posted on Sep, 6 2006 @ 06:52 PM
* * *
The funeral was a pretty lonely affair.
I was there with my sister and she was crying. My mother was somewhere else, probably crying for her own set of reasons. She left my father several
years prior because, in her own words, he had simply lost an interest in her. Teresa and I sided with our mother throughout the divorce. Our
allegiance was a no-brainer really. When she said that my father had lost interest in her, it wasn’t really the whole story. He lost interest in
the entire family: myself, Teresa, and Garrett, our younger brother. When Garrett died, our mother was left without a shoulder to cry on and that,
as they say, was that. She served him divorce papers in a fit of anger and he signed them in a fit of apathy.
So there I stood looking at my father’s discount casket, trying to bring my sister to a level of consolation that would allow us to leave.
The funeral director stood nearby, staring at the drapes behind the casket. There was a large spot on one of them and he couldn’t imagine how it
could have gotten there. He was wondering if he could clean while it was hanging, or if he’d have to take the whole thing to a dry cleaner, when
his line of thought was interrupted.
“Can I see him please?” Teresa took a cleansing breath. “I’d like to see him.”
“I’m sorry?” The funeral director was embarrassed to be caught so far away.
“I would like to see him. Can we…open it?”
My heart sank. I was ready to leave. Prolonging the stay did not sound appealing, even if I was looking at my father’s corpse.
“Ma’am, I…I was under the impression that this was not to be an open…I was told by-“
“Yeah that was me you talked to,” I said apologetically. “But…can’t we just…you know…” I pantomimed opening the casket cover.
The funeral director had become quite flustered. His suddenly pale face stood in sharp contrast to the purple drapes behind him.
“I’m sorry…the body has not been prepared. The wounds have not-“
“The wounds?” Teresa’s chin rose for the first time in an hour and the funeral director’s eyes grew wide in panic. I must admit, I wasn’t
prepared to hear about “wounds” either. We were told that our father died of a heart attack while climbing Machu Picchu in Peru.
“It’s not your fault,” I said, trying not to sound overly intrigued. “Where did these wounds come from? We were told our father died of a
heart attack.” I mentally kicked myself for turning down the opportunity to identify the body at the morgue. Our mother volunteered for that
morbid task, and her report of the event didn’t include anything about wounds.
“I’m sure that you were told the truth sir,” replied the fidgeting funeral director. “It’s possible that he was dead when all
the…when…it was probably wild animals you see.”
That was enough for my sister.
“It’s okay. I don’t…I’d rather not. Thank you.” The funeral director swallowed hard. Thank goodness. As he watched the two mourners
exit the chapel, he couldn’t help but remember a vomiting son who insisted on viewing his father who had died in a hunting accident. The funeral
director smiled grimly as he rolled the cheap casket toward the back room. That hunting accident was peanuts compared to the mess in this box.
I dropped my sister off at her apartment before heading back to my father’s house. The sooner we could clear that place out, the better, and my
sister was in no state to help. I grabbed a six pack from the local minimart and had a beer cracked before I even hit the front door.
As soon as the door opened, I could tell that things had changed. Something had been in the house. Something had moved, even if it was just the
stale air in the living room. I set my beer down and picked up a hammer that was laying on the hardwood floor.
Then a noise. A chair. The distinctive sound of a chair sliding across hardwood, and it came from my father’s old bedroom. My breath felt heavy
in my chest as I moved to the door of the bedroom and gently swung it open.
And that’s when everything changed. Forever.
What was left in the room had been ripped apart, literally splintered and destroyed. A single lamp in the corner cast long shadows across the
wreckage. Sitting in a shadowed corner of the room was the silhouette of a man. My heart seized as the man leaned forward and a stripe of light was
painted across his mangled face. His pale lips parted to reveal a broken and crooked smile. Then the man spoke, his voice dripping out of his
distorted jaw like blood:
“You have something of mine, son. And I’ll be needing it back.”
[edit on 17-10-2006 by Essedarius]