A Princess of Earth
Click on image to enlarge.
by Mike Resnick
Category: Science Fiction Hugo Award Nominee, Nebula Award(R) Preliminary Ballot Nominee
Description: An aging widower is visited by John Carter, the main character from Edgar Rice Burroughs' "A Princess of Mars," who delivers a cryptic message concerning the fate of his beloved wife.
eBook Publisher: Fictionwise.com, 2004 Asimov's SF Magazine
eBookwise Release Date: May 2005
492 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [25 KB]
Reading time: 14-19 min.
All Other formats: Printing DISABLED, Read-aloud DISABLED
When Lisa died I felt like my soul had been ripped out of my body, and what was left wasn't worth the powder to blow it to hell. To this day I don't even know what she died of; the doctors tried to tell me why she had collapsed and what had killed her, but I just tuned them out. She was dead and I would never talk to her or touch her again, never share a million unimportant things with her, and that was the only fact that mattered. I didn't even go to the funeral; I couldn't bear to look at her in her coffin.
I quit my job--we'd been counting the days to my retirement so we could finally spend all our time together--and I considered selling the house and moving to a smaller place, but in the end I couldn't do it. There was too much of her there, things I'd lose forever if I moved away.
I left her clothes in the closet, just the way they'd always been. Her hairbrush and her perfume and her lipstick remained on the vanity where she'd kept them neatly lined up. There was a painting of a New England landscape that I'd never liked much, but since she had loved it I left it hanging where it was. I had my favorite photos of her blown up and framed, and put them on every table and counter and shelf in the house.