The Weight of Death

Another Friday, another prompt. This one is a sequel to Swing.


Wherever he went he carried it with him. No matter how hard he tried to escape it through entertainment, outings with friends to the local drinking hole, and even with work, there was no way to escape the weight of his long-dead son.

Six years had passed since he sat in the graveyard swing. Six years since he last said goodbye to his one and only son. The weight of his death was like a tumbling boulder leaving a wake of destruction in its path. Whatever stood in its way was sure to meet a gruesome end. The first to go was Ken’s sobriety.

Three years sober to the date, when he had heard the news of his son’s passing, the bottle seeing that his defenses were down snuck its way into the grips of his fingers. Looking back upon it all, Ken couldn’t recall any details about the day his son died. There was too much alcohol in the way. He blamed himself for not being a better father and cursed the bottle, but the comfort it contained was too enticing to let go of.

The next to go was his marriage. Fourteen years of holy matrimony were destroyed in an instant. After Ken left the cemetery for his last time, when he sat in the swing next to his brother, the divorce papers were placed firmly in his hands. Two months later it was final.

The weight of his son’s death could not be absolved. Not even in his second marriage and the bottle’s influence curbed could he escape the weight of death.

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