I was going to do a big, interesting and fancy launch of this Wordsmith website in November. I had all these plans. And then disaster struck.
We had two deaths in the family within two weeks, and one of them was my Mum. My lovely, knowledgeable, skilled, fantastic Mum.
I am picking myself up slowly but surely. But the great, big launch has been postponed until January. However, I did want to put something up, so here is the prologue to my first attempt at a NaNoWriMo novel (also postponed), just to whet your appetite.
The Broken Clock
Eight minutes past six. Hedda had glanced up at the wall clock again, a bad habit she’d kept for all these years. it was clearly not eight minutes past six, because it was November and bright sunshine hit her face through the window. She checked her wrist watch instead. The solicitor would be there soon. All these years she’d put off writing a will, but at 88 years of age she was starting to think it may be time.
“Tick tock,” she thought as she made her way to the kettle. She’d been to the office of Edward Michaels Esq before, but this was the first time he was visiting her at home. He had better be punctual. She pressed the button on the kettle and soon the rushing water sound met her ears. Reaching up into the cupboard above for tea, her mind was on Fabio, her long passed husband. He never wrote a will. Hedda had been forced to fight his family for the house she’d lived in for decades. Back in the present, her hand had gripped the box of tea bags hard enough to misshape it. She sighed and quickly grabbed two mugs from the mug tree, dropping a tea bag in each in one swift motion. As if on cue, the kettle turned off. She filled both mugs and left them in the kitchen to brew while going into the hallway to check the window.
“And the house, Mrs Garcia?” Michaels Esq asked. “You’ve been skirting around the issue of the house for an hour now. You have to leave it to someone.”
There was a tinge of exasperation in his voice.
Hedda sighed. There was no way to avoid it.
“The house,” she hesitated. The marriage had not produced any biological children, but she loved her adopted twins as if they were her own. She wanted to leave the house to them both, but she was all too aware that they couldn’t spend more than half an hour in the same room without arguing. She didn’t want them to sell it. She wanted the house kept in the family.
“Monica,” she said. “I want to leave the house to Monica Dowrer.”
Michaels was visibly surprised.
“Not the twins?” he asked.
“No,” Hedda replied. “Monica Dowrer. That’s D – O – W – R – E – R.”
Michaels wrinkled his brow.
“You realise, of course, that your daughters can contest this.”
Hedda sighed, again.
“I can’t change the legal system,” she lamented, “but I’d rather the house go to someone who appreciates it and will live here.”
“Very well,” Michaels acknowledged and made the final notes. “I will have my secretary type this up and I’ll be back next week for your final signature, with a witness.”
He glanced up at the wall clock.
“Goodness, is that the time?” he exclaimed.
“Oh, no, no, that clock has been broken for many years,” Hedda explained. “It’s a sentimental piece,” she added.
Michaels breathed a sigh of relief.
“Thank goodness for that. I have another client to visit before the end of the day. Thank you so much for the tea.”
“I’ll see you out,” Hedda offered, eager now for some alone time.