Oh, how the mighty have fallen” they lamented. This was arguably fake remorse, it was no secret that many amongst the guests were co-conspirators in her demise.
The gold plated coffin, decorated with twelve precious stones lay at the front of the altar, an open casket it was. It was necessary for the long queue of witnesses to behold her now polished face. Many sceptics only accepted and believed she was dead at the very funeral. On seeing her still body, some broke out in tears, whilst some shook their heads in disgust, and some were clearly hiding there glee.
“She was formidable in her day”, said her obituarist, an eloquent statesman. Lofty praise read dispassionately, a tick box exercise typical of bureaucrats like him.
“A titan, bold and courageous. When she spoke the nations listened. She built our great institutions, fed the poor, spoke truth to power, indeed she was a powerhouse...”
At this point, there was muttering in the crowd. An already a distasteful argument had begun about who would replace her. The secularist and the Muslims were at it again. The multifaith alliance attempted to mediate and hussssssh the noise. They were hosting the service, and a good funeral could place them in good stead to inherit her mantle.
“Politics, power and money! That’s all you lot want” heckled a man in the audience. “Show some bloody respect, God damn it, a lady shouted from the back” ironically. “She's only been dead two minutes and you're already bickering like children,” said another. “We know you all had a hand in her death,” said another.
The coordinator quickly rushed to the front, as the statesman gave way. “Please please can we have some quiet, we know this is a very emotional time for us all and we’ll need to get used to life without her.”
Though the official autopsy and hurried investigation had concluded it was a suicide case, everyone was very keen to point the finger. Yet it was undeniable that in the years and months leading to her final collapse she had lost her way. She was hardly found in public sober, always high or drunk on something, a voiceless mumbling background noise.
Some didn't notice how bad things had gotten because she always adorned herself with beautiful clothes, necklaces, braided hair, makeup. Yet below the surface, she withered away. She become a puppet for the status quo instead of a vanguard of righteousness and justice, she no longer engaged in the issues of the day, her great institutions had now crumbled and many were bought out and used for other purposes. The “protesting prostitute” her latest nickname amongst the elite.
Now the audience had become intensely animated. A Muslim stood to exclaim God’s greatness. A bystander fearing for their safety immediately moved away stumbling and stepping on toes. At this point the LGBT ambassador said “take your primitively bigoted views elsewhere”, and before you knew it there were punches and other things being thrown at her funeral. A massive brawl. All the while there she lay, as society bickered and brawled. Cold, dead, and irrelevant.
Things were getting out of hand the longer this funeral went on. So the decision was made to quickly take her body to the graveyard. Six selected ideologues and campaigners approached the altar. An LGBT rep, multifaith advocate, a Muslim cleric, neo-liberal campaigner, a right-wing nationalist, and a feminist mounted the coffin and ceremoniously ushered gold tomb forward. The ruckus died down a little in acknowledgement of the moment.
“Hardly anyone came to see her whilst she was alive but look at the crowds that have come to witness her death!” lamented a citizen. Real and fake tears of the people masked by the rain, at least nature's tears were discernibly authentic. Her casket was now being lowered down.
Knock knock knock. What's that? sounds like its something from inside the coffin. She did use to talk about resurrection they all thought, but none dare believes the unthinkable. Knock knock knock. Lets just quickly bury her they all simultaneously thought, all pretending they hadn't heard the very obvious thuds. But already the people heard the noise, let her up some cried, shes still alive, she’s still alive.and noting the rowdy-ness of the crowd and fearing for their own safety they complied and lifted the casket. Knock knock knock!
“Well open it up then”, the coordinator fearfully and furiously motioned. Already chants begun, the gates of hell will not prevail! The gates of hell will not prevail!”
The casket was opened, and there she lay, just about breathing, just about.