Unplaced entry published in Microcosms Flash Fiction competition – Microcosms 158 – on 18/01/2019. The rules required a story in no more than 300 words in response to the following prompts.
Character – Non-violent activist/ Location – Funeral/ Genre – Romance
The story had to be written and submitted within a one day deadline.
Love After Death
It started at a funeral; her husband’s funeral to be exact. He’d been a policeman. A nasty piece of work if truth be told. He’d seemed to enjoy exceeding his powers. I stood at the back and kept out of the way. I shouldn’t have been there really. I was responsible for his death so I didn’t expect a warm welcome. But I had to go and pay my respects; show his family that I felt for them at the time of their loss.
She was there of course; the principle mourner, looking fantastic in her widow’s weeds. She noticed me hanging back, half hidden by the trees at the edge of the cemetery. After lowering the coffin his police colleagues drifted away to the local hotel for a pint. She left her family and came across to me. I’d apologised for my part in it all, told her how guilty I felt, expressed my sorrow and regret. She didn’t seem particularly upset but I guessed that she was just hiding it well.
Two weeks later she got in touch.
‘Do you fancy a drink sometime?’
That drink led to another date, then another.
She told me why she’d contacted me; the man who’d killed her husband. She wanted someone different. He’d been a bullying, abusive man. She’d stopped loving him years ago but had stayed with him because of their young daughter. His death was a release. She knew that I wasn’t violent; that I was a peace-loving activist. She’d seen me in the newspapers, read about me on the Bye-pass Protest website. She understood. It had been an accident. It was unfortunate that the tree-branch that I was chained-to had snapped off and the weight had crushed him as the local Constabulary tried to remove me.
©David Lewis Pogson 2019