My Inheritance

My mother is dying. There are shuffling noises overhead coming from her bedroom. She has cancer, and her death is imminent. I am her only child. We never liked each other.

I stare out the window at my large backyard covered in a crust of ice.

The bird feeder is nearly empty. I know I must replenish it, but I can’t command my body to move.

Before my seventy year-old mother moved in, I thought I’d continue working and hire a nurse to care for her. I wavered.  In the back of my head I wondered if we might find an emotional connection before it was too late. In the end, I convinced the senior partners’ at my law firm that it would be better to work at home for a while and take care of her myself.

Now I see my wish to wring more from our relationship as foolhardy. It’s elusive, like an important thought I can’t recall that hovers in the back of my mind. Now I just want to get through this miserable time and have it end. I’m so tired my teeth ache.

Continue reading “My Inheritance”

The Invisible Wife

Living in the attic of her ex-husband’s home these past two months had been exhausting. Darlene had to be so careful not to be detected, not to leave the slightest clue, and she’d gotten really good at covering her tracks. With the evening festivities approaching, Darlene felt her spirits rise.

Through the thin slatted dormer window she saw a pink streaked sky with a half disc of a setting sun on the horizon. Light in the attic dimmed, but she didn’t dare turn on the battery-powered lantern, fearing a beam of light could slip through the tiny openings between the splintery floor boards. Looking into a sliver of mirror hanging from a post. Darlene applied lipstick and fluffed her long, dark hair. She slipped on a red, silk dress. After all, she had to look good for the celebration. Justin and his wife, Lila, were having a dinner party for their first wedding anniversary. Continue reading “The Invisible Wife”