NEW FICTION: He Dug the Grave Himself

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I published a short story on Amazon last week.

He Dug the Grave HimselfEphraim didn’t find out his dearly loved wife, Lola, had been hiding something from him until she was cold and dead, and he was in the middle of digging her grave… What he realized nearly undid him.

Ephriam and Lola cleaved to each other for over fifty years. Many of these years they shared in quiet affection, working their homestead farm on the distant world Athena. When Lola died, Ephraim set to the labor of grieving as he had always done. For every difficulty, he found work for his hands. Now while digging her grave, Ephraim learns that there had been one part of her which Lola had kept to herself, and learning this, he is forced to reexamine his own judgments and prejudices.

The initial reviews have been really good.

Author Jason Gurley called it, “haunting, touching and affecting.”

Here are the opening paragraphs:

Ephraim chose the spot with care—the low spot down near the pond. The spot where the tree came and sat every evening, soaking in the last westerning rays of Athena’s star. The ground was soft there, tilled regularly by the probing roots. Ephraim knew that if he put her body there, the tree would linger, covering her, absorbing her, soaking in her nutrients until she became part of it, and so, to Ephraim’s desperate grieving mind, Lola would live on with him. He would see her any time he wanted. He could think of no tribute more fitting to give the woman who had been the light in his darkness. Besides, Lola had enjoyed the spot, near the Earth cattails they had planted and the bench he had built her when they first arrived on their frontier homestead.

Ephraim turned the earth with the spade he had taken from the barn at the edge of their tree pasture. Tonight, he had penned up the trees before he came. He didn’t want them to disturb his work. He would let them out to pasture when he had finished. The rhythm of the work felt good. It focused his mind. It forced his body to take action.

Actions… deeds and few words. These were the gifts he had given to his wife over the course of their marriage. These things had caused her to cleave to him, to become bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. For all her light and hope, Lola always had a hard time preventing her mercurial passions from overwhelming her. Ephraim had been her rock, her stability, her “Steady Eddy” as she called him.

She, on the other hand, had been his guiding light, his pixie, his joy. She had brought life and exuberance into his darkness and taught him to smile—to play. Now the light was gone, and as he dug, Ephraim knew he was burying his soul….

Get a copy for your Kindle at Amazon.com.

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On January 29, 2014
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