A short story
By Sara Marie Hogg
Copyright © 2016 Sara Marie Hogg
All rights reserved.
Distributed by Shakespir
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
There may be many reasons we dislike a person. Sometimes, something unforeseeable happens, some odd event the person involved causes to happen. You may have disliked them plenty to begin with, but the odd event will continue to blemish you all the rest of your days. You were innocent, did not ask for it, but an accident of fate put you on the receiving end.
Edna-mae Kinkead, a long-time widow, began to carry the wobbly wooden tray into the sitting room. She was not happy because she did not want to play hostess to Belva today, or any other day, for that matter. The woman was irritating and had come to call without warning. In fact, Belva had seen her on the front porch and snared her, or Edna-mae would not have even answered the door. She would have pretended she was in the bathtub, or some other prime parcel of interior real estate sequestered in her home. She shuddered when she first caught a glimpse of the just-washed and just-polished black Studebaker in her driveway—the Studebaker with Belva Thoroughgood’s name on it.
I have been caught totally off-guard. Wouldn’t you know it? My cupboards are bare. I have nothing to offer this persnickety pest, but tea. Tea bags are the only thing left in the house—and tap water. As much as I hate the rigmarole I will be forced to endure, I am going to let her choose her own tea and make it.
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THE SPARK OF LIFE, by Sara Marie Hogg, is a piece of short fiction that may soon appear in a volume of short stories of the same title, ten or so eerie tales. The main character, Edna-mae Kinkead, a widow, is comfortable in her 1960s life as a country gentlewoman. She has grown very fond of her peaceful, bucolic existence. She has one bad quirk--she seems to be obsessed with the physical appearances of the actors playing on her television set. Some of the shows are re-runs, and the actors are now long gone, have met their maker. Edna-mae becomes consumed with trying to see their impending deaths visible on their faces as she watches them daily in re-runs and old movies. Is there a clue to their declining health? Is it evident on their faces, ahead of time, that they will soon meet their fates? Edna-mae is convinced she will be able to see this if she watches them long enough. She then becomes perturbed and frustrated when her normal routine is interrupted by an acquaintance coming to call--one she does not particularly like. She tries to be an accommodating hostess, nonetheless to the persnickity Belva Thoroughgood, woman of the world.