Till I Can No Longer



Scene Title Till I Can No Longer
Synopsis There's a talk with him, and with Him.
Date January 8, 2021

She had had him cremated.

Years ago, after he had been executed, when Abigail settled the estate before she headed back to Butte, she had had him cremated and interred in a small little graveyard in Albany. A non-descript little part of the city that most were unlikely to bother looking, far enough away that no one would care to make the two and a half hour trip. There were people angry enough that she had no doubts that a casket would have been dug up and desecrated if they did manage to discover his resting place and make the journey there. He had done bad things in life, but Abigail had made sure that he could rest peacefully while he waited for her. That he would rest peacefully and she could visit him in peace.

A black gloved hand reaches out, brushing off the dusting of snow on the top of the simple and plain headstone, J. Muldoon on the front. Beloved husband. The years of his birth and his death. He had said one time that he was losing himself and so when she ordered the stone, it had his real name. Large sunglasses on her face seem at odds with the scarf and hat, blonde hair spilling from between the knit soft blues and over the dusty rose of the wool jacket. Fingertips clearing out the rime of white that settled in the letters till it's tidy again.

Somewhere in the distance Dean stands in his brown Carhart and flannel hunting hat, face a little leaner and watching his daughter just in case she needs help and his hands in his pockets.

Like father like daughter. Only Dean talks to his wife. "I had planned on making you wait for a real long time." There's a soft huff of laughter at that and the shake of her head. "Figured you'd want me to have as full a life as possible before I held your hand again. But…" She wrinkles her nose, the pain hovering behind her right eye for a moment spiking and getting the better of her. Makes her hold her breath.

"I probably shoulda stayed in Canada. They still woulda hung you otherwise" She breathes deep and lets the air out. "Not like anything I said made a difference." Lips press together. "I dunno what's happening Robert. I don't. I hate what it's doing to Kasha. I hate that I'm a grown woman and I need help. That I can't do my job. That… someone took something from me again. I hate… that I don't feel strong enough to face this."

She digs in her pocket and brings out a hanky and rubs her nose with it before tucking it back into her pocket. "I hate that I feel like I'm just walking through life until it's time for me to see you again. I hate that we have no answers and I'm… useless. I think it's winter talking. No, it's just… the migraines. I know if you were here, if this was then, you'd be throwing everything you could to make it better. You'd be laying in a dark room beside me, stroking my forehead. Throwing everything you had at making me better, getting an answer." She's looking away from the stone now and toward her father in the distance leaning against the car. "He still doesn't like you. He groused about taking me here. Said it would take too much out of me. It's a bad day today. I'm having a lot more bad days. I can't drive right now. Everything goes weird on my right and then I can't see out of that side sometimes and I don't have any warning really. Like an icepick to my head." She looks back to the stone before carefully, left hand guiding her down as she lays it on the top of the stone and is out of view of her father and her forehead resting against the cold stone.

"I don't want to come yet." She pleads softly. "I need to… belive that…" She licks her lips and then works her hand beneath her scarf and works the little gold chain out and then over her head and places it on the snow, leaning the little cross against the headstone. "I need to know that you'll be there. That I didn't believe in something for nothing."

And then she's standing. "Even in my darkest hours I breathe for you. I live with you in my heart. Watch over her if you take me to your side." She's no longer talking to the stone and the man it represents. No longer talking to her dead husband that she's worn about her shoulders like a shield. "I'll take this, I'll live like this if it is your plan. Your desire. Because you gotta have some reason for letting this happen. Some lesson, some… something. I can't believe that I would be tortured like this for no good reason. That the others would too. They're children still. It's real hard to keep walking. But… I'll keep walking till I can no longer. So long as you promise me."

Then she stands there. Eyes closed, as if waiting for some answer to come that isn't the slow ratcheting up of the pain in her head that the cold does little to alleviate. But then, it's been a long time since he answered her.


She turns away, hands sinking into her pockets and starts to trudge back to Dean and the car. Leaving that simple headstone and the little glint of gold at the base of it, slides her arm into her fathers arm and leans against him as they head back to the car. Back to the city. Back to life as it is.

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