This story was published in Across the Margin magazine and was placed on their list of Best Fiction of 2017
By the time Michael arrived, the pall bearers had the coffin shouldered and were trailing the priest into the church. The hearse was parked by the roadside, tailgate raised. He followed the coffin through the door and took a pew at the back, away from the sparse congregation. The organist played Bridge Over Troubled Waters badly. She probably did a fine job with Chopin but was struggling with the Simon and Garfunkel classic, Adam’s favourite song. A scan of the mourners and he knew this was the right funeral.
When the priest started his eulogy of a man he can’t possibly have known, Michael left the church. Hands pushed deep into the pockets of his raincoat, he strolled between the tombstones. Gusts sent leaves skittering around his legs and a grim sky threatened rain. Adam always did have a sense of occasion; a fitting day for a funeral. The freshly dug hole gaped and the apparatus of burial was ready. Michael moved away to a copse of trees from where he could watch the proceedings unrecognised. Crows screamed their indignation at his intrusion and clattered into flight.
Handfuls of soil rattled onto the coffin, flowers were dropped, words were ripped away on the wind and then it was over. Black clad figures drifted away towards the cars.
Michael stood alone staring into the hole. Few men can be described as truly evil, but this was one; he’d cut a swathe through life leaving misery and pain behind.
“I hope you didn’t die easily”, Michael said, as he pissed on the coffin. Then he walked away, took out his phone and dialled.
“Yes, the bastard’s definitely gone. And yes, I did, just as I told him I would. I’ll be home soon.”