Since her father had been unable to give her a clear answer regarding what would be done with her mother’s remains, Amanda had taken it upon herself to make arrangements for the body. When Mr. Sillow came to collect her from her designated pick up area in the forest on the weekend following her mother’s passing, she instructed him to take her back to the cottage before they began making their way up to Boston. On the way to the cottage she explained to him what was going on.
“I’m so sorry to hear about your loss, Amanda. You have my deepest condolence,” Mr. Sillow said to the news of his girlfriend’s painful loss. “But I’m sure you’ll be feeling much better by the time we make it to Boston?”
Though his question was rhetorical, he happened to get a disconcerted “Yeah.” out of the grieving girl. Once back at the cottage, Amanda brought Mr. Sillow inside and started leading him down the hall to the room where her mother’s body lie in repose. The smell of putrefying flesh had reached Mr. Sillow’s nostrils well before he had even made it within 10 feet of the room. The staunch scent of death was like nothing he had ever smelled before, and his solution for coping with the foul odor was to hold his breath and breathe through his mouth. But the unsavory taste of death on his tongue was even more perturbing than its scent, forcing him to cover both his nose and mouth with the crook of his left arm. Though breathing became extremely difficult at that point, he was at least able to proceed deeper into the house towards the fetid source. There was absolutely nothing he could have done to cope with what came next, however. After about a week’s time, nature had taken its course on the body. The corpse of Mrs. Toffer had swollen up to almost twice her normal size, her skin was an unpleasant kaleidoscope of dull colors, and hundreds upon hundreds of maggots were feasting on the corpus’ carrion and internal organs. The sight immediately brought up the contents of Mr. Sillow’s weak stomach. Once he had regained his composure, he quietly hyped himself up enough to go and grab the body up off of the bed. That was where he witnessed a sight that was sure to be lodged in his memory bank for the rest of his life. Literally hanging on to what remained of the body was a severely grief-stricken Mr. Toffer. Unfazed by the legion of maggots crawling all over his own body, Mr. Toffer’s main concern was to remain by his wife’s side “in sickness and in health; in life and in death,” a promise he had made to her at the altar more than half a century ago.
“No, please… leave her be,” Mr. Toffer pleaded as Mr. Sillow sympathetically pulled the body slowly out of his grasp. The old man’s voice was weaker than usual as he had hardly eaten or drank anything since his wife’s death.
“She must be given a dignified burial, Mr. Toffer,” was the only thing Mr. Sillow could think of saying to provide the melancholic widower with some sort of solace. “We’ll let you know exactly where we bury the body so that you can go and visit her anytime you wish. For now, give your wife your final goodbyes.”
“I don’t have to say goodbye if you would just rest her back down on our bed.” Realizing that Mr. Toffer was in a helpless trance-like state, Mr. Sillow turned his back on the elderly man and walked out of the room as he continued to carry on with his puerile plea to have his wife’s body returned to his side. Seconds later, the remains were carted up in the back of the carriage and on its way to its final resting place.
“So where are we carrying this body, baby?” Mr. Sillow asked Amanda, who was struggling to come to grips with the fact that she would never see her mother again following the unceremonious burial presently being planned for her.
“Ummm, we uhhh, we’re gonna lay her to rest in New York.”
The highly unexpected response made Mr. Sillow strike Amanda with a stern look of disapproval. Although he could clearly discern that she was out of it, the chimera that had been drawn up in her head was still a bit too farfetched for him. “I’m afraid that’s not going to happen. She needs to be buried somewhere that doesn’t take us off of our course to Boston.”
The fact that Mr. Sillow was audacious enough to tell Amanda what should be done with her own mother’s remains incensed the addle-minded teenager, and the atmosphere inside the carriage immediately turned disorderly. “Are you serious?” Amanda asked lividly. She wanted to be sure that Mr. Sillow wasn’t just pulling her leg.
“Of course I’m serious, stupid. Does it look like I’m joking with you?” As much as Mr. Sillow empathized with her loss of a parent - he vividly remembered how devastated he was when Mr. Garrett had passed away - he didn’t want to jeopardize his booming business that he had established in Boston. “You’ve gat dozens of clients anxiously anticipating your arrival this weekend, and we’re already running late thanks to this minor setback with your mother’s death - God rest her soul. Allow the dead to bury the dead, Amanda.”
“What the fuck does that even mean? Okay, that’s not even important right now. I want to bury my mother in the state of New York. She was born there, raised there, and I’m damn certain it’s where she would have wanted her remains to be placed.”
“Maybe if you weren’t running away from home all the time being a disgusting little slut she would have had the opportunity to tell you exactly where she wanted to be buried. I know that if I were your mother I personally would have hated you,” Mr. Sillow spitefully shot back. Not surprisingly, the argument only got more heated from that point on until Mr. Sillow eventually had had enough of Amanda’s back talk. Pulling over onto the side of the pathway, he retrieved her mother’s remains from the back of the carriage and heartlessly heaved the corpse into an adjacent brook. “The stench of your mother was becoming too overbearing anyway,” Mr. Sillow said upon his return inside of the carriage. He was rubbing his virulent act into the distraught teen’s face, and there was absolutely nothing she could do about it. Following the imbroglio, Amanda quickly learned that she was to choose her words more carefully when dealing with a psychopath.