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Excursedpirate 01-18-2015 06:23 PM

The Ghost Challenge - The Comforting Business
 
William Block lay sprawled across the tapestry print couch in The Magenta Suite with his father’s latest text book, Cultural Sensitivity in Death and Dying in hand.

“Listen to this Mrs. Deacon. This is from The Chevra Kadisha, a funeral service for Jews in Sidney. * a shroud is made out of pure white cotton. Seven pieces for a man, ten for a woman. There must be no knots because knots hold the soul back at the time of resurrection. Soil from Isreal is placed on the eyes, heart and hands. Finally a narrow piece of fabric, a sash, is tied around the waist with a knot forming 3 letters called a sin. It represents God’s name.”

Fascinated, Will continued to pour through the rest of the chapter.

“That’s nice dear” Mrs. Deacon wiped her eyes and smiled gratefully to the quiet teenager who had been her rock during the most difficult time she’d ever experienced. In a very short time she had grown to depend on the boy. Ana Deacon stood trying to prevent an oncoming rush of tears.

“Look at me! I’m a mess…all the people.” She hiccupped. “This isn’t the time to be falling apart!”

“This is probably the one time you’re supposed to fall apart Ma’am.” He counseled. “You can’t hold together all the time."

Mrs. Deacon sat in a chair beside the coffin. Her hand caressed it's sleek smooth surface.

“Do you think the casket is nice?” Her voice was small and broken. Jerry and I went pre-need. He didn’t want me to have to worry about anything.”

Will snapped the book closed and went to comfort her. After all, he was in the comforting business.

“Yes Ma’am, very nice, the best!” He hugged her.

“What would I do without you?” She touched his cheek. I must pull myself together.”

She stood and put on a brave face, worrying about all the people that would again come in and out of the room for visitation. She smoothed the few wrinkles in her dress.

“Do you think this dress makes me look fat?”

Will smiled. “No Ma’am. I think you look great.”

She touched her face. “My make-up! I look such a fright!” She wailed.

Will took a handkerchief from his pocket. He leaned over the casket and made a show of smoothing out her make-up. He straightened up.

“There! You look like sleeping beauty!”

Mrs. Deacon leaned over and inspected her face then turned to the boy standing next to her. She hugged him.

"You're a good boy Will."

I-Gypsy-Queen 01-20-2015 05:39 AM

Your tone is fun and I think you have a lot of potential with a character like William Block. However, this reads like an excerpt,an introduction to a story rather than a full one. It needs to b expanded, or if it is an excerpt of a longer story you wrote, then we need to see the rest!
Write on!

Excursedpirate 01-22-2015 02:13 AM

Thank You! You are right This is from an unfinished work that includes multiple short vignettes in the funeral home. I was so nervous about posting for the first time I put something short up.

I-Gypsy-Queen 01-25-2015 06:03 AM

Don't be nervous, we're not here to tear you down, but build you up. I do know what it's like, however, to share your work. Sometimes it feels like vomit will rise up in your throat

J.Mariano7 01-26-2015 09:28 AM

It's pretty good. I just don't get the context of it all, and there are a few grammatical mistakes that can be smoothed over in a quick edit or so.

I don't know why, but I'm fascinated by the character of Will. Despite the fact that you barely gave any context or character build-up whatsoever, I found him quite interesting in the snippets of character that you showed. I mean, he had the character of a nice swindler: robbing you blind or stabbing your back while saying "Please", "Thank you", and closing your eyes after you die. Just biding his time until the old lady dies and he can get the fortune.

At least, that's what I saw. It's pretty good, as I've said before, and I only wish for some context or background to help me enjoy it more.


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