In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: Wicked Witch.
Write about evil: how you understand it (or don’t), what you think it means, or a way it’s manifested, either in the world at large or in your life.
Sybille didn’t really want to go; in fact, she felt downright uncomfortable going. She didn’t feel she had the right to. She had never met Alexander’s family and this was a family event. She wasn’t part of their cell yet. They’d only dated for less than a year. Beside this was the worst situation to meet them. That she was supposed to go have dinner with them on the day Xander’s father was hospitalized was beside the point. She didn’t know them. At least she got the chance to meet his father before he passed. But a funeral wasn’t what she’d envisioned for her first meeting with Xander’s family. And she never really liked funeral.
Who ever did? But for her it was worse. The grief and sorrow had a texture of their own and they had a way of wrapping themselves around her, making it very hard to grasp any other feeling. Being what she was, funerals were complicated at best, a nightmare at the worst. And it was difficult to explain to strangers that she might be crying for someone she had never really known.
But Xander insisted and she loved him. She would go because he needed her and her support, her presence. So she dressed demurely in a dark trouser suits with black shoes. She put a very simple gold chain and pearl earrings because he said everyone would be wearing some jewelry. If it weren’t for the circumstances, she would have told him how the suit made him look even handsomer than usual. But she didn’t. Instead she hugged him and kissed him deeply, to let him know she was here, she wouldn’t let him down.
They went to the funeral home where the body was laid and people could pay their respect before it was sealed and brought to the church for the mass. She’d never seen Xander cry in the 2 years she’d known him. But he did that day, undone as he was by his father’s passing. She stood by his side, her hand on his shoulder in comfort. After a long moment, Xander moved and went to his mother. She was pale and apparently confused; or at least very lost. Her pain was so deep it knifed into her heart. Sybille took her hand offering her condolences absorbing some of that sorrow, as she’d done for her boyfriend. She could be a vacuum today. At least for a while.
Xander introduced her to his mother.
“I’m so sorry to meet you in these circumstances. I would have loved a joyful dinner.” His mother said.
“So would I Mrs. Richardson but it didn’t happen. I am however grateful I could see him and to meet you.”
Xander nodded and she moved away. He wanted some time alone with her. She understood.
She was talking with one of the guests, a friend of Mr. Richardson, when she felt a chill fall upon her. Her interlocutor didn’t react obviously but his sorrow seemed to deepen, as that of everyone present. She turned around as the man she spoke with hissed.
“What’s he doing here?”
She would have asked who but he’d walked away, as the man approached her. She cast a glance towards him and shivered. This man, one she had never met in her life, caused a physical reaction in her. She felt nauseous and scared, her palms getting wet and a cold sweat running down her back. Every person he spoke to seemed to shrink in front of him. He must have felt her gaze because he turned to her, and when their eyes locked, she felt very scared. Something about this man was terribly wrong. He oozed negative energy; not sorrow but rather malevolence. Here was someone she’d rather not shake hands with. In fact, as he slithered towards her, she had the distinct sensation of a black hole. Every positive emotion or energy was attracted into him and was destroyed as it reached him. In fact she felt as if whatever shred of joy there was in the room at remembering the man they were saying good bye to disappeared. He was – knowingly or not – making this even more difficult for people.
Suddenly Xander was at her side holding her hand. And she felt better, stronger.
“I can’t believe he came.”
“Who is it?” She whispered.
“He’s my cousin. Dad raised him when his sister died. But he wasn’t… grateful. Threaten to kill dad several times. He’s evil.”
That’s the word she’d have used. That Xander – who didn’t believe in good and evil as she did – should use this particular word made her even more scared. She feared what might happen if he shook her hands. When he arrived he appraised her quickly but ignored her and turned to Xander.
“So you’re here.” He said in lieu of hello.
“Had to be. He’s family.” His voice was dripping sarcasm. She tightened her hold on Xander’s hand.
Thankfully he left them and the place within ten minutes. When he exited, the room breathed easier. Sybille too.