Christmas Lights

It had always bothered me that we’d got those Christmas lights from our neighbour, Mr. Dupont, after he died. He’d taken the passing of his wife hard – it’s tragic to lose a loved one, especially during the holidays. But that still didn’t make it any less shocking that Christmas when he was found hanging from the ceiling fan in the den, a tangle of those lights around his neck his festive executioner.

Some next of kin came over in the New Year, grandchildren, I think, and cleared all the things out of the house. They left a lot out on the curb for passerby to take away, including all the decorations. After all, how could anyone who knew use them after what happened, with the thought of his dead body hanging from those coloured lights?

Didn’t bother my husband though. He’d take the clothes off a dead man before seeing them go to waste. But I’ve got to say that when the rest of the family came to visit they were never quite comfortable, knowing about Mr. Dupont and having those lights hung outside, given that they had choked the last life out of another human being.

When they took my husband’s charred body down from where it hung, the coroner said the electrocution hadn’t killed him. He’d snapped his neck when he fell and became tangled up in the strands of lights. When I ran outside that was how I found him, swinging back and forth like a pendulum against the siding of the house, much like how Mr. Dupont must have looked those years ago.

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