Friday, 24 October 2014

The worst thing about the funeral is that her socks are wet

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The worst thing about the funeral is that her socks are wet. It is such a cliché that it always rains at a funeral but it is and she is, so both those things seem true. She isn’t mourning and her wet socks make her sad but not enough to cry.
People are crying; some silently and some dramatically clutching white lace-trimmed handkerchiefs that look so pristine they must save them for funerals.
She had listened to the eulogies and wondered that a person could live his whole life in self-contained compartments as the deceased must have done. Then she had followed the hearse and the coffin to the interment. She needed to see it.
She is fairly certain that none of these people knew the dead man; not even his closest family. At least they didn’t really know him. They came from one room in his life, she came from another. She was the interloper; the outsider. She did not belong here and if he was alive, he would have had her removed. Or shot.
She knew him; knew him too well and she was here to make sure that he went into the ground. She wasn’t crying and no amount of drama from other people would encourage her to shed a single tear.
Her whole family was dead, and it was on the orders of this man.
It made her rage inside that he got to die peacefully in his bed when she had hoped to kill him herself. But the opportunity had never arisen; the exact right set of circumstances that would have resulted in his death. She was driven by revenge but she was not stupid or suicidal. As the last of her family, a lot was riding on her slim shoulders.
The ceremony finished and people started to walk back to their cars.
She noted the exact position of the grave. Maybe she should return tonight and salt and burn him just to make sure he didn’t come back? The thought made her want to laugh. One of his men was watching her as she moved through the people to get closer to the hole.
She crouched down next to the grave, made the mano cornuta horn symbol with her fingers pointing down towards the ground and she whispered, “I’ll see you in Hell.” And then she spat into it before rising and walking away.
© AM Gray 2014

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