Since I'm writing for Assocaitaed Content again, I'm hoping to expand my audience and gain more clients. Business has been slow and I'm trying to rally. I was assigned to write a short fictional piece, so I based my story on a fictionalized event from my Gonga's life. For instance, Big Momma was actually the name of my great-great-great Grandmother Orbie Johnson, and it was a steak knife, not an icepick.
As I trod barefoot across the worn wooden floor, I bent down to pick up the discarded tissues that lay scattered. My friend Judy sat cross-legged on a worn couch, wrapped in a multi-colored afghan despite the sweltering mid-day Georgia heat. Half packed boxes filled with stacks of framed pictures awaited packing peanuts and bubble wrap. A bookshelf of dog-eared romance novels had been pushed aside to reveal a small hole in the wall. Curious but respectful of Judy's present anguish I squelched my desire to look inside.
"Judy, I'm so sorry Big Momma died. I know you've heard that so many times already, so I won't try to offer you any false comfort. Death stinks and right now is a rotten time, but I'm here to help you. We've got to get this place packed up and cleared out by the end of the week before the condo association changes the locks on your Grandma's place."
Sighing, Judy cast off the afghan and stood up. "Thanks for coming. I just can't motivate myself to finalize anything. I get a box half packed and then I find something of hers that makes me cry. I know once I seal these boxes shut, I have to admit that she's gone. I can't pretend that she's in the kitchen frying chicken."
"I know dear. Loosing my Grandma last year was difficult and I was fortunate to have the nursing staff handle all her affects. I wish you had that, but since you don't I'll do what I can to make this easier."
Determined to move Judy into action, I tossed a tissue at her. "Come on. Big Momma wouldn't want you crying. She'd be telling you to put on some makeup and go buy drinks for the cute guy at the bar. Here's a box."
For the next three hours we packed pictures, dusty figurines, and assorted knickknacks into stiff cardboard boxes. I would run the tape dispenser across the top while Judy looked away. We talked about friends we grew up with, gossiped about the local beauty queens affair with the town mayor, occasionally reminiscing about Big Momma. When we arrived at the bookshelf I couldn't contain my curiosity any longer.
"Judy, why on earth is there a hole in the wall behind the bookshelf?"
She began to laugh, the first time in days. "Big Momma hid an ice pick in there so the cops wouldn't find it."
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