The Funeral by Andrei Gribakov

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The day was perfect for a funeral. The sky had become a seething grey mass of clouds, foreshadowing rain and sadness. The city had awoken with tense anticipation, ready to send off their ruler, with dignity and solemnity. Rulers and princes of the neigboring countries had all come to pay their respects to the man many had hated and loved, but above all admired and respected. As the procession had started at his castle, and wound through the middle of the city, one might have imagined it to be a happy occasion, as all the passerby's threw white orchids as the procession passed, the entire city in fact was covered with white orchids from rooftops to cobbled strees, for that was the family crest of the royal family. Odly enough there was no wind or thunder, it was as if the artist had begun to paint a storm in the making, spending his time on the sky, and then stopping leaving the canvas with only a background and no detail. The procession wound its way into the Cathedral, placed squarely in the middle of the town. The body was laid to rest on a marble platform, for all to see the honor and dignity with which the man died. His shoulders slightly stooped with age, seemed straight and relaxed, as if for the first time he had no great weight to carry, the chiseled features of his face had a serene, peaceful quality to them, and his platinum locks of hair which once had shone as bright as the sun, now cascaded off the platform like a waterfall of molten silver. Even in death he had a regal quality about him, and as people filed into the cathedral to pay their final respects, they found themselves inspired by the man who even in death was able to change people's lives. It was a funeral unlike any other, people walked in expecting to feel sadness, loss, instead they found a sense of comfort and tranquility, their fear of death melted away as soon as they walked in.