The Inheritance #3 – The Gathering

Posted on April 16, 2011 1:24 pm under The Inheritance
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The ominous silence that had greeted Kelly was broken by a deep voice.

“Heavenly Father, we give thanks for this bountiful repast and for this gathering to honor our departed brother, Ned Conley.”

Pastor Jenkins continued his prayer and Kelly began to regain her composure. At the prayer’s close, she walked towards the gathering at the buffet tables. Dana, ever the peacemaker, met her halfway with a smile and a hug.

“I’m glad you came, Kelly. I’m so sorry for the unpleasantness. Losing Grandpa Ned has been a strain on all of us.”

Kelly nodded. She didn’t want to break this fragile peace, but was unwilling to condone their behavior. Claudia Ramsey intervened, wiping tears from her eyes and murmuring about the tragic loss. Tim Abbott urged her to sit and Darla Wadley brought her a plate piled high with food. She had no appetite, but did her best to appear appreciative. Her siblings began to trickle by. Matt joined Dana for a minute before they both left, apparently as relieved as she was. Corinne hugged her and sobbed.

“I don’t care about the stupid house, Kelly. We’ve just lost our grandfather and I don’t want to lose my sister too. Please don’t be angry.”

“I’m not angry with you, Corinne.” Kelly held her sister close until the tears passed. “Why not come for a visit after I return home? I’ll arrange a flight for you. First Class.” She was rewarded with a tearful smile.

At least one of her siblings cared. It comforted her as she endured visits from the others. Their stony faces and stilted conversations fostered no illusions about their true feelings. Ellen and Dave spent less than a minute. Dave started to say more, but Ellen grasped his arm with one hand and Corrine’s with the other. Kathleen lasted a bit longer, inquiring about her trip and commenting on the weather, while Jerry stood beside her, his silence shouting his anger.

The best moments were spent with several of her grandfather’s closest friends.

“Your grandfather adored you, Kelly. He talked about your strength, your talent and your generosity.” Nettie Collins gave her arm a light squeeze and looked directly into her eyes. “His friends understand. It doesn’t matter what others think.”

Finally, the gathering began to disperse and Kelly edged towards the door. It was evident that her family’s frigid civility would drop when this was over. She didn’t want to be alone, but the alternative was even less appealing. She made her way to the limo and left without saying more.

When she arrived at the hotel, she had second thoughts. Yesterday, she had not been ready to face her grandparents’ home. Now it seemed far more appealing than the cramped and impersonal hotel room. After all, it was her house now. Legally, it had been hers for several years, although in her heart it had still belonged to her grandparents. She had dismissed the underused limo, but still had a rental car. She packed her bag, checked out and drove towards the beach.

Grandma
Three Word Wednesday. is a meme that challenges writers to create something using three selected words. This week’s words are tragic,evident and illusion. Click on the link to view other entries or submit your own.

4 Responses to “The Inheritance #3 – The Gathering”

  1. Gemma @ Greyscale Says:

    The wheel of chance turns in mysterious ways! Love the tension in the image of “fragile peace”! Intriguing narrative!

  2. Altonian Says:

    I was so pleased to see your ‘to be continued’ message, this is a great tale and I look forward to its continuation.

  3. Lisa Says:

    You have me riveted to the story. I look forward to reading more.

  4. Jae Rose Says:

    To be continued..I hope so..the house and the limo deserve more words..Jae :)