Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Ritual

Current mood: Republique Francaise

Eleven people entered the room. They fan around the corpse, each about five feet from the next, spanning like a grin from one dead ear to the other. She is dressed in stunning red, deep and rich like her blood, which, just minutes before, was spread on the walls like a paint. Flies pop against the wall, bounce laterally, creating a little click when they unstuck from the blood. The late day sun, which beams through the cracks in the boarded up window, dries the blood on touch and the eleven visitors breathe in the heavy odour, deep into themselves.

A body box is brought into the room, built by the local undertaker, eighty years old and eyes white from cataracts, the box took the form of a loose rectangle, one side longer than the other. The eleven people, faces covered with heavy white shawls matching their cloaks, sex indecipherable, lift the body on a purple silk sheet. A golden crown, studded with green gems, is placed upon her head. One of the eleven breaks away, leaving five on either side, and with a deep, black voice, he speaks the words written for the occasion by the bodies son. She is lowered into the box, which is nailed shut, ten nails around the edge and one where her head was placed.

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