Biographical Non-Fiction posted February 10, 2016 Chapters: -Prologue- 2... 


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A Funeral

A chapter in the book Falling Off The Edge

Falling Off The Edge - Part One

by Ulla

I looked at the stairs leading up to the church entrance, and counted. There were twelve in total, which was quite unusual, as the church was not built on a hill. A useless piece of information that had no relevance to me being there.

As I ascended the stairs there was no one in sight, but that didn't surprise me. I was very late, and all it meant was that everybody was already inside the church, waiting for the service to start. I just hoped that I was not too late for that as well.

It had been stressful from the minute I woke up. I'd overslept because the alarm didn't work, and as I jumped out of bed, I realised that I had to give the shower a miss. Once downstairs, there was barely time for a coffee.

The ride to the airport wasn't any better. The traffic snailed along the M4, jam-packed with cars, and the weather didn't do anything to aleviate the feeling either. It was a miserable morning, and a shitty day, engulfed in a heavy mist.

I arrived at the airport with just minutes to spare, only to be met with the announcement that my flight was delayed. Go figure!

Two hours later, and I was finally airborne, but by then, I wondered whether I would make it in time for the funeral.

When we arrived at Copenhagen Airport I was seriously late, and grateful that I didn't have any luggage. I sailed through customs, and ran to the taxi stand, where I threw myself into the backseat of the nearest one. The driver looked at me impassively. "Where to, Missus?"

"Christianshavns Kirke," I panted, "and can you make that in ten minutes, please?"

"Well, that is to cut it a bit fine, isn't it Miss? How are we going to manage that?" He didn't look impressed.

"Oh, just step on it will ya, you don't even have to cross the bridge to go into the City center."
I looked at him urging him on.

"Nah, I suppose you're right about that, all right, but the church is only a hundred metres from the bridge, Missus." He chuckled, looking at me in the rear mirror. A concerned look suddenly appeared on his friendly face. "OK, OK, here goes, I'll see what I can do. Anything for a pretty face." I gave him a weak smile.

That in itself was ok as long as I arrived in time. Only thing was that I would have liked to have had more time to prepare myself for what was to come.

We arrived, and I jumped out of the taxi and handed over a handsome tip which was greeted with a big smile.

I ran up the steps, and I could hear the church organ playing from inside. A haunting tune, fit for the occasion.

I shuddered as I still remembered how the mere sound of a church organ chilled me to the bone when I was a child. I always wanted to run away from it. For some reason the organ from this particular church frightened me more than most.

I wondered whether this was a morbid message from my adoptive mother. Why choose this church for her funeral service? A church she didn't like at all when alive. Was this a message to me from her? Or was it an act that she had especially requested, in the hope that I would be intimidated? But then again, I might read too much into it. On the other hand I might not. Ah, get off it, I was being paranoid. How could she even know I would be here?

Anyway, the mere thought brought a smile to my face. I hadn't seen her since I was pregnant with my daughter, fifteen years earlier, so the whole thing didn't mean that much to me. Not anymore. What was important though was that I was here. I had my aunt to thank for that. She'd come across the obituary only the day before, and was it not for her, my absence would have had catastrophic consequences. Well, at least for me.

Here goes, I thought, as I pushed the heavy door open, and entered the darkened room. Some fifty pairs of eyes turned towards me as one, and I sensed rather than heard the collective gasp.

I smiled, but nobody could see it, as I kept it to myself. I observed that everybody was seated to the right of the aisle, indicating that no family was present, but that didn't surprise me so much. I was the only family left after all.

I took a deep breath, and with my head held high, I walked up the aisle nodding slightly at the astonished expressions I passed on my way. I then proceeded to sit down on the empty front row of the left hand side.

The church organ was still playing its sad tune while I looked at the coffin ... and ... well, I felt nothing.

The prodigal daughter had returned for her adoptive mother's funeral.

To be continued.



Recognized


Kirke = Church

This is taking place in 1995 eight years prior to The Quest, which is still an ongoing saga.

Thank you to Angelheart for the use of the artwork.
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