Evelyn wasn’t entirely sure what to do, when her husband choked and died at the breakfast table one Saturday morning. Lifting him was out of the question; she was fit for a seventy-two year old, but Ennis was decidedly less so. No, she wouldn’t be able to budge him without straining something. Going into town for help was out, too. She was definitely not ready for any of the folk in town to come sneaking and spying around her house under the guise of caring. No, she wasn’t going to make the walk all the way in just for a bunch of sneaks to make gossip about her.
In the end, she decided that she would just leave him there. She packed a few items of clothing into a bag, along with a small cooking pot and some selections from her herb collection. Into her bag also went a few hard biscuits, and some candies wrapped in waxed paper. She said goodbye to the crows that liked to perch around her kitchen, and they warbled a blessing in return.
She boarded up the windows then, deciding that if she couldn’t bury dear old Ennis she could at least give him some form of tomb to spend the rest of his days in. She also made sure to lock the front door, in case someone decided to rob them and was faced instead with the decomposing corpse of her late husband. To the front door, she stuck a note.
“Warning to would-be burgulars: This house is the final resting place of Ennis MacDonald. Do not enter unless you wish to see a dead body. Even then, I would rather you didn’t.”
Evelyn wasn’t sure if she had gotten her point across entirely how she had intended, but it would have to do. Time was passing her by, and she had a lot of exploring to do now that Ennis was no longer home to occupy her time. In her mind, she decided that she would find some way to rebel – she would begin to wear colourful beads around her neck, and learn how to spit. Perhaps she would even return one day and write Ennis the scathing eulogy she had always wanted to give him.
“Here lies Ennis. He was a man. We were married once. It was unpleasant.”
She shivered with delight at the thought, and briefly thought of going back to amend her note. But no, she mustn’t jump the gun. It was the Evelyn of a few years from now that would write that eulogy, and nail it to the door with a hammer and nails instead of sticky tape. Who knew what wild and wonderful turns of phrase she would learn by then? Who knew what new and exciting ways to choke a man to death she would find?
Kay Bevan is an English teacher from Australia. Which is the same as being an English teacher anywhere else, except for the frequent need to remove spiders from the classroom, which should really have been in the job description in the first place. They also do some writing from time to time.