Tony Monelli had an instinct for things… like survival. In the instant his finger accepted Terry’s call, he sensed imminent danger. He dropped straight to the floor, face down, covering head with hands. That instinct saved his life and his hearing.
Above him was a loud explosion as the coffin seemed to disintegrate, although Tony couldn’t see it. The block on which the coffin was laid was strong and the blast went upwards and outwards, killing instantly the priest and four mourners in the first rows, throwing many others backwards.
Tony’s injuries were severe, but not fatal.
Unluckily for someone.
As the fedora touched the coffin, there was the sound of a mobile phone ringing. There was a sharp intake of breath, in unison, from the congregation. The priest, instantly angered, scanned the church for the miscreant. But the sound seemed to be coming from the front, from around the coffin itself.
Tony, right there next to the coffin, heard it and immediately figured it was his own phone that was ringing. His right hand flew to his pocket and pulled out the phone. It was ringing. The screen said ‘Terry’. Astonished, he automatically stabbed the green button.
At the end of the long service, the mourners were invited to come forward, one by one to touch the coffin to say their goodbyes to Terry. Row after row, the entire congregation trooped forward to show their respect, leaving Tony the last to approach the coffin.
Dressed immaculately in a black pinstripe suit, he slowly approached his brother’s coffin carrying a black fedora hat in his right hand. He touched the coffin with his left hand and talked quietly. Then he placed the hat, his brother’s, on the coffin.
For someone in the church, this was obviously a signal.
The service was dark and mournful. There was more weeping than might be expected at a normal funeral, and Tony turned around to see who was showing proper respect for his beloved brother… and more importantly, who wasn’t. But he didn’t spot a dry eye in the packed church. Nobody was that stupid. Even enormous brutes of men were dabbing their eyes. That’s how total power works.
The eulogy was given by one such brute of a man, an emotional outpouring, interspersed with sobs, of what a great man Terry, the deceased, had been. Tony, himself overcome, nodded his affirmation.
The priest asked politely that all mobiles be turned off during the funeral service. A reasonable request and one everyone in the church was happy to do.... except one mourner. Tony was never unconnected, not even for half an hour. He was seated in the front row as the deceased was his twin brother, and he had absolutely no intention to disable his phone, even as a sign of respect. He was the Boss. Nobody told him what to do. He stayed connected.
Tony’s twin, lying dead in his coffin, was connected too. And someone was keeping that connection alive...