idol season ten | break week| 4x100 words
Four required prompts: Possum Ran Over My Grave / Jantelagen / Kummerspeck / Sang-froid
Possum Ran Over My Grave
In the eternal shade at the base of an old oak, something runs across the dead leaves and dirt that cover the sins of the past.
There are secrets in that earth, a legacy of betrayal and truth still hard as bone. That story remains untold. Dreams are buried there, too, the dreamer silenced more than five years ago.
All the secrets have the same name.
Margaret Willows is not missing—she never left. But all these years later, only Benjamin Shale knows she is here at the foot of this oak tree where he hid her so long ago.
"He is a good match," her mother said. "A girl your age should be thinking of marriage and starting a family. You could do worse."
Margaret wasn't certain she wanted those things, at least not yet. She longed to become a nurse, and that would take money and years of training. Couldn't finding a husband wait?
"We cannot provide for you forever. No other man has come courting, and there are girls far prettier and less headstrong."
You are difficult, Margaret heard, and knew it to be true.
"Very well," she said.
"I shall give him leave to pursue me."
He was handsome enough, everyone said. They meant, For you.
Margaret knew what was expected.
Wearing her prettiest dresses and brightest smiles, she endeavored to be pleasing. She listened attentively to his every word, and kept the conversation afloat when he grew awkward.
At times, he seemed angry and unhappy. He drank when those black moods came upon him, chasing tumbler after tumbler of whiskey toward the bottom of the bottle.
Could this really be the best choice? When he asked her to marry him, she knew the correct answer was, Yes.
So why did she regret having said it?
It was a mistake—a terrible mistake—but it could not be undone. Nothing left but to make the best of it and continue on.
He hadn't meant… or not quite so hard, but he'd been so angry when he saw her slipping through town with a bag packed for the city instead of marrying him as she'd promised to do.
The earth beneath his spade was harder than Benjamin's heart as he dug the hole deep in the woods where he would lay Margaret to rest.
When he finished, he would leave Abbotsville forever, taking the truth with him.
* A mentality that de-emphasizes individual effort and values behaving as the group does.
** "grief bacon" - excess weight gained from sorrow and/or emotional overeating
*** Cold-bloodedness or cool-headedness.