He stood like a stubborn weed, fixed in his place, unmoved by the activity around him.
And much was going on.
Though the mood was sullen and withdrawn, the voices hardly slicing the stiff hush laid out on the chairs and tables, sewn to the curtains and carpet. There was a static in the air, and it crackled every time someone remembered the old man who had departed, the purpose of their dismal gathering.
Cheese and wine were on the menu. It was a good way of dealing with the discomfort.
A funeral reception had its own code of conduct. And the one who had passed on to some angelic kingdom in the sky was overripe and just the right age to die.
Ninety years or nine long decades. Say it as you wish. It’s the same both ways.
Yet the man planted by the bookcase, shoulders drooped, head dipped to the side, took no notice of the scattered emotions. He was busy with thoughts of his own.
Good thing no one could read his mind.
He raised his hands again and again, examining them, and then dropping them to his sides. It wasn’t what was on them but what he had done with them. Strangled the old bugger till his eyes had bulged and his face had bloomed a hint of red.
Nothing merry in dying while your lungs gasped for air.
The old man was the stranger who had raised him. They were father and son but with no blood relation.
Then what had gone wrong? The answer was plain but not obvious.
It was the old man’s dying wish. To feel what he had inflicted upon innocent souls.
An uncaught murderer could be repentant. And he was a dying example.
There was no mercy to be shown.
Only a family can Make a House a Home Again. It’s a humble request with a lot of heart and no hidden meaning.
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