A Lesser Man

“I’m a coward and I don’t know how I’m still the last one left of my family.” He hung his head, looking down at his daughter’s grave. The last of his family finally gone for no other reason than because a madman decided it would be ‘fun’.

“It’s likely because you are a coward that you’re still alive.”

The grieving father snaps his head up to stare with wide eyes at the boy next to him, “W-what?”

“Cowards are the people that are always left behind by those that hate them because being left with the shame of your own action is far more painful than dying would have ever been.”

The man just continues to stare at him.

“You knew that there were shady things going on in your family, but you didn’t want to look too closely because that would change everything you’d ever believed, because then you’d have to change and do something about it and you didn’t want to do that, did you, Mister? You just wanted to keep going forward and never look back no matter how important it is to actually process the things that happen in our lives. Oh no, you just wanted it to be someone else’s fault, never mind that-“

“Sh-shut up!”

“Why? Am I making you uncomfortable?” the boy smiled cruelly, “Did I hurt your feelings on the day that you buried your daughter? The daughter that you –“

“Shut up!” the man cried, “SHUT UP!”

The thing that looked like a boy laughed, but didn’t stop talking. “Is there something wrong with realizing that the only reason your daughter is dead is because you couldn’t stand up for what was right early enough to actually make a difference? I mean, you’d think you would have learned after your wife died right in front of you by her own hand that this path that you’ve chosen is the wrong one, but did it? What about when you discovered that your sister and your father were-“

“I SAID SHUT UP!”

The boy was no longer laughing, “That’s the thing, Chris, just because you want things to be a certain way doesn’t mean that you get your wish, not after all of the cowardly things you’ve done and allowed to happen in your life when you knew better!” the boy hissed. “You are a coward, Chris, as like many cowards, that means that you get to be the last man standing.”

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About martha0stout

I like to read and write and hang out with my family and friends. I currently live on a farm and all that such a living entails.
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