It’s been about six weeks since I’ve written anything other than a book review or email. My husband’s theory is that I pressured myself by signing up for NaNoWriMo. My theory is I just lost my motivation. I wouldn’t call it writer’s block. More like writer’s funk (as in “in a …”). It wasn’t that I was depressed (although I did consider that I could be) but I just wasn’t motivated in any way to do more than necessary.
To be perfectly honest, I’m still not quite out of it. But, I’ve decided that it’s time to push my way to the other side. Ergo, here is a very short Chapter 6 of Myrtle Mysteries. I have considered not posting any more of the chapters and just keeping them on my laptop. In some ways, though, getting it out in the world is part of the point. Even if no one reads it, I still put myself out there. Anyway…if you haven’t read the prior chapters and want to catch up, they are all categorized as “Myrtle Mysteries” in the sidebar.
Myrtle and Vera were able to find a booth in the back of Beth’s during the lunch hour rush the next day. Since the diner only served a buffet, each of them took turns filling their plates. While both were anxious to talk about all that had transpired the day before, they had their priorities straight and ate their fill first. After a satisfying meal of fried chicken, collards, boiled potatoes and sliced tomatoes, they were ready to work. Myrtle pulled out her notebook and pen.
“You know, some of the guys from Conbraco who are up front waiting on a table are going to be pretty PO’d when they see that we’re done eating and still taking up this nice big booth.”
“Vera, you don’t give a dang if those goober heads get mad. In fact I see that SOB Donnie up there. He keeps giving Steve a hard time and one day I’m pretty sure Steve will throat punch him. Let him starve is what I say.”
“Okay then. Remind me not to get on your bad side.” With a look around to make sure no one was listening, Vera said, “Are you ready to talk about yesterday?”
“I’ve been waiting all morning. Of course I am!”
For the next half hour, the two friends discussed the graveside service for Big Pop and made notes of anything they thought might be pertinent to their investigation.
The entire congregation of mourners followed the family to the cemetery across the street from First Baptist Church. After Paul Jr. and Elizabeth were seated everyone else filed in behind them. It was standing room only. Funerals are a social event in the south, don’t you know. The ex-wives tried to jockey for the best position and ended up standing nearer to each other than was wise.
WSOC’s weatherman had predicted storms for today but so far they held off. I was hopeful we could make it just a little while longer before the skies opened up.
As Big Pop’s casket was placed over the grave, the pastor began the simple graveside ceremony. I could barely hear him over the increasingly loud whispers coming from the exes. Finally, Laura screamed at Rhonda to “shut the hell up” while Shelby smirked just beside them. Rhonda raised her hand to smack Laura and God decided to intervene. A loud rumble of thunder was followed quickly by pouring rain. Vera started laughing and said that Pop had probably arranged this storm himself. I didn’t know if she should laugh or cry. Everyone was becoming soaked and started running to their cars. The pastor quickly said some “Amens” and signaled for the family to be escorted away. The unfortunate cemetery crew had to try to stay and get the coffin in the ground before the entire space was filled with water.
Vera and I made our way to Vera’s car and drove to my house. As they say, timing is everything. We had no sooner climbed onto the porch than it started hailing golf ball sized chunks. As we stood there and watched the storm, weariness overcame me. Vera came inside but left as soon as the storm settled down.
“Vera, I don’t think we learned a thing from the service,” Myrtle had hoped that she would remember some important detail. A mourner showing too much emotion, a stranger standing off to the side watching the service – in the crime shows she loved, the detectives always found a suspect at the funeral. “The only thing I want to know is what those two hussies were fighting about. Seriously, what was so important that they had to argue right then and there?”
“Don’t worry we’ll find out what they were going on about. And, chin up! We might not have caught the killer but we learned one important thing.” Vera pointed out.
“What is that, pray tell?”
“We learned that a storm waits for no man.”
“How prosaic.” Myrtle said with a roll of her eyes. “Let’s head back to my house for some television. Maybe a few mindless hours of the Real Housewives will give us some inspiration.”
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