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Joseph Parkinson

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  • Joseph Parkinson
    Published 2 years ago
    Black Sheep

    Black Sheep

    Solemn faces stared as the box was lowered, further and further down into the hole; exactly six feet deep. It was a warm evening for autumn, and a few salty beads had formed on the foreheads of several silent mourners that stood in the churchyard; the air was humid and stale. The vicar breathed a few final words of prayer before dismissing the procession, and retired back inside the grey walls of the church, escaping the eerie silence that had descended. Few milled about before leaving the yard through the rusted iron gate, however two stayed a few moments longer. One held a hand over the hole, and released her grasp on a single red rose, and watched it float down and brush against the rough, splintered lid of the coffin. The other held his flat cap in silent respect, sweat gripping to his wispy, grey hair. The woman turned around to the man, looking into his eyes with an almost vacant expression. He opened his mouth to speak, but she turned and walked towards the flaking metal fence before he could utter a word, her eyes lowered. He looked down the hole once more before the gravediggers would fill it, their eyes fixated on him. The pair held grimacing smiles on their faces, edging closer to the hole, barely holding themselves back; they bared their teeth. With a shudder, the man turned and followed the woman out of the yard, his tweed jacket brushing against the dark rust of the gate.