Short Story for Almach's new project which will never be finished.
An average day for Azura.
She bolted upright, sweat forming on her face. Taking deep breaths she tried to calm herself down, and cautiously felt her right shoulder, sighing in relief. Wiping her forehead, she glanced at the clock. 6:04. Her dad would be awake soon, as he always was. Even on a Saturday such as this. She threw herself back on the pillow and stared at the ceiling, observing the winding patterns and following them. Slowly it became easier to see as light crept through the gaps in the curtains. Still too early she thought, pulling the covers over herself and trying to get some rest. Through the wall she could hear the faint footsteps of a person, probably her father, crossing the landing and going downstairs. Faintly she heard a rush of water and a hissing as he made himself coffee. She closed her eyes, and began to dream.
She sleepily opened her eyes and rolled over, looking at her alarm clock. 7:32. She swung her legs haphazardly off the bed, nearly hitting the bedside table, and pushed herself up. Still half asleep, she wandered across the landing to the bathroom and performed her usual daily routine. Wash, get dressed, the same monotonous tasks. ‘If only life would be more interesting’. She mentally scolded herself; she knew what always happened when people made those comments. Lazily she waltzed downstairs and into the kitchen. Her mother was doing the washing up, and from the faint sounds coming from the living room her dad and sister were watching TV.
“Morning” she sleepily mumbled, grabbing herself some cereal and milk. She didn’t feel that hungry, only eating a small bowl. Yawning, she wandered through to the lounge, and sat on the sofa next to her sister. She was watching some kids show with colourful characters living their eventful, if strange, lives. Her dad was on his phone at the far end of the room, looking out the window. He was dressed in formal wear, but she dismissed it as a business meeting again. Sighing, she joined her sister in watching TV.
“Hey! Sam! Come on we’re going to be late!” Azura glanced sideways at her mother scolding her sister.
“Aww but Mom!”
“No buts! We have to go soon. Come on, get dressed!” Azura noticed her mother was also dressed formally. Must be a party that she’d forgotten about. Sighing, she dragged herself upstairs and went through her wardrobe. She didn’t have that much in the way of formal clothing, but there was a black dress her mother had always wanted her to wear. She brought it out and stared at it. It was a good dress, clean and smelled brand new, just like it’d been bought yesterday. Placing it on the bed she selected some matching shoes and got changed.
By the time she was downstairs everyone else was ready. Azura followed them out to the car and sat herself at the back. Her parents were too busy tending to Sam to notice, but she didn’t mind. Instead she sat back and watched the world go by as they drove. She’d never noticed how many plants there were now, their green providing a stark contrast with the red brick of the houses. It filled her with a strange sense of calm and serenity. One she’d never felt before.
The car juddered to a stop, taking her by surprise. They were outside a small grey building, the words “Church” just about readable from the window. Strange place to be, she thought to herself before following everyone out. As she walked through the door, she could feel a chill. Something was wrong, she didn’t know what, but it scared her. Cautiously she followed her family, since she had no idea where they were going, before she found herself in a hall, with benches full of people she knew. Old friends, family friends, people she’d only met once at family reunions. Then she saw it: a coffin. She couldn’t help but cover her mouth in shock. How could she forget a funeral? Following her parents, they sat at the front, and she couldn’t tear her eyes from the coffin in a strange, almost fascinated way. She couldn’t even draw her attention to the speakers.
When she did finally draw her attention from it, she noticed everyone queuing up to provide their last wishes, and hastily joined the line. She didn’t even know who it was, but had to find out. Something drew her to it in a strange way. Slowly the line moved on, and she slowly neared the front. She reached it, and peered in.
Horror took a hold of her. She knew that face, she saw it every day. She would never forget it, never.
Azura froze in terror, as she felt a bony hand on her shoulder.