End of an Era

NOTE: This is part of the new novel I am writing. I am posting it here as a diversion for readers who may be living under shelter-in-place policies while the world waits for the coronavirus pandemic to pass. For an explanation of this project, please click here.

End of an Era
Nov. 22, 1963 ~ Tumbleweed Motel, Coldwater, N.M.

The last time Shirley had worn her old trenchcoat, it had fit smartly, accentuating her curves and making her feel graceful and sexy, like an actress in a movie from the ’40s. Now, it was at least three sizes too big, draping awkwardly around her and threatening to fall off her shoulders. The last two years had cost her more than she realized, and she wondered idly whether all of her clothes were going to be too big now. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d worn more than a nightgown and a bathrobe.

“Where are you going?” John asked, looking up from the television to give her a wary glance as she headed for the door.

“Out to show some damn respect.” She could feel John’s eyes on her back as she walked out to the flagpole in the front yard and began unwinding the halyard from the cleat. She didn’t blame him for distrusting her. She’d been a raving lunatic for two solid years, and she wasn’t entirely sure why she’d stopped today. Maybe it just wasn’t her turn anymore; she’d spent long enough mad with grief, and now that the rest of the country had decided to follow her lead, somebody had to pull it together and provide some adult supervision. Continue reading End of an Era