In the wake of releasing my nonfiction book, Just Keep Breathing, I am working on my novels. The Rose Wall is the first fiction book in a supernatural trilogy. Several years in writing, it is nearing its last formal edit. As with all books I write, the story is based here in Oregon.
Juggling several manuscripts at once, family time, a long bought with (some kind of still undiagnosed) illness and a full-time career has been tricky. But you know what they say about busy, motivated people getting things done. We do.
This work has not yet been formally edited.
The Rose Wall
On either side of the resting site were fresh roses. Each time Megan had come here, the flowers on the Lighten graves had been new. Red and perfect, their color bled onto the concrete structures surrounding them. Both graves were encased in a larger-than-most tomb. Ancient and weathered, Megan was somehow drawn to the bold floral color flawlessly placed around it.
Why, after all these years, would the roses still be replaced so often? They were never faded or brown. Enough years had passed since the Lightens died that even their children would be elderly by now. Or deceased.
Her lips pursed tightly as she turned her attention back to The Rose Wall, looking at the niche of her dead boyfriend. There was always a fresh rose there, too. She wondered how long Trenton’s mom would keep bringing the roses in memory of her son. Megan had never once seen Joy Murray’s car, nor any evidence of her visits here otherwise. Joy had been so harsh, so unkind. As if the reality of a dead boyfriend wasn’t enough pain, she had endured the unyielding feeling of guilt that Trenton’s blood was on the hands of her father. Avoiding Joy had been easy since the funeral, even in this small town. It was better their paths not cross again.
Standing there pondering the flowers, Megan was startled as movement in her peripheral vision sharply caught her attention. Gasping, her pulse raced hard. Crossing her arms tight against her chest, she looked around the graveyard. Nothing. Not even a bird moved in that direction. That familiar anxiety invaded her – a feeling she often had here that she was not alone.
She thought if ghosts did exist they would be in a graveyard, but she doubted she could see them. With intention, she slowed her breathing and decided that spirits would probably only appear at night anyway. It was broad daylight now.
“Ghosts,” she said quietly to herself as her eyes surveyed the cemetery. “Get ahold of yourself, Megan.”
The fog was lifting, revealing the sun high over the East hills. Soon, rays of bright light would replace the lingering fog and cast itself across the beautiful Willamette Valley. Dew sparkled on the tall grass in the surrounding fields as the blades swayed gently, back and forth as subtle winds picked up.
Megan was excited for the warm weather to return to Monmouth. A few more months and it would be cool sunshine, followed by warmer days. Then a crisp, colorful autumn. The calendar showed springtime had been here for a while. In Oregon, it often still froze as late as May and the cold rains were frequent.
She turned around and leaned her back against the gate. Tucking her hands back into the pockets of her coat, she thought about him. In three years, she had not been able to shake the dreadful feeling that one decision could have changed everything.
Just weeks after his 18th birthday, she and Trenton would have graduated high school together and been off to some college far away from the overbearing eyes of her father, and the judgment of Trenton’s mother. Instead of those dreams coming to pass, half a future remained behind her, stranded and alone on the very day that permitted his entrance into legal adulthood. Frozen there in time, forever.
Copyright 2015, Jana Brock. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.