Hundreds came to his funeral, he was after all a pillar of the local community. Of those who came his work colleagues, neighbours and those who knew him fairly well were sad that he was gone.
In the front row of the church the people who knew him best were thankful.
There were three people missing from the funeral. Two refused to attend and one couldn't.
His wife and daughter couldn't go through the bitter pretence of grief. Their absence was noted and immediately explained away. After all everyone knew his wife had been seriously ill for years, dying you know. That was why they never came out of the house, the daughter was nursing her mother through her last days. Her life had been hanging by a tenuous thread for some time now.
The truth was she should be dead. That was her destiny. He would have killed her by now. He almost had. Instead their son had taken her place a fact she would do anything in her power to change if she could.
He'd been far away for years, putting as much distance between himself and his troubled background as soon as he could escape from the family home. Upon his return he had found matters much the same. There were still hot drinks thrown at faces, arms wrenched from sockets, hair ripped from scalps.
He'd been older and stronger. He'd known he could stand up to his father- the way that he couldn't when he was younger- although he had wanted to.
He had struck his father and overpowered him. His only failure had been his compassion in weakening and letting him go. He should have known better.
His body had been hastily buried in the back garden during the night. That had been two weeks ago, the same day that his mother and sister had started adding a little rat poison to his father's meals.