Part two of this short story adds doubt to a blogger's predicament. What would you do in her situation?
Suspense is rising in this continued story from Moville writer Sharon Thompson.
In Part One, we met Letterkenny blogger Matilda, who has an unusual side job of being a ‘family member’ for hire. Getting asked to attend a sex offender’s funeral was never a gig she ever expected. Catch up here.
In Part Two, Matilda realises there are more thing to consider before naming her price:
‘Hire me as a fake family member for any event.’
‘It just seemed liked a good idea at the time and I thought it would probably take me back to a city like Galway or Dublin, where things are slightly more anonymous than here in Donegal,’ Matilda says while getting up off her bed.
‘Making money from the mis-fortune of others is not nice!’ Matilda’s mum face is pretty like Matilda’s but her brow is furrowed as she reads the email on the laptop.
‘I am a convicted sex-offender and have left my area. With no friends or family left, I will be buried in a plot I’ve picked out many miles from my home. I am terminally ill, with weeks to live and I would like some-one-person at my funeral. How much will you charge for this please? I would appreciate if you didn’t charge me extra because of my past. I will be dead after all and of no danger to anyone. I’d appreciate a prompt reply. Thank you. Joe.’
‘There’s no way while hell is hot that you’re going to his funeral! For any money!’ Those motherly eyes are ablaze and should know better. If Matilda is told no about something, that’s the very thing she wants to do.
‘It will be fine. He’ll be dead!’ Matilda’s dreadlocks are annoying her and she aims to get her hair cut short but won’t tell her mother just yet. ‘What harm can he do in a coffin? And he’ll not be sure I turn up.’
The gasp from her mother is very loud and she flops to sit onto the unmade bed. ‘There’s bound to be someone, who knows of his passing? This is nonsense and some sick ploy, to lure you to be his victim.’
‘Of course it isn’t!’ But Matilda does take a second to think on the possibilities of her mother being right. Her mother, she has found, is nearly always near or thereabouts –right about everything. She wasn’t right though about college being Matilda’s only way to make a living though. The sponsorship for her online social media work, is huge.
‘Please tell me that you aren’t writing about this on your blog?’
‘Of course I will use it! That’s the whole point of having millions of followers and sure I can’t go out like normal people anymore without being hounded. This was another idea to keep the fans interested. I didn’t mention this sicko yet though. I was waiting until after the events to write about them.’
‘Well if you did tell them, they’d all turn up!’
Matilda’s eyes widen. ‘They would wouldn’t they?’
‘Lord knows what the mob would do though, Tilly!’
‘But he’d get lots of people at his funeral!’
‘Maybe that’s what he wants? He’s using you in some way. These man are manipulative to the very last.’
‘I must reply to him and factor this into my price.’
Matilda’s mother shakes her head. ‘This is going to end in tears Tilly, mark my words.’
Sharon Thompson is the author of Amazon #1 crime novel The Abandoned. She has signed with leading crime publishing house Bloodhound Books UK for two more books. She is the co-founder of #WritersWise a trending, writers’ tweet-chat (www.writerswise1.wordpress.com).
Check back next Sunday for another short story from Sharon. If you are a local writer of stories or poetry, email firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about featuring.