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Ashes Urn.jpg

Dru fed the glass empties into an orifice in the bottle bank.  Gus assisted.

Hang on!  What’s this?  I thought that bag was jolly heavy, she exclaimed.

At the bottom of the jute carrier was a large urn with a paper label

sellotaped to the lid.  It read: A R- his mortal remains.

Matron must have put it in the bag, said Gus. It’s quite heavy, relatively

speaking. 

What do you mean?

Well, in comparison to The Ashes.  I was surprised to see how

insignificant they looked, given how seriously countries fight over them.

Trust you to think about cricket at a moment like this.  What about

Aunt Augusta’s remains?

Oh, I think I just left them in The Garden of Remembrance,

Gus admitted sheepishly.

How very unfeeling, chided Dru.  Anyway, what are we going to

do with these?

Take them to Wyvern Mote, I suppose and scatter them over

the aconites when no one is looking.

Dru handed the jar to her father, who promptly dropped it on

the tarmac.  The lid came off and the wind scattered the ash

over the parking bays.

Dru was horrified.

It’s the thought that counts, Gus whispered lamely.

Oh yes, and now when you think of him you will associate

your father’s resting place with…

Maybe we could scrape some up… Gus took out the spoon with

which he had been eating the trifle.  We could put some in the

Tupperware.

And have him mixed up with some Bird’s custard!  No, I think

we should say a prayer or something.  Dru bowed her head.

Eh, bless this spot, O Lord.  Greater men than my father have

been laid to rest in car parks…  Richard the Third, for one…

Richard III earliest surviving portrait.jpg

Oh, get in the car! expostulated Dru.  What’s that object on

the ground?

Oh, it must be his pace maker, Gus brightened up. I remember

seeing them remove one from an Indian funeral pyre.  One of the

Gandhis, perhaps?

It’s lucky it didn’t explode, said Dru.  Haven’t you read The

Crow Road?

IainBanksTheCrowRoad.jpg

I’ll keep it as a memento mori, said Gus.  I should have asked

for Augusta’s hip replacement.  They could have been twin

paperweights on my desk.

Suddenly a voice broke into their discussion.  It was a traffic

warden.

I did give you a few minutes before I was going to write out the

ticket, but you are parked illegally between two bays.

Here, hold this!  Gus put the remains of the urn into his hands,

along with the pacemaker, then jumped into the car.

Dru screeched out of the car park like Jeremy Clarkson leaving

Argentina.

Pity about the puncture they had to address a mile up the road.

They must have driven over the shards.

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