BILLY CORASS’S FINISHING KICK
Wendy Glassby ©2021
Approx. 89k words.
Retired corporate whiz, Billy Corass, has strategies for every part of her life, except for ageing.
A successful endurance runner, Billy draws from her mantra: One foot down. Lift the other. One foot down. See the rock. Run to the rock. See the bush. Run to the bush. Breathe. This fails her when her recent run ends nose-first into desert gravel. Independent Billy becomes ‘the old woman’ found ‘naked, in the bush’ whose journey leads to residential care at Fairview—a ‘death factory’ filled with ‘gargoyles on sofas… waiting to die.’ She’s angry but mostly she’s afraid.
After shock softens to familiarity, Fairview reveals itself neither stagnant nor terrifying. People marry, have sex, escape, commit uxoricide, and, yes, die. There are like-minded friends—one in a wizened body with lawyer-like intelligence, another with failing eyesight balanced by elegant insights—and there’s Joe, Billy’s first Nicholas Sparks-type soulmate.
This reciprocal community transforms former lone wolf Billy into a participant and a contributor. Strangers become family, wounds heal, and fears diminish despite the wretched regularity of death. No longer is fate setting the pace and rhythm of her ageing future. Billy’s making her own decisions and mapping her own course.