Paul Kindlon, author of “Notes from the Undertaker”, is a professor of Humanities and a regular contributor to Mystery Tribune. He lives somewhere in New York State.
Funny old Grandpa held her tiny little hand and lead her up
to that very… imposing… casket.
To see Grandma, dear old Grandma
“one last time’. For the very first time.
She screamed somewhere inside
Grandpa could tell where.
So he tried. In his own way.
“Don’t be afraid, little pumpkin head. She has gone on to a better place.
Grandma is happy now. You should be too.
After death comes happiness!
Hey…when you see me in my casket…
I will give you a wink and even stick out my tongue. Ha! “
She tore free of his hand and ran
out of the church in a wild panic
just in time to be hit by a poor trucker who was exhausted and deeply
depressed – according to his attorney.
Meanwhile, the funeral director had hired a new assistant undertaker.
In addition to cosmetic work on the face of the deceased
part of his job was to sew the lips shut of the cadavers,
Standard procedure, really.
Being tired and also late for a date, he only half completed the job.
At the wake of his beloved granddaughter…Grandpa waited. And waited
Deciding to go last.
As he gazed down lovingly upon her sweet angelic face,
the stiches began to loosen, unravel and snap
Just like broken guitar strings
Her facial muscles contracted – pulling back –
and a smile slowly appeared.
“See”, he whispered, “I told you!”
Then a moment later her pink little tongue came poking out.
“Ha!” Grandpa shouted, “Pumpkin head you beat me to it!”
Our free digital archive of flash fiction including other stories by Paul Kindlon is available here. Additionally, premium short fiction published by Mystery Tribune on a quarterly basis is available digitally here.