A mass of black stood in the middle of the cemetery, looking like crows waiting to feed off a carcass. It was bright and sunny, a beautiful day.
He was marching with the coffin, holding it on his belt marked shoulder. There were bruises all over him, some old and some new, standing out like decay on a ripe fruit.
His hands were shaking, afraid they will have to rise up again to cover himself from lashing belts and whips. He was afraid, like he had been for the past seventeen years.
Slowly, he placed the coffin on the earth and stood back, not taking his eyes off it. As if the black door will open and the dead man will walk out, terrorizing his life again.
With an arm around his mother’s heaving shoulders, he stood shivering in the hot sun, as the priest said his part. His eyes were still afraid as he threw a handful of mud into the pit.
As the dull thud echoed all around them, he finally realised it was over. He was free.
And as his mother fell to the ground sobbing with all her heart, the boy finally stopped shivering and smiled.
He was free.