IMPORTANT: I'd like to take the time, before you read this, to tell you a few things.
This was really, really hard on me. It's basically a stream of consciousness. I'm posting it with only having done a cursory sweep for grammar/spelling errors, so that I don't over think things and to keep the raw emotion there. I know that if I don't post it now that I'll talk myself out of it based solely on the fact that this is me immediately after and the months following my apartment fire.
I wrote this for Caramel/Burning_Bridges' "Aftermath" challenge; this isn't the entry I thought I was going to write.
It's a perfectly beautiful day. Sunshine, blue skies, birds singing.
No, no, no. It's wrong. How can the sun be shining? Don't those birds know what today is?
Wrong, so wrong.
"Mum," I hear my daughter calling for me. Her voice is so soft, angelic. My eyes meet hers. Bright, brown eyes; sad eyes. So sad. My eyes; his eyes. She's dressed in black - we're all dressed in black. She smiles, but it's sad and, for a moment, I can't breathe. She holds out her hand.
It's so small, so frail. A hand that's fought in a war older than both of us. I take it in my own battle weathered hand.
A murdering hand.
No one speaks. Our words have lost their meaning. We gather around the Portkey in silence. Such heavy silence. For the briefest of moments, my body spins, just as my mind does. Only one won't stop.
Spinning, spinning, spinning.
We land, I stumble. My hands shakes in my daughter's grasp. I feel hers shaking too. It's another day. Another Portkey trip.
So many buried, so many funerals. We walk slowly. I think we walk slowly. I can't feel my legs; I can't feel anything. I'm numb, so numb. We aren't the first ones here. My eyes don't see the others already there, but I can feel them watching. Staring, full of pity. It hurts.
I'm guided to my seat, I don't know who's holding my hand now. The only thing I see is the casket. How many more?
All held within caskets like the one before me. This one's worse. It shouldn't be, it's so, so wrong.
More people come, more people stare. It hurts; stop. Why do they stare?
I feel my husband beside me. He's saying something; I can't hear him. There are other voices.
My brain refuses to process their words. They're foreign, wrong. Stop talking. I don't want to hear you. Arthur's hand grips mine. It's sweaty and suffocating. I can't breathe.
I can't breathe.
The service has started, when I don't remember. I don't want to be here. Anywhere but here, please. Please. I'm suffocating. They talk like they know him, like he's a hero.
No, they're wrong. He's my baby boy. He can't, he shouldn't be, he's -
Dead. Gone. Fred.
I feel sick. I can't do this. This isn't right. How can this be right? It must be a nightmare. Yes, that's it.
No. I hear the sniffles and cries of those around me. I can't look at them. Arthur's hand shakes over mine. Ginny hiccups next to me. My family surrounds me.
I just want him back. Please, this is wrong. He's so young.
There's a wetness on my cheeks. I don't know when I started crying. I didn't think it possible to cry anymore.
My eyes are closed now. He's all I see. He's laughing, I smile. No, can't.