Eighty-two-year-old Myrtle Crawford stared out her front window- right at Darlene Whitman’s window. Of course, Darlene had closed her blinds, but the small opening in the slats on the left side revealed that Darlene watched, too. Myrtle raised her right hand and moved her arthritic fingers in a stiff wave. The opening closed.
Myrtle smiled. She made no attempt to hide her snooping. Over the last forty-one years, she’d built a name for herself as the neighborhood gossip and doing anything less would raise suspicions. The smile faded from Myrtle’s lips. Being caretaker of others’ secrets was in her blood just as much as baseball. She’d become adept at using her neighbors’ dirty laundry to deflect their friendship and questions about her own past. The only person daft enough to not stay away was Dottie Anderson.
Myrtle played over yesterday’s conversation. Darlene was adamant that she didn’t want her help. She may not want it, but she’ll need it, Myrtle thought. As the guardian of secrets, Myrtle knew things that would make a lesser person sleep with one eye open, or move far away.
Fourteen years in prison for the murder of her cheating bastard husband had hardened Myrtle. Any softness that remained disappeared when her daughter died several years back. That relationship was complicated. It wasn’t even a relationship, really. While in prison, two-year-old Lucy became a ward of the state. Once free, Myrtle tracked her down and saw she’d grown into a fine young woman. At sixteen, she had beauty, grace, a different name- and love from a real family. Myrtle watched from a distance so she wouldn’t cast a shadow on her daughter’s happiness.
Tears rolled down Myrtle’s cheeks. Each time she thought of her daughter, the pain seeped like a fresh wound. The gaping hole in her heart brought her to her knees, but also gave her the will to find justice.
Darlene had lost her mom, and her husband. Myrtle understood Darlene’s loss.
That’s why Darlene needed her.
BLOOD: (a) lifeblood; broadly : life; (b) human stock or lineage; especially : royal lineage <a prince of the blood>; (c) relationship by descent from a common ancestor : kinship; (d) persons related through common descent : kindred; (1)honorable or high birth or descent (2) descent from parents of recognized breed or pedigree
If you want to read other responses, or try the challenge yourself, click on the tricycle picture to view Trifecta’s site. Happy writing (and reading!)
I changed things up and wrote this from Myrtle’s point of view this time around. I hope it is interesting enough as a stand-alone piece, but it does continue Darlene’s story. Click here for Darlene’s Story page if you want to read the entire story. Thanks for stopping by!