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Fiction Sad Drama

The funeral home was crowded with people Annie has never met, let alone seen before. She wonders who all these people are and why they are here. She decides to stay close to Uncle Brett for protection and reassurance.

  It smelled like death and the sweet smells of flowers. It makes her stomach nauseated. There are big flower arrangements on both sides of the coffins that her Mom and Dad were lying in. Some people were crying softly, and some were just carrying on in conversation as if nothing ever happened. Annie stands beside her Mothers casket with Uncle Brett. They Greet the people waiting in line to pay their condolences for her parents, who lay dead in their coffins at the front of the room.

  Just three days earlier, her parents were alive. She watched as her dad was waiting at the bottom of the stairs in his black tux, impatiently waiting on her mother's appearance so they would not be late for their event. Finally, mom descended down the stairs in a beautiful red dress that hugged her figure like a glove. She watched as a big smile came across his face. Dad took mom by the hand and spun her around at the bottom of the stairs. 

"You look so beautiful, honey," he states.

 "Was I worth waiting for?" She asks with a smile and a glow on her face. Dad kissed her gently and said, "Always dear."

  Annie admired the love that her parents had for each other she hoped that someday she finds, a love like that for herself. Her parents both hugged her before they left. It was a big group hug that she was familiar with. They both kissed her and said how much they loved her before walking out the door. She never dreamed that this would be the last time she would ever see her parents alive, the last group hug and kisses with her parents. On the way home, their car crashed into a ravine, and they were both killed.

  They left the funeral home and were on their way home. Annie was relieved that it was over. She was still in shock and full of grief, and she did not know how much more she could take. As they pulled into the driveway, she saw a lot of cars parked and people there. 

"Why are all these people here, Uncle Brett? Some of them are the same people from the funeral home?" She says. 

"Your parents have a lot of friends and colleagues, they all want to give their condolences, some of them brought food with them also,” he says.

 Annie sighs and looks at Uncle Brett with irritation and says, “Why don't they understand that I just want some peace and quiet, and can’t they just go away?”

 "Annie, no need to be rude. Some of them are your dad's business colleagues and your mom’s non-for-profit workers and volunteers. We will need these people now more than ever. You have not eaten or slept very much in the last three days, grab a plate and take it up to your room, then you can take a warm bubble bath and get some much-needed sleep. We’ll talk in the morning, okay Annie?” 

She follows Uncle Brett’s advice. The food and warm bubble bath make her feel better, she curls up on her bed and falls sound asleep.

  She wakes up to a familiar smell, “I bet Uncle Brett is making his world-famous chocolate chip pancakes!" Following the yummy smell, she walks into the kitchen to see Uncle Brett in front of the stove.

 “You are just in time for my world-famous chocolate chip pancakes Annie!” Exclaims Uncle Brett, as he sets a stack in front of her. They eat in silence for a few minutes, she looks at him and asks, “So what do we do now?”

“Well, your parents have given me custody of you until your eighteen. I will be moving into the house with you. Your dad has given me the business to run until your eighteen. As soon as you turn eighteen, the house and business will be yours. Your parents left you everything they had,” he says. 

“It’s all mine?” She asks.

 “Yes, they left you their legacy. It’s important, Annie,” he says.

  "What is a legacy, Uncle Brett?” She asks.

 " It’s all the material things your parents left you, like the business, the house. But to me, it is so much more than that. It’s everything important to them, the love your mom had for the non-for-profit she worked so hard on. It’s what your parents cooked for Thanksgiving dinner. The way they decorated the house for Christmas, and they always let you open one Christmas gift the night before Christmas. The matching pajamas and hot cocoa you had when you all watched Christmas movies together. Your dad taking you to the mall to pick five children's names off the big Christmas tree, then you would go shopping together for the five children so they could have a good Christmas too. It’s an accumulation of all these things that they left you. I urge you to cherish their legacy and keep it alive.”

After breakfast, Annie starts thinking of how she can continue her parents' legacy. She thinks about her mom's non-for-profit, she started an orphanage for children. She would feed and clothe them, and help most of them find homes. Mom made sure each child was given funds to help them achieve a college education. 

Mom held fundraisers to help take care of the children. "Mom was a great artist. She would paint pictures to sell and make money for the orphanage. I can do that too," she thought. Annie went into her mom's art studio and started painting.

"Annie...Annie...where are you?" asks Uncle Brett.

 "I'm in here," says Annie. 

"What are you up to?" he asks.

 "I'm doing what mom used to do for the orphanage, painting pictures to sell for the kids," she says. 

"Let me take a look. Wow!! You have your mom's talent plus some of your own. I didn't know you could paint so well. I am impressed," he says. 

"Do you think you can help me sell these for the orphanage Uncle Brett?" She asks.

"I can continue my mom's legacy. I have decided I would like to go to college for business. So I can continue my dad's legacy, and run the business. I thought with Christmas coming up, we can continue our Christmas traditions together. What do you think?" She asks.

"I think that sounds terrific, Annie. I know your parents are beaming with pride."

September 18, 2021 00:12

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4 comments

Kathleen March
01:41 Oct 03, 2021

One suggestion: do keep in mind the verb tenses and don’t mix them unless the story requires it. Past/present switching can be distracting. Nice effort.

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12:52 Sep 27, 2021

Carrying on traditions is important, I think that you've chosen a intricate topic that allows for nuance and detail in grief. I think establishing Annie's age at the beginning would be helpful-- I was imagining an older child so when she asked "what's a legacy?" I had to correct my mental image. Also adding more detail will help bring the characters to life. Which "event" were her parents headed to the night they died? Perhaps it was a charity for the Orphanage? Overall good work! Enjoyed the read.

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Laura Knapke
04:28 Sep 28, 2021

Thank you for the read and the suggestions:)

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16:08 Sep 29, 2021

Of course!

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