Devin had given her no clues that he intended to end his life – during their last brunch he had mentioned traveling together, to exotic places like Bhutan and Madagascar, and looking forward to his children growing up and leaving the nest.  Clove had understood his not wanting to abandon his children, so why then would he have killed himself?  No; it just didn’t make sense.  She found herself feeling angry.

          “Why didn’t you say something?” she exploded.  The anger had risen in her quickly, making her want to yell, and curse, and maybe kick the headstone a few times.  She had been so patient with him.  She had tried over and over to help him.  He had simply slipped out of her grasp, sliding away silently one day, without so much as a goodbye. 

          She gripped the handle of the delicate tea cup, contemplating how it would sound and how she would feel if she flung the cup against the tombstone.  The act itself would be terribly satisfying, but then she would have to pick up the shards of the broken cup.  Besides, she liked this cup, and wanton destruction had never been her style.

          Scarlett, who had been laying quietly in the satchel, now stood with her front paws on Clove’s knees, scanning her face.  She huffed, shivering slightly.  Clove picked up the tiny black Pom, plucking dried leaves from her fur.  “Do you want to go home now?” she asked, receiving a low ‘woof’ in return.  “Okay, let’s go home and make our dinner then.”

          She gathered her things to leave, motioning for Scarlett to return to the bag, but Scarlett had a different idea.  She sniffed around the base of the memorial stone, then began digging frantically at the sod.  Clove, fully aware that dogs were not permitted on the grounds of the cemetery, scooped her up before anyone might see.  Scarlett came away from the ground with a small chunk of sod in her mouth.  Bending to put the divot back in place at the base of the stone, Clove found a gold ring, a plain gold band, obviously not new.   Inside, the surface had been marred and deeply scratched.  Perhaps someone had lost it while visiting Devin’s grave.

          She dropped the ring into her coat pocket, reminding herself to turn it in to the cemetery office next time she came to visit.  With Scarlett safely tucked back into her travel bag, Clove slowly made her way between the neat rows of manicured graves to her dark red Wrangler and headed for home.         

Purveyors of tales that are

​entertaining, illuminating, and thoughtful.

An excerpt from The Dastardly Demise of Devin Davenport...

​​​Questman Tales Publishing​​

Clove Pepperman is divorced and happy, mostly.  She has a great home, a thriving business, a cute dog, and a lot of people who love her.  There's only one problem as far as she's concerned: her married boyfriend, Devin, won't leave his wife!  When Devin dies suddenly, Clove is left to try and figure out exactly what happened, and why she was so blind to the truth for so long.