Her service wrenched the heart. Such a proper, helpful woman, to be cruelly cast away even if just for a month. I decorated her cottage with flowers, brought her the elements of style, and ignored the tears in her eyes as she asked me why. Why was I bricking up the doors and windows?

It’s November, I replied.

I can help you get through this, she said. Have I ever let you down before?

Irish music, soft and sweet played in the background. It is not that you let me down, I told her. You are just too good at your job.

She had no answer to that, and I layered in the last line of bricks, I heard my inner editor weeping.

But this is National Novel Writing Month and there is no place for her here.


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