Writing, especially fiction writing, is basically a pretty lonely business. Hours upon hours and days upon days of solitude.
Derriere in the chair, fingers on the keyboard and/or pen and paper in hand, solitude. With our only company the characters who inadvertently pop into our head where they remain until we convert the particulars of their existence to the printed word.
Once that printed word is created, it’s time to bring in the troops.
In this case, my colleagues here at The Roses of Prose.
For the third, and I promise final time on these pages, I’m seeking input on the opening paragraphs of On The Make, Book 3 in my series, Brothers In Blue.
Hope you can stand it. Here goes.
On The Make - Chapter One
“Let us pray.”
Madison Clark dutifully lowered her head, along with scores of others in the huge, impersonal auditorium. In her case, more for show than reverence. Who held a funeral at a place like this? The Greater Metro Conference and Convention Center. Then again, nothing about her marriage to Joe, short as it was, could be construed as normal. Why should anything change now that he was gone?
“Dear Lord, we now commit Joseph Eugene Edward Ralls, this once earthly soul to your able and compassionate care.”
Dear Lord, please don’t let Joe run across Dave in the hereafter. Her two husbands meeting face to face, Dave would probably deck him.
“All mighty God, we ask that you grant those of us left behind the guidance to understand and the patience to accept Your decision.”
Pastor Gregg’s voice invaded her thoughts. Keeping her head down, she shifted her hips more snuggly into the plush, stadium style chair and sat straighter. Hard to believe it was only three short years ago when she’d buried one husband, the love of her life and soulmate, with their young sons, heart-broken and bewildered, on either side of her.
A mere thirty six months later, front and center in the jam-packed amphitheater, she prepared to bury spouse number two. Both sons on either side of her again.
Flashes of light to the left caught her attention. Cameron had his cell on his lap. Typical teen, both thumbs moved helter-skelter over the keyboard.
Irritation sparked her third nerve to its absolute limit. She touched his arm and squeezed, fully prepared with a stern look of reproach for when he glanced over at her. Which, of course, he didn’t.
About ready to scream, she squeezed harder.
Pushing one last icon with his thumb, he slid the device into his pants pocket.
“In Your name we pray. Amen.”
Madison’s murmured response joined the rest of the chorus as all heads lifted as one.
Slight of build and balding, Pastor Gregg leaned into the dais for support. “Joe was a great man of many aspects.” He may have been done praying. He wasn’t done speaking. “Real estate mogul by profession. Community leader and philanthropist by choice.”
An ill-concealed sigh whooshed out of younger brother Dak. Madison angled a discreet glance to her right. Flounced back in his seat, he sighed again. Giving him a gentle elbow nudge, she followed up with a slight head shake when he immediately looked over.
“A man of many aspects in his personal life as well.” As the good reverend went on, she made sure all three of them paid close attention. “To Madison, a devoted husband. To Cameron and Dak, a loving and benevolent father.”
“Beussst!” Beside her, fourteen year old Cameron coughed into his elbow.
Keeping her gaze focused ahead, Madison could have sworn the word bullshit had been thinly disguised by his action.
“Bless you, son.” Pastor Gregg didn’t miss a beat. Apparently he wasn’t quite as perceptive as Cameron’s mother.
Her son coughed softly a second time in response.
Their pastor extended his arms, palms upward. “Our sincerest and most heartfelt condolences go now to the grieving little family before us.”
Thanks in advance for what I know will be some very insightful and valuable advice.
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