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Cupcake Kissin’ 2 – Alex Ankarr
Funerals are distressing, that’s a given, and Auntie Gertie’s is pretty much a slaughterhouse, emotionally, tears and embraces and howling and big speeches everywhere. The after-show wake is a lurid drunken nightmare for most. Caspar stays sober – for once he’s too upset to want a drink – and spends most of it ferrying over-emotional old sot relatives back to their hotels, one after another all afternoon and evening.
He survives okay, though, gets through it in one piece and shows up for the will reading a couple of days later in Auntie Gertie’s swish L.A. lawyers’ offices. He’s been to a few of these, too. Enough not to get his hopes up and expect much. (He’s a little embarrassed to admit to having hopes of a monetary nature. It seems pretty cold, with Auntie Gertie barely cold and in the ground. But still, it’s human nature just the same, especially when you’re a poor relation to a rich family, and you’re real hardcore stony broke. Not that any of his family, this family, would judge him for it. The rich are matter-of-fact about money. As far as they’re concerned, it’s jolly nice stuff, it’s entirely natural to want some of it, and when you’ve given a relative a jolly good send-off into the great beyond, then the next thing you start to think about is whether you might get some greenbacks out of it. Still, they are all British, even if somewhat transatlantic in some branches of the clan. Old Gertie herself had no use for the rain and greenness of her childhood stamping ground in southern England. She had made her home on the west coast, and refused to shift for the past three decades.)
In any case, he’s a bit subdued at the reading, gives out low-level handshakes and greetings as about a third of the clan assemble, and misses his own ma and dad’s presence, long-gone. As they file into the meeting room for the reading, he chooses a seat well at the back and prepares to zone out. If he does get anything, then someone will elbow him, in the greatest excitement, to make sure that he doesn’t miss it. In any case, his suit is his second-best, after he got mayonnaise on the best one at the wake. (Aunt Flo and her crab and lettuce roll, in trembling liver-spotted hands. Thanks, Aunt Flo!) He doesn’t much want to put it on show. It’s not as if his very best show-piece suit was anything to write home about. And this one is distinctly ratty.
© Copyright Alex Ankarr 2014
No unauthorised reproductions allowed. All rights reserved to the author. No inspirations for characters drawn from real-life individuals, no resemblance to real individuals intended.