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They gathered at the graveside.

‘In the sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ we commend to almighty God our sister Anastasia Veronica Violet to rest ….’


Tom his tie undone, passed his football between his feet.


Daniel sat cross legged on the grass engrossed in his phone.


Amy leaned against a tree, earbuds firmly in place.


‘How are you doing vicar? Oh sorry you’re vicaring aren’t you? Never mind me, I’ll wait in the church, these shoes are killing me…sorry bad choice of words. Sorry for your loss and all that. Who is it you’re burying?’


‘Anastasia Veronica Violet Maddison.’


The vicar caught Stella’s eye. She smiled and rolled her eyes.


‘Old Vi she must have been a hundred if she was a day.’


’97 actually. Stay if you wish but please keep quiet for the family.’


‘Stella don’t mind, do you sweetheart I’ve known her since she was a nipper on her gran’s knee at mother’s union. She knows I love a chat.’


‘Mrs Dickenson…’


‘Edith please … not really a Mrs anything since my dear Cyril passed God rest his soul. You having a tea? I love a funeral tea and so did Vi we had that in common.’


‘There will be refreshments in the hall once I have finished if you ever let me. Perhaps you can wait in there, put the kettle on.’


‘No I owe it to Vi to keep stood here. I know I didn’t come to the service. I don’t go in for all that malarkey Vicar, no offense, you’re a nice man and all but Vi loved all that hymn singing and that. I say me prayers every night like me mother taught me not on me knees these days mind you and I stick a bit on the plate at Christmas love a carol concert me and that’s me whack unless there’s a wedding or a christening or a funeral like gotta come then, haven’t you?


Stella laid a hand on Edith’s shoulder.


‘Five minutes Edi then we can get some tea and something to eat and have a nice chat, ok?’


Edith patted Stella’s arm.


‘I’d love that sweetheart. Carry on vicar.’


The Vicar rolled his eyes and cleared his throat.


‘In the sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ we commend to almighty God our sister Anastasia Veronica Violet to rest, and we commit her body to the ground: earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. The Lord bless her and keep her, the Lord make his face shine upon her and be gracious to her, the Lord lift up his countenance upon him and give her peace.’


Stella and Edith threw their dust on the coffin.


‘Can we have our tea now?’


Stella took Edith’s arm.


‘Yes Edith, we can have our tea.’

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