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Smoke (standard:drama, 1727 words)
Author: Frank AlexanderAdded: Jun 24 2003Views/Reads: 1766/1387Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Two women who lost their husbands in a tragedy. One of them deals with it in a rather unorthodox way...

Frank A. Alexander Smoke 

The two women slowly walked along the terrace and cautiously avoided
every subsidence. The late autumn sun was low and its light cast long 
shadows in the extensive, worn out garden. 

Mia B. was a stout woman of about forty-five years of age. Her hairs
were gray and on her face were quite a few wrinkles. Her gray eyes 
looked into the world with sadness. 

Carol V. was her opposite in every way. She was a little woman, somewhat
plump, with brown hairs and brown twinkling eyes. When you looked at 
her you'd say she was at least ten years younger than Mia, but in fact 
she was a few months older. Mia looked around the neglected garden. 

“It is such a pity that no one feel obliged to take care of it,” she
said. “It could be such a beautiful place.” 

“I think it has a charm of its own,” Carol replied. “This old ramshackle
castle and its worn out, overgrown garden tells us a lot more than a 
new, perfectly arranged site.” 

“Too much is falling to pieces,” Mia said. “The world is coming apart
under our hands. That's why I had to do it, you understand?” 

Carol looked at her friend's profile. She knew Mia for over thirty years
and they had always shared good and bad times. Mia had no secrets for 
her. That was at least what she had thought until Mia had called her 
this afternoon and urged her to meet her at the old castle. Carol was 
stunned by the tone of her friend's voice but she had of course agreed. 

“Mia, you are upset. Why?” 

“Do you know how long ago it is? Five years, three months and sixteen

Carol glanced at her watch. 

“And four hours. Why do you keep torturing yourself with it?” 

“We had to hear it on the radio! Because the police said they hadn't had
time to inform the relatives!” 

“They did inform us, didn't they?” 

“They had to! What else could they do? Confirm that the woman journalist
was there before them and knew everything before the coppers even had a 

“Come on, Mia, that was a coincidence. She was driving past the site
when it happened!” 

“And instead of calling 911 she got out and started taking pictures.” 

“Well, that is her job. Besides, I don't think there was much she could
do. The guy was completely unsusceptible to reason.” 

“But my Robert is dead, Carol, just as your Chris is.” 

“We won't get them back by mourning, Mia. And the guy was sentenced.” 

“Sentenced? Don't make me laugh.” 

“Why, do you think it's fun to be on a closed ward of an institution?” 

“If he would really be irresponsible for his actions he wouldn't even
know he'd be there! Sentenced. Phew!” 

“Somebody who kills his former colleagues just because he was laid off,
is ill.” 

“Correct me if I'm wrong. But wasn't he laid off because he stole and
sold company secrets to the Iraqis? How can you still hold on to your 
opinion that he was irresponsible?” 

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