This was originally a poem of sorts. A weird one for sure. The only thing that has anything to do with the original is the theme of a funeral on a cold bleak day, with the mourners missing their friend. The story just grew legs and ran off on its own tangent. It is longer than I had planned, just over 1200 words in total.
I gave it to my son to read, and the avid reader that he is, skipped to the end and then said where is the death and mayhem. He did read the start and said it was weird but interesting, and makes no sense. Yep, that about covers it. Please let me know what you think, good bad or indifferent.
THE FUNERAL OF WITCHES
The figures were dressed in black, as befitted the occasion. Their heads were bowed against the bitter wind, and rain that had threatened them since their arrival. Their grief was palpable, there was an intensity in their eyes and the passersby that caught a glimpse were momentarily scared, hurried on their way. For most people, it was nothing more than your usual funeral. Unbeknownst to them, what was going to happen was not your usual funeral affair. It was not a day to be in the graveyard.
Not seeing the others, but watching from under his hooded top, the child, who was more of a young adult really, listened as they spoke. Their words of grief, and revenge. They looked at him and he saw, rather than heard, the voices change in urgency. He was not happy. Not in the sad death way, but angry, mad. He knew why he was there, he wanted to be, but yet knew it was dangerous. He couldn’t keep away, even if he wanted to. And knowing what they were capable of, that even if he resisted, they would get him anyway.
He was angry, at himself. At them. Tears were shed, as if out of nowhere and the noise was suddenly unbearable. He called out. He wanted them to be quiet. What could they do now. Their friend was gone.
Their eyes lifted, as one, and stared at him. All he could see were mouths set in straight lines. No expression at all. There was something creepy about it that made his spine shiver. He was quickly silenced.
Then he saw it. The tremble of her lips was like nothing he had seen before. It scared him. More than ever. She spoke in volumes. How could he. What gave him the right to voice those thoughts. He had done this. It was his fault their friend was gone. He looked away. Frightened, but intrigued at what her eyes had said. Whatever it was, it was not going to be nice, he knew that. He could see her soul. What lay beneath the surface. It was why he had taken the other one, and dealt with her. they didn’t like that, and now they would find a way to get him too.
There was a strange pull that made him come here. They had done that. With their magic, and talking.
If it was at all possible, the sky grew darker, the wind more bitter. But these witches, with their strange ways, seemed not to notice. He did, and shivered under his thick coat. He looked at the others, and when one gave a wry smile on seeing his shocked face, a beam of sunlight emerged from the sky. It matched their mood. It followed their thoughts.
He found this very odd, that with their grief the flowers stood out as bright and cheery. Taunting them almost. She has come back. No, she is dead. She must be. But she is here. It is all her doing. The flowers are her. She is happy to be dead. But how can that be, the screams were not of someone willing to go. They were full of the pain and horror of what was happening. And now she was haunting him. The other witches knew. And they liked what it did to him. It was why they had asked him to come along. They knew.
He walked away from them slowly. Looking left and right, for a space to crawl into and hide. He just wanted to go home. They wouldn’t let him to leave anyway. He wasn’t allowed to do that and he knew he couldn’t anyway. They had him under a spell per se. He was drawn to them even though all he wanted to do was run in the opposite direction, as fast and as hard as he could.
He was lost in his thoughts again, and confused. Why was he here. What was it about him that drew them to him and him to them, her especially. He looked up and saw them watching him, he offered a half-smile as way of saying he wasn’t going anywhere and they looked away.
His memory was of better times. Before he knew about her. Before he knew what she was and the trouble it had started. It felt crystal clear, like it was yesterday but when he probed his mind for details, he could not remember a thing. That was weird, how can that be. Then came the memory, a feeling that he had felt like this before. With the other girl all those years ago. The more he thought about it, the more he realised how similar she had been to this one. No matter the odd feelings he had now, his memories were all good. He purposefully chose to forget, or at least put to the back of his mind, the parts that made him shivers. He knew now, he should have learnt the first time.
They stop talking and watch him expectantly. He returns to the group as they start to lower the coffin, covered in those weird beautiful flowers. His girl, their girl, is returned to the earth, to be alone with only her flowers for company. They throw him the odd glance, he notices and tries to ignore them.
They are watching him, what will he do. Would he dare try anything here. They hope not. They don’t want it today. Today is for grieving. This is not to be the place for the type of pain they intend to inflict on him.
He looks at one of them. Straight in the eyes. Daring, open for a challenge, but that’s not what he meant. Well, maybe it was, just not the way they took it. He wasn’t ready, not here, not now. Soon, just not today. His job would be done. Peace would come at last. He was the last, they were counting on him.
His reverie is interrupted by the music. Sudden, screeching, but sombre, it fills his senses and without knowing why, his eyes well and tear. Then, as he is deciding to either control or let loose the music stops, and so do his tears.
What was going on? How, why did that happen. The music starts again, different, but still having the same effect on him. This time he lets the tears fall, but is shocked when he looks up, to see them all, dry-eyed and smiling those cunning smiles.
He feels like he is watching himself from outside. Why are they happy. And what is with that music. He feels numb, and frozen. Something is up, he just knows it, but can’t stop the sudden feeling that it’s all about to come to an end.
They had found his weakness. How could he have let this happen.
It was all her doing. She…had….done….this…to him.
He didn’t feel a thing of what happened next. He saw it, what they did to him. Anything he did feel, came from her, what he did.
The job was done, he was gone, never to harm their kind again.
It was silent. The only sounds came from the rain.
The mourners moved slowly away from the graveside.
No one was any the wiser, that He had been there. Or ever existed.
It was not a good day to be in the graveyard.