When she died, he wrote her obituary. For once, he relished his job. For once, he did not chaff at his editor’s insistence on keeping things short: “Emily Sone, age 68, died Tuesday morning. No known surviving relations.” Those concise lines would allow plenty of space for the lavish ads the local funeral homes purchased, which, his boss always noted, paid their salaries.
He hadn’t included funeral arrangements, but he hadn’t reckoned with her website. Her editor and literary executor more than filled in his deliberate blank spaces. Once he and Emily Stone had taken the same creative writing class. She was a witty beauty always circled by admirers. He never had a chance and over the years his quiet devotion became shaded with bitterness.
He personally didn’t care for her silly sagas, space operas she called them, set among stars of distant planets. He could never see why anyone would read such rubbish, so he never bothered to buy a book or attend a reading. He had never watched an episode, though there were hundreds of them now, of the television show created from her novels.
Good thing she wrote under a different name, turning Stone to Wing in an effort, he supposed, to suggest that the space opera books had been her destiny. Even his lump-brained editor would have caught his omissions had he used her pseudonym.