The unmistakable clink of high heels resonated through the body of the church. Only a handful of heads turn to see the stony-faced woman’s impending assertion: the priest, a small collection of regular churchgoers, and her husband: sat next to her, dumbfounded.
“I’m sorry to interrupt…but I just want you to know that this isn’t the funeral of a withered, lonely old man. This is the funeral of a monster. A monster who hurt people: innocent people, friends…”
Her blood-red lips quivered slightly, as if to hint that some part of her was nervous or intimidated. Yet no such emotion was shown in her indomitable voice.
“…family. And he got away with it. He won.”
A comforting hand rested itself on her shoulder, one she would have usually invited. But as it tried to pull her back, she shook it off. She needed to do this. After giving her husband a perspicuous look, she turns away. But not back to the congregation: to the coffin.
“I’ve lived in fear of you all my life. Your dark, bottomless eyes. Your vile, crooked fists – now you’re gone, and I could not be happier. I only showed up to make sure you were really dead, really gone. Forever.”
She pauses, slowly nodding her head, eyes undistracted as they stare forwards.
“I hoped you would die this way.”
Those dark, bottomless eyes stare into hers from across the nave. Trying to make her scared, make her silent. But they no longer appear as the inscrutable dominators they once were. They’re just wretched.
A sharp screech breaks the silence as the woman pivots on her heel and sits back on the pew. She takes a deep breath, and then stares back into those eyes for the last time.
(c) Patrick Rogers