Friday, 17 April 2015

'‘For Everything there is a Season’ by Clive Tern

This was neither the time nor the place for his antics, so Siobhán slapped his leg.
“Stop it, Paul,” she said, in an angry whisper.
Paul rubbed his thigh, lowered his head a little and looked at her through long dark lashes.
“Are you a grumpy pumpkin?” he asked.
Siobhán clamped her lip between her teeth to prevent a smile forming.
“I see you trying to smile,” Paul said.
She kept her mouth tightly shut and glared at him. He tickled her side, and her giggle escaped. It was a small sound, nearly contained, but audible to the row in front of them. A woman in dark grey tweed twisted round, pointedly placed a finger to lips, and then turned back. The rustle of movement made someone else turn round and a small wave of disturbance flowed down the pews, like ripples in a dark pond.
Paul watched it, his shoulders rocking from suppressed chortles. He placed a hand on Siobhán’s thigh and rubbed it affectionately. Without looking she placed her hand on his, and squeezed gently.
They stood for the hymn and Siobhán wiped a tear away. Paul put an arm around her and she rested her head on his shoulder. He kissed her head. The curtain drew round the coffin and there was a moment of silence for reflection or prayer.
The strains of a Pink Floyd song fell from the speakers bolted to the walls and a few half laughs from the mourners recognised the deceased’s favorite band. Paul smiled, and dropped his arm from Siobhán’s shoulder to her hip. She didn’t move, he slid it further and squeezed her backside.
“For pities sake, stop it.”
“I can’t help it,” Paul said. “I saw what you put on under your dress. And you know I always like you in a little black dress.” He squeezed again.
“Well, you’ll just have to control yourself. This is a funeral, if you hadn’t forgotten.”
Paul left his hand in place. The family were filing out as the mournful singing of Clare Torry reached its climax. Faintly a line of spoken dialogue echoed in the hall, and a daughter of the deceased broke into loud sobs just at the exit. The sound of her crying faded amid a hubbub of voices as the other mourners filed out. Siobhán and Paul were in the back row, not quite the last to arrive, but they would be the last out.
“You know, Gordon never was afraid of dying,” Siobhán said.
“Yeh,” Paul agreed. “And he was a randy git. Bet he’d approve of us making use of the toilet cubicle before the next funeral comes in.”
Siobhán dug an elbow into his ribs. “The answer to that was no the first time you asked me. In forty-eight years it hasn’t changed.” She discreetly placed her hand against his crotch. “Your happy soldier will just have to wait until we get home. If your blue tab lasts that long.”

Originally published at http://alissaleonard.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/finish-that-thought-2-39.html




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