(Today’s story is the penultimate. Tomorrow’s story (Number 2020) will be the last – at least for a while. I am writing this in September so who knows! Tomorrow’s story has LOTS of links so it’s not impossible that it will automatically end up in your email trash. Just a warning!)
Monique and Marcel had known each other for years. They were good friends since university days. Now both were widowed. They usually met once or twice a month for coffee and a chat. Each found support from the other in their loss.
After some time they started to hear rumours: they were a couple, they were dating, they were inevitably going to get married… None of this was true, but rumours stick.
“Apparently they haven’t as yet moved into the same house,” said Nora Cudworthy to Mabel Johnstoneville. “You’d think they would. After all, they do everything else. They should stop pretending we don’t know and move in.”
“I heard,” said Sandy Monteverdi to Joe Devon, “that they were having an affair long before their spouses died. I’m not surprised, judging from the way they carry on these days.”
“It’s unbelievable! Unbelievable!” said Carmel Cranford to Tessa London. “They have their grandchildren come to stay and I heard that Marcel and Monique spend all their time otherwise engaged. Unbelievable!”
“Enough is enough!” declared Monique to Marcel. “Let’s add fuel to the fire. Let’s go away together in the same car to some fancy resort somewhere and leave them to chatter.”
And they did! Off they trundled ostentatiously in the car.
While they were away the nearby volcano erupted and utterly decimated the village. It was like a modern Pompeii. The whole gaggle of gossipers was gone. Of course, Monique and Marcel were safe. But there was no one left to announce their engagement to.