A piece I wrote for my final manuscript in Imaginative Writing last semester. Short scene about a woman attending her husband's funeral.

[In a catholic church, a funeral is clearly in progress. Everyone is dressed in black. Priest at the front, head down, praying aloud. PENNY rises from her seat, slowly making her way to the front. The lights dim, to signify the halting of time as she speaks to herself.]

PENNY: (sobbing) I am not myself.

[Pause. The murmuring of prayers can be heard.]

PENNY: (speaking louder) I am not myself! (looks behind her to the casket and the priest) My Henry, he is gone! Taken away by circumstance, by coincidence, by—accident? (looks up toward the ceiling) I certainly hope that ‘twas an accident. What other reason could you have? (pause) He’d done nothing. An excellent father and cook—perhaps his cooking? Oh, what shall I do without him? My other half, my darling, my love.

[walks down the center aisle between the pews, looking from side to side]

PENNY: There is no reason why these people should be here! (points to a man) He owes my husband seven dollars for a drink! I know he will use Henry’s death as an excuse not to pay it. (points to a woman) And that floosy, using my husband to fix her car. (grumbles, looking up again at the ceiling) I don’t understand. I do not work. I have no skills. Henry was good to me. He provided. He was tender and loving—he curled around me when I slept, he always pulled those bits out of my cereal that I didn’t like. He read me poetry, Lord, and even at my age he whispered sweet things in my ears even in public. I need him! (sobbing again, voice fading into a whisper) I need him…

[Goes to sit back down in her seat. The light brightens, the prayer ends with the crowd saying “Amen,” in unison, and the priest goes on. PENNY’s head remains down, her body shaking.]

The End

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