All four of them started to talk at the same time. Blame, shame, hurt and guilt filled the air. Each voice became louder in an effort to be heard.
In fact, they were so loud that they couldn't hear the sirens until the highway patrolmen stopped his car behind Augusta's Hummer.
"What do we have here, Augusta?" the patrolman asked.
"I'm trying to get the story. Do you want to help mediate this dispute?" Augusta replied.
The patrolman had taken the conflict resolution workshop with Augusta. This was their first opportunity to try the five fold path to resolution that they had learned.
"Ok folks, why don't you each tell me what is going on?" the patrolman asked. Before he had a chance to add that the couples should talk one at a time, they all started in again, once again raising the noise level so high that the leaves started to fall on them from the trees above.
"One at a time. Who would like to go first?" Augusta added.
"I'll go first," Softy said.
"You've lost your inalienable rights when you died, mister. I'm going first," Dusty said.
"Ok, let's listen to Dusty." Augusta said.
"There is no way that I'm not going first. I gave up my home and husband to be part of this insanity. I'm sure I'm the one with the greatest lost." Eliza said.
The patrolmen took Augusta aside to decide who should go first.
"Ok, Dusty. We'll start with you. And everyone else listen. You all will have your day in court."
"Unfair," Softy said.
"Be a big boy now," the patrolman said
"Well, all right. But . . ." Softy replied.
"Quiet!" Augusta said, pointing his finger at Softy.