BY THE LIGHT OF THE MOON
Ducky is out in the moonlight thinking.
A Ducky-centric gen story.
Written: September 2012. Word count: 770.
As I drive the Morgan up to the house the outside lights come on, showing me my way home, lighting up the outside, thus making it easier and safer to see where I am going.
I don't really need them any longer; I've been driving up to the same house for more years than I care to remember. I've been coming home, getting out of the Morgan, taking my briefcase from her back seat, locking her up and making my way by the gleam of the outside lights up the porch steps, going into the house and calling out to Mother.
Except I haven't been calling out to her for some months now, although I confess for the first few days I did call out to her; routine and habit are very difficult things to break. And even in the weeks and months that followed, from time to time I found myself about to call out to her, to tell her I was home. So many years of going home; so many years of going home to Mother.
It is something I shall never do again; for tonight finally she found peace and dignity, a peace and dignity she lost many months ago. I am relieved, truly I am, I am glad, I am pleased she finally has been freed from the existence she had, yet I am also saddened. How could I not be? She was my mother; she gave me life; she loved me; nurtured me; cared about me; she may not have always been a traditional mother, but she was my mother and I loved her dearly. As glad, as relieved as I am that she is no longer suffering, and because I loved her so much and hated to see what she had become I am no longer suffering, I am also saddened that I will no longer see her or talk to her.
As I stand at the bottom of the porch steps I look up into the night sky; the stars twinkle, but they seem somewhat dimmer than they usually do, a dimness I do not believe is only caused by the outside lights. It is as if they know and are grieving just a little. The moon is full and heavy and it shines down, breaking up the blackness.
Mother used to love the moon, especially a full moon - she told me once I was conceived under the full moon. Knowing Mother as I did, that is quite possible. Suddenly I want to see the moon properly and the stars, thus I hurry up the steps, open the front door and flick the switch that will turn the outside lights off.
Once I have done that I turn and go back down the porch steps, stopping just before the bottom and sitting down. There under the light of the moon and the twinkling of the stars I make the first decision of many I shall have to make now that Mother has departed this life: I will not tell Jethro or the children that Mother has died.
Maybe it is a little selfish of me not to tell them, after all they knew her; some, Jethro and Jimmy, knew her better, had met her more often, than the others. Yet whether they met her once or dozens of times I know she touched them all in her own way - even Anthony, whom she believed to be a furniture moving, dogs' hairdresser gigolo, I believe will feel some sorrow now that she is dead.
So maybe I should tell them; maybe I should let them show their sympathy for her passing; show me how much they care about me - because when it comes down to it, death and funerals are not about the dead, they are about the living. I know how fond they all are of me; I know they will want to support me; to show me how much they care. But I do not want that; not at the moment.
I do not want to see their sympathetic looks, to hear their 'I'm so sorry, Ducky' comments and all the other things that go with death. I do not want them because I cannot, I am not, completely saddened that she has died - and how can you explain that to someone, even to people you love?
So I shall keep my own counsel even from Jethro. I shall arrange the funeral and deal with all the other matters that will inevitably follow from her death. I shall tell them; of course I shall, but not just yet.
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