Times of grief and battle
Two souls laid to rest
Separate, once as human
Eternal sisters, joined at last
Sorcha stepped off the streetcar, into the leafy tunnel of Washington Ave. “How did you get the cemetery opened after dark?”
“I know the family who owns that restaurant.” Steven pointed at crisp green and white awnings. “They have pull with the mayor, and I’m sure he’s six drinks deep in the back bar.”
“He’ll want six more when he sees the overtime bill.” A sea of blue uniforms parted in front of her. “You found so many musicians.”
“All in town for a new Jazz festival. Could be an annual event, if it catches on. Twelve cent martinis didn’t hurt, either.”
“Our friends both had proper funerals?” Sorcha followed him under the arched gate, into the city of the dead.
“Respectable, but not nearly what they deserved. This city can do better.” Steven’s footsteps crunched along the candle-lit walkway. He plucked bills from the pocket of his black blazer and traded them for an armful of roses, placing flowers at each crypt and reserving the lion’s share for the last tomb on the left. “My family. A tree with only dead branches.”
The breeze through budding magnolias and a distant saxophone punctuated a rare moment of silence.
“So,” Steven chose one rose from the bouquet. “You still want to see her?”
“The weeping angel?”
“Right this way.” Steven forced himself to walk like a human until he was cloaked in shadow. His secret key turned tumblers in the crypt door. A wave of his hand ushered Sorcha in.
“The angel is blindfolded.”
“Damn, I looked everywhere else for that thing.” He slipped his silk tie off the statue and pointed up to the skylight. The noise of debris being cleared away was followed by a handsome grin and flashing eyes. “I, or, we…you know. First time, right here.”
“That’s just…only you.” Sorcha squeezed his hand and turned her attention to the grieving angel, wilted across the altar. “She’s exquisite.”
“And heartbreaking.” Steven handed over the last rose. “I always bring a gift.”
Sorcha spun the flower in her hand and crouched in front of a lifeless face, marred by eternal tears. She puffed air from her lips and blew red dust off the bloom, leaving sapphire petals behind. Energy sizzled through her fingertips and surged into the stone.
Steven sat down hard on the marble floor. “I don’t believe it.”
Weathered veneer crumbled as the angel’s mouth turned up at the corners. Delicate hands grasped the rose from Sorcha’s palm before freezing again.
“Yes, you do believe it. Anything can happen in this town.” Sorcha dragged her friend back to his feet. “I hear the horn section getting restless.”
He flashed into the crescent moonlight. “Handkerchiefs?”
“Looks like half the city’s out here.” She handed him a square of snow-white silk.
“It’s a long walk to the cathedral. The other half will join us along the way.” Steven took his place behind the brass band. A snap of his fingers sent somber notes wailing into night. “Let’s make history. “
To The Second Line…