Title: An Unconventional Mr. Peadlebody
Sunlight filtered into the church lobby through a stained glass window, resting on the backs of more than a hundred people. Lint and dust particles floated in its rays, polluting the air along with scents of cologne, mouthwash and body odors. Raymond held a hankie to his nose and coughed. He hated being in a crowd of strangers.
He pushed through the assembly to the far end of the room and tucked himself in a corner, hoping he'd remain invisible. Once safe from prying eyes, he scratched the stubble on his chin and leaned against the wall, folded his arms across his chest and waited, impatient on the inside though hoping to give the appearance of being calm. Drawing the attention of any of these morbid funeral goers would be disastrous.
No one visited the guest book that lay open on the desk next to him, unsigned, pen still covered and waiting. A doily adorned the linen tabletop under the leather bound journal. A silver vase with a single white rose cast a faint shadow onto its empty pages. Raymond snickered as he glanced at the parchment. No wonder the pages are empty. Do these people even have names?
Unfamiliar guests continued to walk through the entry, ushering in a wave of cool autumn air whenever the door was opened. One woman evidently didn’t feel the same way he did about being noticed. Brilliant flowers adorned the turban on her head. Red high heels raised her above the crowd.