Standing in the foyer, Charley opened the doors to the church. Scott’s casket, now covered in a dense blanket of scarlet roses, was already placed in front of the altar. The Buckley family sat firmly to the left of the casket, in the front pew she so despised.
Kathleen saw her step-daughters were dressed appropriately for once. Jessica, the eldest, usually wore skirts so short that no one really had to guess at her physical attributes. Natalie, the youngest, always wore the loose, colorful clothing of New Age devotees, but today she was dressed, as was her sister, in a dark, conservative suit. Kathleen guessed her brother-in-law, Philip, had something to do with the change in their appearance. As usual, he was dressed immaculately in a black, expensive business suit. The man had taste, Kathleen had to admit.
To the right sat the ushers, men of standing in the community, all of them Rotarians. In front of the ushers were dozens of flower arrangements, in every kind and hue, sent by officials throughout the state, including the governor of Arizona.
The flowers filled the front and sides of the altar, and the air was thick with the smell of them. One arrangement, placed to the side of the casket, was an exceptionally large wreath of red, white, and blue flowers in the form of the Presidential Seal of the United States. Kathleen smiled despite herself. Her brother-in-law’s large yearly donations to the Democratic National Committee finally paid off.
Toward the right side of the church, back from the altar, four members of the Altar Society stood guarding two pews, blocking them off for Kathleen, her family and a few close friends, discretely away from the Buckleys. The men nodded to her as she walked toward them, moving back so she and her family could sit down.
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