#257 Resplendent Demise

by Meg E. King

I loathed their pity, despised their kind words. Their attempts at sympathy were meagre and unsurprisingly petered out before long. The rumours remained, spreading like contagion. I feigned ignorance as the whispers followed me ubiquitously.

“She’s scarcely more than a child herself,” a gaunt woman with watery eyes murmured.

A brazen looking man with pinched face nodded, “I always thought he was vile” he shook his head, “what a foul, revolting man.”

The woman hesitated, “they say the boy looks like him, how she can stand to look at it, is beyond me.”

My hands gripped the corners of my book, my knuckles white from the pressure. I concentrated on the words until they blurred indistinctly, obscured by the tears threatening to spill. I yearned to dig my nails into her coarse skin and spit the truth at her.

He was dead and I’d allowed his name to be dragged through the mud. I’d let them think the worse of him. How could I ever explain that I’d fallen in love with a murderer? A man who had slaughtered my parents and afflicted the worse form of agony upon me, I couldn’t possibly justify loving the man that tortured me for months. So, I let them talk. I held my tongue. I raised his child alone, never revealing his origins. I refused to confirm their assumptions. I didn’t need to; the evidence was written all over my son’s face. Those brave enough to ask the obvious were shot down venomously.

No comments: