It’s Always Easier in the Dark
By Aristo Couvaras
- Wet Ash
She cared not much for what her husband had to say. The talk down at the court house that day was no concern of hers; it mattered not to her that the butler of the late Atteridge family and some Italian, the husband of one of the alleged mistresses, had been taken into custody for questioning by the police, but she listened nevertheless.
“They’ll probably pin it on the wop, always seems to be them or one like them involved in such things. But they say the butler might have had a hand in it too, handing over the keys and such. So, it may well turn out, that I was not the only employee he deemed it fit to stiff in the interests of his own swollen wallet – this butler though seems to have taken it harder than I did.” Her husband paused, as if he had just heard what he said, or perhaps he had seen it in her eyes; none had taken it harder than them. None that is, except for their children.
Her husband quickly changed the topic to the next episode of gossip, wiping at his eyes before he spoke, “they say they’ll change the name from Atteridge to the next two partners’ names, something like Van Aan and Weston. It wouldn’t be so bad, either of them are better than Mr. Atteridge was.”
She looked at him with angry tears in her eyes, “good, I don’t wish to hear the name Clyde Atteridge ever again.”
“Darling, you can’t still blame him…the children would have…I thought you said you were feeling better after confession?”
“I was, only, only it’s so hard to let it all go.”
He held her and as she wept, so in turn did he.
She looked up at him, “I’m still so angry. And I know it’s not right to be, but, but when I read those stories in the paper, about him, his alleged mistresses, even his own wife and son…I was glad. I know I shouldn’t feel that way. But I do.”
He stroked her hair and kissed at her tears.
When her husband had gone to bed, she sat alone by a dwindling lantern with her thoughts and memories. When she was ready for the peace of sleep, what momentary pause it gave to her grief when not filled with dreams of her loss, she heard a slight knock at the door. At this time of night, she was not going to answer until she heard a whisper, a tiny voice from beyond the grave.
“The priest mother, the Father you spoke to. He’s the brother, he’s all that’s left. Either seek him out yourself or call upon my sister, find something of hers, you know the words.”
She ran to the door and when she opened it she was greeted not by the speaker, but by a lingering stench. A stench that cloyed about her heart and reminded her of the funeral parlor. There at the threshold was her rusty, notched knife, covered in dried blood and a grey slather.
“In the dark mother…it’s always easier in the dark…”
Aristo Couvaras is twenty-seven years old, of Greek descent (if the name doesn’t give that away) and who was born and raised in South Africa, where he still resides. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in both English Literature and Clinical Psychology, as well as a Bachelor of Law degree, both attained from the University of the Witwatersrand. He has an upcoming work titled The Natloer, set to appear in Things in the Well Publications latest anthology -Beneath the Waves- Tales from the Deep.Anyone wanting to contact Aristo can do so on twitter @AR1sto.
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