The Pledge (22)

Good evening. I am writing tonight from Charlotte, NC. It’s a lovely city if you ever get a chance to visit. My post tonight is short, but it’s transitory in that Judah’s brothers enter the picture again and now with a secret that is weighing all of them down. Hope you enjoy it and if you would like to read the story from the beginning, you can click here. As always, thanks for visiting my blog. 

* * *

The worst part of any funeral, Judah thinks, are the mourners. But his opinion is a jaded one. The drinks he had imbibed since Tamar’s screams woke them that night were strong enough to numb his feelings, but they left with him with a pounding in his head. And every cry the mourners let out only served to make his pain worse. Besides, this was a necessary evil. The more mourners a person had, the more regarded they were and Judah was not about to let his son leave the earth unmourned – even if the mourners were paid to be there. Only the tears of his family were genuine, especially Shelah. The boy had been especially fond of his older brother and it showed in his tear-stained face.

Judah turns his attention to Er’s body, now resting on a wooden platform. As the priest finishes his blessing, Judah can only watch numbly as another man moves to the pyre with a torch. Carefully, the man lights the brush beneath the platform and with a crackle and spit, the fire begins to spread onto the wood, smoke filling the air and hiding the body. Within minutes, the whole surface is engulfed in flames. The wails of the mourners are louder now, trying to drown out the roar of the fire. And Judah can’t help but watch as his son is reduced to ash.

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