Following the death came unnatural silence, as if the moment were submerged in resin, forever suspended in unreal abeyance. The air was cloying and uncomfortably warm. It seemed to be infused with its own furtive life, throbbing out the seconds with molasses pace.
What had I just witnesses through a layer of protective glass, placed as if to allow me safe viewing of a circus oddity? The departure of a human soul, one tainted with bestial corrosion, from an husk blasphemed by crimes unclean and unpardonable sin? An ascension? A descent? Or perhaps in so heinous a beast, as he could have been called more justly than a man, there was no soul at all?
I wondered if anyone in the room felt some vast surge of redemption. Was there a sense of profound contentment, ignited deep within the soul, when one witnesses justice's inescapable demands fulfilled?
The weeping woman's quiet whimpers were augmented obscenely by the otherwise untroubled silence. The sorrowful little sounds became intoned with a sepulchral quality, strangely devoid of the innate warmth of the human voice. Who was this woman, sobbing before the corpse of a fiend purged from this world? The anxious cords twitching in the back of her hand, which furiously assailed the fabric or her skirt, tugged unbearably at my own nerves. She set my conscience on unbalanced edge. Here she was in tears expressing the same uncertain, unvoiced thoughts I entertained. I was fearful just to hold them within my skull; to witness them voiced in undisguised mewlings filled me with inexplicable guilt
I wanted to walk out into the sunlight and dismiss this entire experience into the remote vaults of insubstantial memory. However, I was curious to know this woman and even more curious to find if her own thoughts could help me decipher the dismal labyrinth of my own.
I approached her bluntly, without grace or pretense. Her eyes, scalded with tears and shame, flickered wearily upward. She waited, expectant.
"Who are you?" I asked in words entirely undressed. They hung stark in the air, quickly completing their bold, short-lived life.
Heavy red lids swept once over glass orbs broken with livid red fissures. She meandered, pondered her response and whether or not to voice it. Then finally, she feebly replied,"I am his...victim."