Writing Prompt: His body was wracked by coughs.

Good morning. The fist Monday after daylight savings I always feel as though the world has somehow righted itself. At least in the fall. When the spring time change hits, I feel cheated. Fall feels like we are finally getting back to rights. I think it is because even though I still get up at the same time, now there is daylight outside when I rise. It makes a lot of difference. At least to me. So with the feeling that the world had now rebalanced itself, let’s start the morning writing prompt. Are you in? Good, let’s go.

Oddly enough this sort of ties in with a story I have been working on. I started work on the daughter’s story and created a mystery of her mother but hadn’t quite figured out how to work in the mother’s story as I reveal it. I didn’t actually think this connected until I wrote Mirabella, the month’s name. Now I can see an angle I hadn’t thought of using. Don’t you just love it when that happens?

Monday, November 8th: His body was wracked by coughs.

His body was wracked with coughs.  His lungs burned with every breath and each breath seemed harder to take. He was told he was getting better.  He didn’t feel like he was getting better.  The doctors said that it would hurt more as he healed. 

He wasn’t entirely certain he believed them.

At the moment though, he could see no real reason for them to lie.  They had nothing to gain.  His will was made, his assets divvied.  No one here got anything from him, so they didn’t profit by his death.  No one who did profit knew they profited and so weren’t in a position to encourage the doctor’s towards that death.

He thought of those waiting.  They were hopeful, but they also knew he didn’t like them.  He knew that many were looking to get in his good graces when he first became ill.  That was when they flocked to him.  After years of separation, they drew close, hunger and greed shining in their eyes.  They each wanted to be assured that they would receive their portion of his wealth. 

Once his will was official, written, sealed and secured in his lawyer’s office, they all backed away knowing there was nothing else they could do.  His lawyer was an old friend, who, if it was possible, despised the vultures more than he did. He wasn’t going to whisper a word of what was written to them and they knew it.

So they fell back, hungry and waiting, yet uncertain if they should encourage his demise.  None of them felt secure enough in their place.

Harold let loose another burst of coughs.  This one felt looser than the last and he found himself spitting up things that felt as though they were dredged from the very depths of his soul.

‘The remnants of foul deeds from my misspent youth,’ he thought to himself.  He smiled slightly to himself and realized he did feel a little better.

Hope flickered.  Perhaps the doctor’s had not lied.  He let the little flame flicker, but dared not add too much fuel.  He had plans.  Plans for what would happen if he recovered.  He found here, that if this was his end, he was forced to acknowledge the rest of his misbegotten family.  He made his will accordingly, but that would change if he recovered. 

Those listed were the descendants of his siblings and cousins.  As the black sheep of the family, disowned and removed from his own father’s will, Harold had little love for them.  They abandoned him when his father did.  That their fortunes waned as his grew and now their children and grandchildren clustered in for their share from him did give him some petty satisfaction. 

There was another who he felt was more deserving.  The trick was to find her.  ‘Well, find and confirm the rumor.’ He reminded himself.  He couldn’t leave his wealth to a rumor.  So he made the will as it needed to be made.  Always, he put confirming the rumor off for some time later.  Now he realizer later had arrived, and possibly passed him by.  If he recovered he would not make such a mistake again.  He would find out the truth. He would find Mirabella and find out if the rumors were true and if he had a daughter. 

His small smile grew determined.  He suspected that he wouldn’t like his offspring any more than he liked anyone else’s offspring.  But the thought of disappointing the circling vultures was a pleasant one.  Harold lay bag against his pillows, his eyes slipping closed.  He would recover, and they would be doomed to disappointment. With that pleasant thought, he drifted off to sleep.

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