The undertaker’s wife was a robust woman. In comparison both her sisters were slight. Lycoris Moir, the taller of the two, was tousled and bespectacled. She measured her customers for their mourning clothes with a faded linen tape measure, checking, double checking and checking again in the most meticulous fashion that she had the correct figures jotted in her notebook. The notebook was so full and tattered and ink-smudged that it looked as though it recorded the personal dimensions of all the bereaved of a millennium.
‘We are data-rich, my dears, data-rich,’ she would tell her sisters.
Adrasteia was shorter, smaller; petite. Raven-haired and sleek, she had a disconcerting habit of studying her clients intensely, then tilting her head to one side as though she had made some silent, immutable judgement. She would raise her rusty tailoring scissors and snip snip the air in front of their faces, her black eyes glittering.
‘But husband-poor, my dear, husband-poor.’
Four of Water
2 days ago