Here are the first few unedited paragraphs.
The accolades and celebration of forty-three years of service with Canada Post dissipated the first week of retirement. At the age of sixty-five years and seven days Mildred Fowler decided she had received the worst possible birthday gift: unemployment.
The smiles and hugs from coworkers still flashed before her eyes and the din of their congratulations hummed in her ears. Even the sweet smell of Sally’s breath as she toasted to long days of leisure lingered on her nose hairs. She now wondered if they truly believed being sent out to pasture was a happy occasion or if they simply wanted to give her a final hurrah before she entered obscurity. In reality, who really wanted to do nothing all day?
Her son Clyde told her to take up a hobby if she got bored, which he sincerely doubted she would. “You’re where everyone aims to be,” he had said. “You’ve earned this freedom. Take advantage of it while you still have your health.”
“You’ll be able to sleep in,” her youngest son Victor had said on the phone from his office in Summerside.