TOA Chapter 7: The Funeral

Ottawa, Ontario CANADA | Wednesday April 2, 2070 | 3:00 pm EDT

James Slone stood alone on Parliament Hill staring silently into the distance.  It was an overcast day, it matched his mood.  James was lost in thought.

Suddenly, someone touched his arm.  He turned to  see his beautiful wife Cybl.  They tearfully embrace, because they know what is to come.

Next to ascend the hill would be the Sergent at Arms Jeff Coldwell.  Coldwell was a short man with a solid build, he was not to be trifled with on a normal day.  Today was no ordinary day.  Coldwell, a close family friend, was in tears as he carried a small box draped in a Canadian flag.

This box contained Grant Slone’s ashes.  Following Coldwell was a procession of 100 people who had known Grant over the years.  They all proceeded to The House of Commons.  Grant’s ashes were placed in the center of the room.  The Members of Parliament took their regular seats in that ancient semi circle.  Common folks were directed to fill the gallery.

Once everyone was seated the Sergent at Arms ushered James and Cybl.

James’ mind was racing.

Funerals where not at all common in this age.  They died out thirty years ago when the Christian Church in Canada was forced to go underground after a series of systematic arson attacks on church buildings carried out by an organization called the Brotherhood of Knowledge.  Christians were forced to find secret places to meet together and and worship God.  The serving of the Lord’s Supper did not cease with the burning of their places of worship.  Worship of Jesus Christ would not die out as the Brotherhood had predicted.  Christians continued to meet together in spite of the danger.  In some cities like Vancouver, The Brotherhood had resorted to individual attacks on known Christians resulting in much death.

James admired their courage.  However, as Prime Minister, he was to remain impartial on this matter.  Intervening could cause a civil war, and James knew that the Fyfe army of Calgary supported the Brotherhood.  James would be mowed down in under five minutes if he tried to do anything about it.  If James were in a different line of work, he might consider trying to help the persecuted Christians in his country, perhaps even become a follower of Jesus Christ himself.  James had no objections to anything he had read in the Bible back when the book was still a legal thing to posses in Canada,  but today it was easier for James to play it safe.

James awoke from his daze suddenly.  Sergent Coldwell had finished his son’s eulogy.  James couldn’t believe it, he had slept through his son’s funeral!  It was the first funeral to be held in thirty years and he, the Honourable James Slone had slept through it.

Suddenly everyone in the room was staring at him.

Coldwell tapped him on the shoulder.  “James, it’s time to process out.   You must lead them.”

James and Cybl made their way out of the House of Commons shaking hands and exchanging condolences as they went.   Throughout this process James became very bitter.  If he had known about Grant’s problems perhaps he could have done something to help.  If he had talked to Grant more while he was alive, perhaps this whole event could have been avoided.

Jeff Coldwell drove the couple the short distance home while James continued to mentally beat himself up.   If only there was some way he could have known about the events surrounding Grant’s stupid decision to end his own life beforehand.  James was furious with himself.

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