TITLE: Wonder Why
When a reporter appears at her husband’s funeral, former Seventies rock music icon Elaine Brooks is forced to confront the thirty-year-old tragedy that sent her into hiding. She begins a soul-plumbing journey to reconcile with her past and help her equally talented son navigate the dangerous life she once rejected.
It began in the topmost branches of a stand of pine trees on a scorching October afternoon. The keening wind dropped down through the branches, raked the over-baked earth, and began to strip away all such things that were past their prime or not firmly anchored. Newly freed tumbleweeds raced each other across the sandy soil, more dynamic in death than in life. A drift of dirt, born when the spring winds last blew, disintegrated in a swirling red cloud of dust, and a rusted gate broke free at last, clanging madly as though a ghost on a mission had just torn through.
And just that quickly, the seasons turned. Summer lifted away and autumn stole quickly in, soothing the hardscrabble landscape of western Texas and beginning to work on the souls gathered around the gaping hole carved into the earth. Across the dusty caliche road that wound through the cemetery, a man leaned back against one of the larger headstones and lifted a damaged hand to hold back the shoulder length hair that whipped about his face.
Elaine watched him from behind dark glasses and wondered who he was. One of the homeless from the shelter where Ethan had worked? Several of them dotted the sea of mourners arrayed behind her, here to pay their respects to the man who had handed out used clothing and a kind word twice a month for the past eight years. Then the disease left him too weak to stand, and the fog of the morphine lulled him into oblivion.