Just Who is Ariel Jamison and What Does She Want?

Created from TBP Redux #7 and OLWG #181 prompts


You asked about Ariel?  Here, I’ve got a picture. That’s her, there. In the middle. That’s her husband, Dan, with my husband. That’s me, can you believe? And that’s Aaron and Jan. Hm. Betsy and Sam aren’t in this photo. Don’t remember why. Lots of happy times, back then. We were quite the group!

These days, Ariel keeps pretty much to herself. You have to understand why that seems so strange. Ariel and Dan used to be regular fixtures in town. The pair of them; a couple of go-getters, day in and out.  They were at every town meeting, every event, every party, every special occasion. Volunteered on just about every committee.  It exhausts me just to think about it!

When Dan unexpectedly died, Ariel disappeared into her own world. None of us saw much of her for a while there. Her neighbors said, right after Dan’s death, at night, regardless the weather, she would slowly walk in circles in her backyard, sometimes well into the middle of the night. They said she wore a path into the grass that looked something like those labyrinths you see in some church yards.

Then, that next year, she went away for a long time. If you’re wondering, that’s when the rumors started that she went to India to become a Buddhist monk, or some such nonsense. She didn’t go to India to become a Buddhist! I mean, yes, for a while, just after she came back, she took to wearing kaftans and a large scarf around her head, which was, I admit, odd. But I think all that was just Ariel finding out who she was outside of her marriage to Dan. I mean, that movie, “Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”, was so popular at that time, and that was just after “Eat, Pray, Love,” had been on all our must-read lists.

No, Ariel didn’t become a monk. She went to stay with her son Alec, who had just moved to Kentucky. She wanted to help him and his new wife and their brand-new baby boy get settled, and they were more than happy to have her. See, she had a dream as a little girl of becoming a racehorse jockey, and ever since then, wanted to visit the Bluegrass state. I mean, Dan was dead and gone, so why not pull up stakes for a while? Cross something off your bucket list, as they say. At least she wasn’t walking in circles in her backyard.

But, my guess is you really want to hear about the fire. Of course, that was the other rumor about poor Ariel; that someone in the family started it, or that, of all things, she deliberately set it. I tried to deflect as much of that b-s as I could, but you know people. I mean, losing your home is bad enough that people have to go around outright lying about how it happened.

It makes me sad, because, for one, Ariel was never one for gossip. And after all she and Dan did for the town, you think people would be grateful and leave it at that. At least have some sympathy for the poor woman! But my friend is a strong lady. She just puts on that Cheshire Cat smile of hers and rises above it. Yes, it was arson, and no, they still don’t know who did it or why. But, I can attest to this: Ariel knows exactly who started the fire.


A genuine challenge to figure out a story that goes with an ending! From Redux #7, I selected, “Though she wasn’t one for gossip, Mrs. Jamison knew exactly who had started the fire.” The UnOLWG prompts are bluegrass; the center of my world; seeking Amrapali.

5 thoughts on “Just Who is Ariel Jamison and What Does She Want?

  1. Very interesting. A) Death of a loved one is never easy, I know a few widows and a widower… and they still want to go on living. Thankfully without fire… and with the help of neighbors and friends.

    It’s the old may ye ‘not judge a book by its’ cover’. Gee now we (I) want to know who set the fire. But I’m sure Mrs. J isn’t going to tell anyone. She may even aid and give help to the arsonist. Strength is a good quality that can carry a person far – even if or especially when others don’t expect the direction a person takes.

    I like that bit about the labyrinth in the yard – the path she walked.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not knowing who set the fire is why I chose that prompt. The sentence has a finality to it, so building a story behind it was what intrigued me. I have a relative who is a recent widow (not COVID related) and is not faring at all well. But I, too, know others that have carried on. Thanks for your thoughtful read!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah… I thought it was just the neighbors/ police etc that didn’t know. And Mrs J… well maybe she does know something?

        Some widows are stronger than others. My Mom… hasn’t done well for years and the dementia over the last ten or so hasn’t helped. Refusing to live close to family doesn’t help either. One has to live with choices especially once the expiration date of some can’t be reversed.

        Liked by 1 person

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