The woman at the back of the church was beginning to turn heads. Her words created a persistent rhythm; sorry, sorry, I’m sorry, sorry, sorry. Subconsciously, people tapped their feet in time to the beat.
The church had been packed when she’d arrive so she’d had to push through. Sorry, she’d said, sorry, as she wormed her way in, but then the words wouldn’t stop; at first, she recited them under her breath, causing only uncomfortable glances from those next to her. But as the vicar began to speak about the boy’s once-promising future, tears pooling in his eyes, the words became louder. And louder. They flew out before she could catch them, merging with the sobs of the mourners, sorry, fighting against the words of the vicar, sorry. Until finally, the vicar stopped; everyone turned.
The chant rang out in declaration: Sorry. Sorry. I’m sorry. Sorry. Sorry.
The boy’s mother stood up, eyes searching packed pews until, finally, they landed on the chanter. She hadn’t expected to see her here. She looked even older. Thinner. Paler. Perhaps that’s what happens when you take a life; life must take some of yours in return.
About the author
Sophie is from the Cotswolds and is currently working on her first novel whilst earning a living as a copywriter and studying for an MA in Creative Writing at Oxford Brookes. She tweets from https://twitter.com/sophielflynn