Chapter 3 - The First Funeral

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The weekend came and I was finally given some real work to do. I wouldn't say that I was excited because I was attending a funeral. But throughout the week I'd been bored out of my mind. There's only so much daytime television that you can watch. Although I'd like to point out that it was better than watching the games of Casket Shuffle. Thankfully I had never been bored enough to play along.

And Tom won every time. I know you're curious.

Saturday morning was my first day as an undertaker. Basically myself, Steve, Tom and Aaron were only there to carry the casket in and out of the church. We took the large wooden box from the home to the church and then would drive it to the graveyard chosen by the customer. Despite the fact that there was a graveyard on the Eternal Wings grounds, most people already had their own plans and a preferred burial site. As we were leaving the home, Tom grabbed both my shoulders.

"It's your first funeral as one of us. I feel like a proud father" He told me, pretending to get emotional. I had to admit I felt a little freaked out but figured that it was a compliment so I gave him an awkward smile. "To mark this momentous occasion, I want you to drive us there" He handed me a large set of keys before wheeling away to the other side of the car.

"Wait! Don't I need a special license to drive a hearse?" I asked, hoping that I did.

"You don't" Aaron ruined my dreams.

"We have the proper insurance so anyone working here is able to drive" Steve explained.

"Just don't reverse into anything. We don't want to lose the dead guy" Tom laughed as he sat in the passenger seat.

I sat in the driver's seat and slowly drove off. Steve and Aaron followed behind us in a much more regular car, one that I would certainly have preferred to be driving. I had never toed anything before, and although this wasn't really the same, I was still freaking out a little. It didn't help that every time I braked or turned a corner, Tom told me to "Remember the dead guy". As if I would forget.

Thankfully we arrived at the church safely and without losing our departed passenger. Getting out of the car, I was greeted by almost a hundred grieving men and women. They were all mostly pensioners which possibly explained why we were doing the heavy lifting instead of their own pallbearers. I shook all the hands and tried not to look them in the eye. What had been the easiest job of my life all week had suddenly become the most difficult. I almost started crying with them as if I was overdosing on all of the sadness.

Thankfully it didn't take long for all of the mourners to enter the church. It was a large white structure with a brightly coloured stained glass window at the top. It seemed like a terrible choice for a day such as this.

"You ready for this?" Steve asked. Thankfully I wasn't the only one who had to greet everyone. My co-workers had all suffered the same fate but they were much more used to it than I was.

"As I'll ever be" I replied. "Does this ever get any easier?"

"Eventually you learn to shut off your emotions a little. You act how they want you to and remind yourself that you don't know the person" He explained. He was nothing like the ditzy man I'd met on my first day. He was now the perfect example of a professional which made me gain some respect for the little guy. These people honestly hoped they didn't need to see us any time soon so if Steve could act like this for the few hours we had in their company, they would think very highly of him, and his business.

It was also a relief to me that he'd ditched his polka dot tie. We all wore matching black suits and ties. Apparently black socks were also legitimately part of the uniform. We looked like gothic rock stars in an emotional music video. Like the greatest team of FBI agents the world had ever known. Basically, we looked like a bunch of assholes.

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