved away from the door. It sounds like they sent Natasha to fetch her. Sweats on, I pull the tee over my head. Jackie tried to corner me earlier and feed me some line about Charlie wanted them to have the house. Right after she did that, I emailed our lawyer Benjamin. He sent back that Charlie had warned him about them when we were doing our wills. He also mentioned that Charlie had made sure his parents could take nothing from me. Charlie had been visiting with Benjamin every six months to keep his will up to date. And he made videos for me. I can’t watch those today, but I will. Soon. I lay on his side of the bed so I can smell him. How can he be gone? I hear a knock at my door and Memré says, “It’s safe now. You can come out. We’re making drinks.” I tell her I will be right out and I bury my face in his pillow one more time, a last deep inhale before I get up and go join them.


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