Millicent’s coffin sat at the top of the stairs inside the Broadmanor family mausoleum.
Jeremy Broadmanor, Millicent’s nephew, sighed. He had been expecting this. “Gentlemen, your assistance, please.”
The pallbearers carrying the coffin of Jeremy’s father, Frederick, set their burden down and took up the handles of Millicent’s coffin. Jeremy led the way into the crypt.
“Aunt Millicent,” he said, “this is the third time in the past year you have done this. First when we brought cousin Arnold here. Then, eight months later when poor little Theodore died of the measles. And now again as we bring your dear brother to his final rest. It’s just too bad of you, Aunt Millicent, to play this game at such times.”
He shook his head as he looked at the empty space next to the coffin of his other late aunt, Marvela, Millicent and Frederick’s elder sister. He silently directed the pallbearers to place Millicent’s coffin against a wall on the far side of the crypt, then nodded that they should bring his father down.
“I am very sorry, Aunt Millicent,” Jeremy said to the coffin, “but this is as good as it gets. You are as far from Aunt Marvela as it is possible to be in here. You are part of the family and here you will remain. Surely a lifelong feud was enough; you don’t have to carry it on after your deaths, as well.”
The pallbearers returned and placed Frederick next to Millicent, blocking her in her new resting place. Frederick had always tried to make peace between the sisters.
“Thank you, Father, and good luck,” he said.
As Jeremy trod the steps upward, he heard a small noise. He pondered for years afterward whether it was a final huff from his Aunt Millicent or a sigh of relief from someone else entombed there.