End Words (2)

Continuing my experiment of offering readers the last words instead of the first words of a book, here is the end of my novel, Secretocracy, published last year. Let me know if reading them makes you want to read the book:

            With his bag lunch in his briefcase, he drove the Mustang west to Hopewell Cemetery. He parked at the perimeter and passed over the rolling mounds of grass, by headstones and monuments and markers, to the rise where Clem’s body rested. He read the gravestone and walked around the plot, viewing it from every side. Finally, he stood at the foot of the grave and folded his hands in front of him. He had to talk to Clem.

            “We won, boss.”

            He raised his eyes as if he expected a response.

            “The rhinos made love. We were right in the middle of it, but we survived. Hacker’s gone. Shafter’s gone. So is Prowley. NPO is working within its charter.” He chuckled. “The Democrats even won the House in the election.”

            No answer. Why did he keep listening for one?

            “Your good name is intact. Julia saw to that. I came through it fine. So did Nettie. Oh, we’re together now. Thought you’d like to know that.”

            He imagined Clem smiling and nodding.

            “But mainly, I wanted you to know—”

He sank to his knees and folded his hands.

“I’m speaking now as the son you never had. You’re the father I always yearned for. And I wanted you to know . . .”

His vision went blurry.

“You didn’t die in shame, Clem. You didn’t fail. You won.”

More next time.

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