The thick smoke engulfed the yard. The day was still, and it hung about, convalescing, which seemed fitting, considering how long it had taken for Jack to say goodbye. The fire department was in attendance, but they had refrained from turning on their hoses and stood silently as the town circled back to the place it all began, to lay Harry’s soul to rest. The jukebox played Harry’s favourite song, which was lucky, considering it was stuck on repeat, and as for Old Sally, well, it was safe to say that she’d seen better days. Jack had missed the doorway when he dragged it into the yard, and there was a hole in the kitchen wall to match the one in the jukebox, but Mum didn’t seem to mind. She was as sober as the day she was born and stood softly weeping with her arms around Sandy.
When you’re weary, Feeling small, When tears are in your eyes I will dry them all.
This time, Stephen offered his son a tissue. Jack smiled at the sentiment. The sadness had finally broken, and as his eyes followed the flames, they remained completely dry. He’d spent two years looking back at the past through lids that were tightly closed, and even now, as he willed them open, he could still see Harry’s body above the cubby house floor. The song looped back to the rift, reminding him that it was just another memory circling around again. So, resisting the urge to blink, he fixed his eyes firmly on his brother’s apparition, and as the cinders began to die, the image finally started to fade.
Like a bridge over troubled water I will lay me down.
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