Daniel planed the final piece of timber. A few more shavings and he knew that it would fit. He wasn’t happy with one section so he spent another minute sanding it.
He admired his work.
The other two stood on plinths. He never considered himself arrogant. They were beautiful and in perfect proportion.
The three caskets were so different but he had carved them in such a way that there was no doubt that they were part of each other.
That was what it was all about, separate but linked.
It was strange how his life had panned out. He knew all that he loved would never be as one, there would only be half.
Barney nosed his way into the workshop.
The dog was hesitant but he met his master half-way.
He sniffed in the direction of where his brother lay. He stopped and whined.
Daniel walked over and scratched his ears.
“I know son. We all miss him. Go and see your mum, on you go.”
The dog turned and headed back into the house.
Daniel unclamped the lid and checked that it fitted. It was as perfect as the rest of it. He re-opened it and put it on a trolley. Archie lay on another bench. He walked over and kissed the dog on the head and very gently lifted him into the coffin.
“Bye old friend. It’s been a pleasure.”
He screwed the lid down and attached a brass plate.
Archie – Best friend of Daniel and Claire. Brother of Barney.
Daniel pushed the trolley into the freezer. He swallowed as he closed the door.
He sat at his work bench and took a sip of cold tea. He polished the other two brass plates that lay there. He felt the tears as he began to engrave. He stopped to wipe his eyes.
He worked slowly as he wanted to get them right first time. It had to be first time.
Daniel – Husband to Claire and Father to Chris and Liam.
He began to weep. He couldn’t work on the third name plate until he stopped sobbing. He was determined that the writing would match.
Daniel took a few deep breaths and checked his hand. It was a few minutes before the shaking stopped.
He was now ready to continue.
Chris – Son of Claire and Daniel. Twin Brother of Liam.
He managed the final full stop and began to cry once again as he moved over to the coffins.
He screwed the name plate onto the larger one. He gave it one more polish.
Daniel covered up the small coffin except for where he was attaching the final plate.
He rubbed his face with the cloth.
Claire called out.
“Daniel! Quick! My water’s broke!”
He sank to his knees as the pain in his head returned.
Image – Google Images