Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tea Time Tales - Hayley Black

Trying my hand at "Tea Time Tales."

On Tuesday, In Good Company gives out certain prompts to use in creating a short work to be posted by Friday.

This week's gossip:

Who: Hayley Black
What: camera, discovery, snoop, letter
Where: graveyard
First Line: This isn't where she wanted to be.

So here goes:

This isn't where she wanted to be. The discovery of newly begun construction at the cemetery near her apartment had driven Hayley Black to return to her hometown graveyard for the mausolea shot she needed to complete the client's wall collection.

"Shouldn't there be a representation of death to balance the life shown here?" It was more directive than query. He didn't give specifics. He didn't have to. She would get the shot today and have it on his wall before the weekend. The detour was nothing more than a few extra dollars of fuel cost.

Or was it? This was her first visit to the site since Victoria's funeral. The memory of her childhood neighbor brought a soft smile to her face as she slipped through the line of oaks and made her way to the rows of family vault tombs. Victoria was more than just the elderly next door neighbor who kept an eye on her after school. Victoria had been her confidant and comforter. She was the person Hayley turned to when she needed advice. They'd sit for hours on the back porch swing, sipping freshly squeezed lemonade and talking about anything that popped into their heads. When Hayley was younger, Victoria would let her snoop around the spare room in the attic, searching through boxes of yesteryear's toys. As a teen, Hayley borrowed book after book from her neighbor's impressive home library. When her high school boyfriend left for an out of state university, Victoria listened patiently to the whining and then, with an air of sympathy, showed her a letter that her husband sent while he was off fighting in the war. The treasure box that held the letter was stuffed tightly with many more just like it. "Wherever I am, my heart is with you" was that line that touched Hayley the most that day. Victoria's husband had not returned from the war. After Victoria's death, Hayley comforted herself with the idea that her dear friend was finally back in her beloved's embrace.

The view she sought through her camera grew blurry, but there wasn't anything wrong with the lens. Wiping her wet eyes, she tried again. After capturing the shot, she packed away her equipment then began walking slowly back to her car, stopping to kneel briefly at the the grave of her friend.

No, this wasn't where she wanted to be, but part of her was glad that she'd returned.


  1. Lovely story. I enjoyed it very much. Thanks!

  2. So nostalgic and beautifully written! I want to know more! Thanks for joining us -- come again?