I am participating in the Story a Day May writing challenge :)
Today's rough draft is inspired by today's writing prompt
Funerals always make me feel my age.
I leaned on my cane coming home from the funeral. My darling daughter got took me home and got me settled before going on to her own home. First I thanked my lucky stars to have family that cared more about me than the cost of my upkeep, then I started to open my mail. Most of it was junk, of course. Out of habit, I put aside anything brightly colored that Birdie might want for her collages. It was her funeral today. I left the papers aside. I couldn't bring myself to toss them - not yet. There was just one more envelope to open. I checked the return address three times, I was so shocked - it was from Birdie! Did she mail something right before she died?
I have never opened an envelope so slowly in my entire life. You would have thought I was afraid a monster might fall out of it. Or a ghost.
It was one of birdie's collaged postcards. I was sure she hadn't shown it to me the last time I saw her. I thought about calling my daughter - maybe I was seeing things? I certainly wasn't going to call the so-called "nursing" staff, even if I was seeing things. But, I also wasn't going to drag my daughter back across town because I'd gone soft in the head. If it was my imagination, at least I was still creative enough to invent a really gorgeous postcard. Well, the postcard from the dead wasn't going to read itself.
Reading glasses cleaned on settled on my nose, I turned the card. After an eternal moment, I opened my eyes and read. "I'm not dead. Meet me Tuesday night at 8 behind the dungeon."
"If you're really alive," I told the postcard, "I am going to kill you."
Tuesday, 8PM, behind the community Physical Therapy room.
I can't believe I'm actually standing here, waiting for a dead woman to come explain herself. Or waiting to find out that I really have gone off my rocker. Or waiting here to scare the bejeezus out of someone else sneaking around. You'd be surprised at how well old people can sneak. It's a survival skill around here. I must have been at least as nervous as I was angry - as soon as I heard steps, I changed my grip on my cane, ready to smack someone.
Birdie said, "I knew you didn't really need that cane."
"I won't, if you explain yourself Right. Now."
Birdie's wrinkled face split into a grin. "Don't beat me up now that I'm finally free!"
My jaw dropped. I lowered my cane. Holy shit. The old bitch really was alive. I babbled as we embraced, so glad to have my friend still, and so angry to have had to mourn her. Relief won, so I didn't strangle her.
"Okay," I said, holding her hands, "What the hell?"
"I'm free! My rotten kids can stop bitching about how much I'm draining their inheritance, the nannies here can stop treating me like a crazy person, and I can do whatever I like."
I blinked. Her kids really were terrible. I'd stay with her when they visited, partly for moral support and partly so she wasn't the only one to hear the terrible things they said. Lately they'd been hinting that Birdie was in mental decline, and needed to make of them her power of attorney. It was just a ploy to get at her money, of course, but try telling the staff here that. No one is going to believe an old lady.
She must have seen comprehension finally dawn on me. "Yup. I'm out. I've cashed out all of my investments, put it all in accounts under my maiden name. I'm going to have a very good time on my children's inheritance."