Friday, May 17, 2013

Excerpt: Until We Meet Again - S.E. Campbell

Osier Schmidt stood inside of a graveyard, his hand perched on his belly. There was a flask of liquor in his fat, clenched fist, and he gazed at a gravestone in front of him. It belonged to Eden Schmidt, his daughter. He gritted his teeth and then pivoted to peer at the gravestone next to that. It belonged to Rebecca Schmidt, his wife.

He took another chug of his drink. It dulled the edges of his mind, causing everything to be a blur. The world became softer in this haze, and he preferred it that way. It wasn't like he had a job, or anything else, to be presentable for. Alone. All alone. He peered at the gravestones again. Chances were good it was entirely his fault his daughter had died.

The sound of voices in the distance caused him to turn around and look up at the rolling hills covered with gravestones. A massive crowd was forming at the top of the hill. Curiosity sparked inside of him as well as the feeling of intense loneliness. He peered down at himself and knew he was not presentable for such a gathering. Osier wore a white T-shirt stained with beer and a pair of loose shorts. Sweat ran down his back.

I'll just have a look. He sighed and headed up the hill. Halfway up, his breathing became strained. He could hardly breathe.

At the top of the hill, he spotted a beautiful brunette woman wearing all black clutching her face. Tears streamed down her cheek. He guessed she was a widow or a parent. At her side was a cold-eyed man. Osier made his way through the large crowd and stared down at a dark brown casket. There was a picture of the deceased person on a piece of board by the casket. To him, it appeared cruel to have a picture of such a young, beautiful girl displayed so prominently when everybody knew hers was a face they would never see again. But what did he know? At one time he’d thought he knew everything, but now he was well aware he didn't know anything at all. As he clenched his fists and continued to look at the picture, he sighed.

A collective gasp from the people who had gathered interrupted his thoughts. He spun around, frowning. Even the beautiful brunette woman had stopped weeping. A flash of white erupted from beyond the crowd.

What's going on? He leaned forward, curious.

A girl stepped forward, through the throng. His breath caught in his throat as he saw who stood before him, shrouded in white, with long golden hair trickling down her back.

It was Eden, the daughter he had lost twenty years ago.

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