Today's writing prompt was to describe a notification scene at a family's home who has just been told their loved one was killed in combat, is a prisoner of war, or missing in action. (Taken from 642 Things to Write About. Can you tell I'm kind of loving this book? Want a copy? Buy it here!)
I've been working on something for the past year or so, and there's a similar scene to this writing prompt that I've just not been able to get right. Well, I think I've got it (partially) figured out. I hope you enjoy. Please let me know what you think in the comments!
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(As always, all original work is copyright Joanna Peterson 2015. Thanks!)
This was my least favorite part of the job. The suburban pulled to a stop in front of the next home. I slid off the leather seat, taking slow, deliberate steps toward the front door. It was open, the family waiting for someone other than me. I watched as their faces turned from excitement to dread as I walked up the front path.
I offered my deepest condolences as I read the pre-printed letter in my hand. The mother's eyes rolled back in her head as she shrieked and fell to the ground. Her daughter, tears streaming down her face, rushed forward to help her. The father stared blankly at me as he took the letter I offered him. He didn't say a word to anyone as he turned, stepped over his wife's limp body on the floor, and stormed away. The daughter glanced up at me, screaming obscenities and begging me to let them grieve in peace.
I bowed my head and retreated to the suburban, disappointed that, of all the notifications I'd done that afternoon, this was the best - if "best" was even the word you would use to describe such a grim and horrible task. I shut the door, avoiding the urge to glance back at the grieving family I left behind as the suburban sped off toward my next notification assignment.