I blinked in the rainbow beaming down on me like some kaleidoscopic searchlight seeking its mark. It took me a bit to understand the source was a stained glass window depicting a scene of some holy significance. My eyes adjusted and I found a black-clad audience regarding me with confused expectation.
I cleared my throat and uttered, “Excuse me.” The baritone voice helped make sense of the large man-hands with which I gripped the richly carved podium. Waking up in other people’s bodies had become common; this time, my petite female soul had lodged in a tall, thick man. I aimed my smile at the audience for the half second it took my brain to connect the dots and realized this was a funeral. To my left was a casket emblazoned with a family crest and the initials “W.C”.
Those gathered to pay their respects were beginning to mutter, setting off a slight hum, like a hive building up for a group attack. On an index card, I found the man’s name and a few details and assumed my role.
“We are here to remember Wasco Changer, born October 31, 1920, and who departed from this plane of existence, September 15, 2014,” I began, slightly taken aback by smirking faces, as if they were either angry or amused at me in a “What an idiot!” kind of way. I continued, “He now rests with our heavenly Father,”
Interrupting my generic platitude, a voice called out, “He should burn in hell!”
My borrowed jaw twitched as mourners nodded and murmured in agreement. From their muttering, I was able to pick out a few words. Pervert, murderer, and anti-Christ stood out among the pejoratives that rippled through the chapel.
“Please, please, “ I begged, trying to appeal to their better natures. “Let us remember why we are here. We are here to send Wasco on to-“
“Bullshit in big bales!” shouted a bald man jumping to his feet, “We’re here to make sure the prick is dead!”
The bobbing heads made me think of a murder of crows devouring grain left in a harvested field. Rendered speechless, I was glad it was becoming a group participation event.
Now, an elderly lady stood regally supported by an ebony cane. Her forceful voice belied her physical body as she stated, “We’re merely here because the bastard’s will stipulates that only those who attend this farce get their share of the estate!”
“Damn straight, Aunt Edna,” exclaimed a middle-aged man two rows behind her.
“Suck up!” was hurled at the nephew from an unknown source.
Obviously now the matriarch, Aunt Edna continued, “As far as I am concerned, we’ve met the requirement!” Her bent frame then hobbled down the aisle, the colored beams absorbing into her black garb. The assemblage followed her out. Still at the podium in my own state of rigor, I watched them go.
Minutes passed. Then the dead silence was broken by a single word coming from the casket, “Assholes!”