The nightmare was still vivid in her mind, the blood, the destruction, Brad dragged from beneath the debris. A voice from the hallway bellowed her name. Suppressed to hear her father in-laws voice she began to tremble. What is he doing here? He was away on vacation with his newly-wed wife Miranda, some cruise in the Caribbean until May. Her mental activity raced rapidly searching for a logical explanation why he was just a few feet away? What seized their cruise so abruptly? As revelation struck, she gazed in stark-staring horror! She hadn’t had a nightmare it was reality. Jennifer threw her head into her hands sobbing uncontrollably. Her father in-law dashed to her side; he embraced her silently while she drenched his shirt with her flood of tears. Finally calming her she drifted, immerging into a profound sleep awakening several hours later. Relaxed and serene Jennifer had to know if any news updates were available. Was Brad alive, the bloody body which was hardly recognizable was this the body of her husband Brad? In a state of confused reverie she searched for her father in-law Jack discovering him situated quietly in Brad’s arm chair. He arose upon detecting her footsteps. “Sit Jen we have to talk!” Jennifer thought Jack’s mannerism was unusually calm. He beckoned her to sit again; she obeyed easing herself onto the sofa.   







These are urls to my book Disaster Strikes







Chapter 8

A Tragic Death



Entering his driveway Travis parked his vehicle and stepped out. The house was silent on his arrival he checked the rooms and Jennifer wasn’t there. He headed to his drawing room to call Jack when his eyes caught site of the folded paper on the round antique table and grabbing the note of the table he unfolded it he read it quickly. “Shit!” Reacted Travis and ran to his vehicle. Tires squealed as the vehicle speed from the driveway. He could hear the swooshing of the wind as his speedometer hit 90. Nearing the airport, Travis pulled up to the entrance and hastily ran inside the airport. Jennifer’s flight was in ten minutes. He ran through the crowd pushing his way nearly knocking a gentleman on his ass. The man angrily swore at him calling him some nasty words he couldn’t quite make out over all the commotion in the airport. Five minutes to take off Travis heard as he neared Gate three. Scanning the area he noticed Jennifer about to board the boarding gate and yelled her name. Startled she turned around and seen Travis. Running toward him and she seen the look of urgency on his face. “Thank God! Remarked Travis, I made it just in time”. “Jennifer we need to talk lets get out of here I’ll fill you in on the way.” “Way to where?” demanded Jennifer in an assertive tone. “To the hospital yelled Travis over the noise of the crowed airport Brad’s been in an accident Jack’s with him at the hospital he‘s in bad shape its critical.” Jennifer froze in her tracks. She tried to move but her legs felt like they didn’t want to cooperate. Travis was several steps in front of her and didn’t notice her reaction to his news report. He turned abruptly when he noticed she lagged behind and he didn’t see her beside him. Her face was pale and she was trembling. He helped her through the airport doors and to his parked vehicle. Jennifer in her confused state of reverie remained silent for the remainder of their drive to the Regional Memorial.

Inside the operating room Jack stood over his son’s dead body. He was sobbing when Travis and Jennifer entered. There was nothing more that the doctors could do. His injuries were too severe and they couldn’t stop the internal bleeding. He was pronounced dead five minutes ago. Jennifer placed her hand on Jacks shoulder slowly turning his body toward her and they sobbed uncontrobally in each others arms. Travis walked over and embraced them both eventually leading them toward the doors of the operation room and to his parked vehicle; the lapse of time from the airport to his residence seemed endless for Jack and Jennifer. The day after his death they placed an announcement in the obituaries section of their local news paper stating Brad’s death. 

The casket containing Brad’s corpse stood upon a platform in front of a local Ohio funeral home and beside his casket stood decorative flowered wreaths. Ray stood staring at his best friend and half brother. Jack stationed beside his ex- wives son and placed a bouquet of flowers on the front of his sons casket as Ray placed a hand on Jack’s shoulder turning his head toward Ray. Jack nodded and said “thank you!” Ray wandered over to where Miranda and Jennifer stood wearing black dresses and embraced them giving his condolences. While some Visitors gathered in a room down a small hallway exchanging memories. Others were walking up to Brad’s family members giving repeated condolences; some were outside in small groups scatter about the crowded parking lot chattering and smoking cigarettes. There was a serene morbid atmosphere around the entire funeral home and Jack situated with his head in his hands. His elbows rested on his lap brushing his fingers through his hair as Travis approached and situated himself beside him. The two men chatted for awhile finally standing and embraced each other. Jennifer sauntered over to Brad’s casket and kissed his lips as she slipped the wedding band off her finger and placed it in the casket with him whispering good-bye. she ambled across the room and she sat alone on bench near the entrance and silently dealt with the aching pain that ripped at her soul as she forced away the tears which crept into her burning, large blue eyes and the intense throbbing steady tight pain she endured in her heart since she discovered his unfaithfulness hoping no one observed her grieving. Miranda was reminding Guest and visitors to meet at family chapel directly after the wake for the church service before proceeding to the grave site and then everyone slowly egress the building piling into their vehicles and they ventured to the chapel.

Inside the crowded chapel Ray stood at the frontage of the church behind a speaker’s platform as he verbalized his best friend’s eulogy;

I met Brad several years ago in Port Everglades while working at a firm.

Brad and I became best friends and comrades; we experienced many trials and tribulations through the years and he made mistakes which he regretted as well as choices he didn’t. The night before he died he stood at my bedside in the hospital and made me promise I’d give this note to his wife Jennifer. He held the piece of paper high in the air as he looked at Jennifer asking her to please step forward and receive the note he was holding and she slowly made her way to the front of the chapel in her state of confusion taking the note Ray handed her. A tear rolled down her cheek as she glanced at her deceased husband’s best friend. He stepped from behind the platform and embraced her briefly releasing her he stepped back behind the platform as she slowly wandered back to where she was sitting. Ray finished the eulogy and returned to his seat.

The eulogy was followed by a mass and when the mass ended the hymn In the Garden’s melody flowed throughout the church. The minister approached the coffin saying a prayer then followed this procedure saying we now offer the spirit of Brad Branderson up to the lord continuing to bless the coffin he made the sign of the cross. The minister then walked to the frontage of the church and the coffin was then rolled to the rear. When it came to a halt, the Paul bearers Jack, Travis, Ray and one of Brad’s relatives picked up the coffin and carried it to the awaiting hearse with procession to the Graveyard.


Everyone gathered in prayer around the grave site uttering their final good-byes. The casket containing Brad’s body was then lowered into the ground and Jack tossed a shovel of soil unto the casket as tears descended down his cheeks.




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