Archive for July, 2020

Chapter Two Part Two

Bernice hung up the cell phone in her hand as she snuggled into the recliner. “That was Evan. He’ll be back tonight, but it’ll be late. He said to tell you he’d probably see you at breakfast. Bernice took a sip of her wine and gestured to the television with her glass. “Anything on the news about it?”

Cameron shook his head and yawned. “Nope, so I’m guessing it’ll be on the morning news. If it’s in a field somewhere, no way a camera crew’s going to get out there anytime soon. They might get permission for a drone in the morning.” He let his thought trail off as he rose. He looked to his wife’s backside in the kitchen as she continued to speak quite emphatically on the phone. “Hun! I’m going up.” Cameron received an annoyed wave back in response. He sighed and looked to Bernice. “Well, G’night, kid,” he winked and smiled at her and left the room.

Bernice nursed her wine as she watched the news, but it was virtually impossible not to be sucked into the excited one-sided conversation going on in the other room.

“It could be Murdle’s mother. That family’s so tight-lipped about everything. One of ‘em could up and keel over, and we wouldn’t hear a peep until the day before the funeral. Then everyone’d have to drop what they’re doing and suddenly whip up a dinner for God-only-knows how many on a moment’s notice.” There was blissful silence for a few moments, then, “Oh, really? Well, then I’d guess she’d be someone’s problem down in Florida then.”

Bernice shook her head and turned her attention back to the local news program. She was waiting for the weather forecast, so she’d know if it would be nice enough to check out any properties the next day. It wasn’t looking good. The temperature was above zero but the wind would be whipping up. There was a front moving in, making way for an Alberta clipper in the next 48 hours. Bernice silently deduced that new snowfall would impede Evan’s outdoor investigation. She could feel herself having trouble staying awake for the weather. The wine was kicking in.

She sat up to rouse herself. And just as the meteorologist was getting around to what to expect for the week, Darlene hung up the phone and walked in from the kitchen, saying, “It’s gotta be somebody. We just can’t figure out who.”

Annoyed at having the one piece of sought-after information interrupted, Bernice turned to Darlene. “Are you really that concerned about someone in the congregation dying, or are you just so bored, you’ll grasp at anything to get up in arms about?”

Bernice’s pointed question was met with a scowl. “Like you haven’t been in here the whole time wondering about Evan’s case.”

Bernice stoutly shook her head, “Nope, I’ve been sitting here with my phone looking at properties and trying to decide if I have enough gumption to look at anything this week with below zero wind chills and a snowstorm coming.”

“Well, you already know how I feel about that whole deal, so I won’t bring it up again.” She raised her head, as if she was above any more quarrelling.

“Evan burned all our mutual stuff. We need to start over in a place that is just ours.” Bernice drained her glass and walked past Darlene into the kitchen.

She was followed. “Number one, I’d be downright pissed if Cameron burned perfectly good stuff, when he could have just donated it to Goodwill.”

Bernice sighed. Apparently, the argument was being brought up again, regardless. “It was symbolic.”

“It was stupid.”

“It wasn’t your stuff.”

“Secondly,” Darlene continued unheeded, “I don’t see why you have to go traipsing all over the county on a wild goose chase, when we have a perfectly usable farm here that Cam and I are more than happy to divide up with you.”

“You’re missing the point again,” Bernice argued.

“Thirdly, I know damn well you’re just using this real estate nonsense as an excuse not to settle in and plan your wedding, like you should have been doing for months now. And the fact that your fiancé hasn’t uttered a discouraging word about it only makes me think you’re both gonna back out.”

Bernice had been shaking her head for the entirety of Darlene’s conclusion, and she felt that was enough. “I’m going to bed.”

The exit didn’t halt Darlene’s parting comment. “You know I’m right.”