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DIGGING THE GRAVE

Isabelle sat quietly at her dining room table, the egg and lettuce sandwiches she had made herself for lunch were drying out on the plate in front of her. Instead of eating them when they were fresh, she managed to totally absorb herself in the latest psycho-thriller fiction in her favourite magazine. Each page engrossed her more than the last, pulling her deeper into a life of murderous insanity and betrayal. Somehow it never seemed to be enough, just as she felt that she was becoming one with the story, it would end, leaving her to re-enter her own dull, mundane existence. Her life, it seemed, never quite held the same excitement for her, leaving her little else to do than sit and watch or read about everybody else’s.

Her husband, Bertie, had sadly passed away several years ago, resigning Isabelle to continue her life’s journey alone. It had been a struggle for her, no children, very few friends and even the church group she attended could only suffer so much of her idle gossip and forced involvement in their affairs. She hadn’t meant to display such a desperate, meddlesome image, it just flowed naturally from her, and she simply couldn’t help herself. Without Bertie, nothing could fill her grieving heart, as a consolation, she would inject herself into other people’s lives.

“Izaak, don’t be run from me. You must take medicine.” Isabelle laid her magazine on the table and turned in the direction of the voice. “Izaak, you must do what I, doctor says.” Without a second thought of her dried out sandwiches, Isabelle rose from her chair and started out toward the window in her kitchen. There in broad daylight, she could see her elderly neighbours running around their back yard like a couple of children playing chasey.

“What on earth…” she began, still gawking at the antics being displayed before her.

Izaak and Hanna Sobieski had been her neighbours for a little over twenty years now and never, in that time, had they put on a performance such as this. For the most part, they had been quiet, respectful neighbours and Isabelle often thought them to be rather reclusive. They had immigrated from Krosno, Poland, back in the mid forties, not long after Krosno was liberated. They settled beside her and Bertie and had been living an inconspicuous life ever since. She had never had a great deal to do with them, she often exchanged simple greetings over their shared fence, but they hadn’t associated much beyond that. Bertie often struck up the odd conversation with Izaak, but due to his thick Polish linguistics, was unable to carry it too far.

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