Ardelia, yellow rose in hand, walked slowly toward the precipice. Her silken dress trailed carelessly through the thinning grass and pointed to the manor house behind her.
She stopped near the edge and looked over. She shifted a couple of feet to the left and was satisfied. This was the spot.
Ardelia gazed across the lush valley so far below and away from her. This was land her marriage to Cedric had added to the family’s fortune only two years earlier. She literally could not see to the other side of the holding, not even from her great height.
She looked down again at the cruel crags that would tear at a person’s limbs en route to the creek below. She took a long moment to peer down into the chasm, to make certain she was doing the right thing. Then she resigned herself to it.
A quick underhanded toss and the rose flew upward ever so briefly before turning and falling toward the bottom.
A waste of a perfectly good rose, she huffed to herself. But this little ritual was expected of her on the anniversary of Cedric’s death and she couldn’t very well return to the manor house with the flower.
Ardelia watched the rose take nearly the same path as her husband had when she pushed him over the edge; that moment of victory had cost little more effort than it had taken to throw the flower. When it was out of sight she turned and strode back home. There was a tenant’s foreclosure to see to and she was eager to get at it.