His face

Jess took a step closer to the trolley and swallowed hard as the crisp blue sheet slid weightlessly across the still form beneath. As the face was revealed she nodded to confirm his identity. Death, she thought, had robbed him entirely of personality – or at least of his personality, the one she had known every harsh detail of for the past twenty years. In its place she saw serenity – an expression that had rarely, if ever, registered on his hard-edged features. His thick grey hair, flecked lightly with silver, was shaved on one side. A scar ran from the base of his neck right up to the crown of his head. Instinctively she reached out to touch it. She trailed a finger down the congealed wound, imagining his skin was warm to the touch, though she knew that was impossible. He had been dead for several days.

The news reports spoke of a five car pile-up which had robbed a family of their patriarch – brother, husband, father, grandfather. They would have people believe his death was something of a loss when in fact it had set them all free.

pa·tri·arch 

Noun

The male head of a family or tribe

  • An older man who is powerful within an organization
  • The male founder of something

He had been powerful all right, but the only thing he’d ever founded was borne of hatred and deceit.

This death mask may fool others but it could never fool her. He had been a monster in life and would remain a monster beyond it. No place in Heaven would be waiting for him.

Jess nodded and the sheet began its steady ascent, obscuring his face for the final time.

She felt nothing.

303749_10150771702305057_1059081_n

This photo was taken on the boat to Lombok in Indonesia. I don’t know why but writing this story made me think of a boat man, carrying souls across the water to the ‘other side.’

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