Cherry Laurel

cherry laurel

The church is practically empty, this isn’t particularly surprising given how unpopular Thomas had been throughout his life, he was a cruel, spiteful man and this empty church was a true reflection on just how unloved he really was.

If it wasn’t for this unseasonable heat wave we were having I’d have expected people to turn up just to spit on his grave. Instead the majority of the village had retreated down to the beach with picnics and Frisbees; the ice cream van and hot dog stands out in full force.

I’m not alone in the church, there’s Reverend Childe, the lady from the post office, the butchers wife, the funeral director and an out of town solicitor. I trust they are only here because they have bills to settle.

Aunty Caroline is here too, Thomas’ sister, sobbing into her hanky. Dramatic effect, I assume, for the solicitors sake, not that there’s much to go around once his debts have been settled. There’s the house, but I’ll just sell that, I can’t bear to stay a day longer in that god forsaken hell hole; the messes I’ve had to clear up over the years thanks to that vile creature.

He makes my blood boil and run cold all at once, I want to pull him up from his slumber-some coffin and humiliate him in front of everyone, I want the whole world to know!

My fists have clenched together and my face is burning red with rage, I need to calm down, compose myself, I realise the whole congregation are staring at me, it’s my turn to speak, to reminisce about my father.

I have no words to say, nothing to share, instead all I can do is place a single white lily on his coffin. It was tempting to choose orange, a symbol of hatred. It could have been brushed aside; I could have said it was his favourite colour.

Instead I chose a white lily, the symbol of purity, virginity, innocence, all the things my father stole from me. My love of flowers and their meanings came from my mother, she would teach me their uses in medicine, how to recognise them, how they were used many years ago to relay secret messages for lovers and friends.

All this time my father thought I was just being an attentive daughter, bringing him freshly cut monkshood every other week, when actually I was delivering him a message.

He never was very smart, the delicious special tea I made him every Sunday night had been slowly killing him for months, just a small helping of Prunus laurocerasus, more commonly known as cherry laurel.

I walked calmly out of the church doors with a smile beaming from ear to ear, nobody noticed the mad woman’s elation at being at her father’s funeral, nobody was there to see it!

They were all down at the beach enjoying life, free to live and now I am free to live, free to go and do and see whatever I please.

I walked away with a tiny spring in my step, a flutter of excitement, a buzz, almost, I had killed him, I had murdered my own father and nobody had suspected a thing, my own flesh and blood.

He was dead, I did that and it felt fantastic!

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