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been in time for the service, but Kyle had refused to take the day off work to drive her there and the local taxi company had been unable to provide her with transport any earlier. Her mother still hadn't been in touch - Elaine saw no sign of her amongst the other mourners. In fact, she didn't see anyone that she recognised. She worried briefly that she was at the wrong funeral. What if the phone call had been some dreadful hoax? But that was illogical; how else could Dak have gotten her number if not from her father? But if her father had had her number, then why hadn't he ever called her? "Elaine?" A familiar voice spoke from behind her. Turning, she saw a tall, dark haired man with sad brown eyes and a haze of stubble across his jaw. He wore a shabby dark grey suit, with a black shirt and tie. Hardly traditional funeral garb, but the grief in his eyes was genuine. "We spoke on the phone yesterday. My name is Dak Reynolds. I'm so sorry for your loss." He grasped her arm in both his hands as he spoke, and Elaine flinched slightly despite herself. "I - it was good of you to call." She wished that she had worn a thicker jacket. She could sense his feelings through the cloth of her sleeve. Dak forced a smile and gestured for Elaine to accompany him. He led her past the other mourners to where the coffin sat next to the gaping trench that would house it. "Alan Hunter, Neill Lyons - this is Elaine Walker." Two other men stepped forward to greet her. Alan was of average height and build. He was very pale, with long black hair tied back in a ponytail, and light blue eyes. He wore a neatly tailored black suit, with a dark red shirt and black tie. "I am sorry to meet under such sad circumstances, Miss Walker." Neill was tall and lithe; with a feathery cloud of fine blond hair that looked as though it belonged in the eighties. His sharp features were all but hidden beneath it: two catlike green eyes blazing from the shadow cast by his long fringe. Of all the mourners present, Neill was the only one wearing white. His crisp linen suit and silk shirt were matched by white patent leather brogues, and a cream coloured cravat. There was a white top hat balanced on his head, and he carried a cream cane with a silver handle. "I feel over dressed." Elaine blinked at that. "Then why did you wear this?" "I thought I was supposed to wear my best." "Oh." Alan grimaced and shook his head. "I am afraid that Neill is a little overtired at the moment. Please excuse him, Miss Walker." "It's alright." The burial did not take long: surprisingly there was no eulogy. A short prayer later, the coffin was in its intended place. Handfuls of dirt were thrown, the board drawn over and the flowers lain. As the mourners dispersed, the team of grave diggers set to work backfilling the hole. Elaine was numb to their efficiency. She barely nodded when Dak asked her if she wanted to go for coffee. "We couldn't really afford a wake," he explained, "but there's a nice place not far from here. Frank used to like it there. All the staff knew him. He was a regular." Alan elbowed Dak when Elaine wasn't looking. "You can’t seriously want to take her to Lana's?�

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Profile for Amos Greig

Anu issue 34 / A New Ulster  

The July issue of the Northern Irish literary magazine A New Ulster featuring the works of Michael Whelan, Scott Thomas Outlar, Richard Halp...

Anu issue 34 / A New Ulster  

The July issue of the Northern Irish literary magazine A New Ulster featuring the works of Michael Whelan, Scott Thomas Outlar, Richard Halp...

Profile for amosgreig
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