Oh no! We’ve passed the middle of July and I haven’t supplied you with your fix of short fiction for the month.
I wrote this one back in the spring with a little help from the prompt producing folks over at The First Line Literary Journal. Unfortunately, the story didn’t get accepted, but as the editor tauntingly told me, “Really fun story, Tammie. Just missed the cut.”
I do agree it was a fun story to write, and I hope you find it a fun story to read. If you want a taste, a short sample follows the quickie description below.
Have a great week, everyone. Happy reading!!
It was just another prank, right?
Roy owns the only drive-thru funeral home in the state of Maine. With such an unconventional business, Roy’s come to expect the occasional prank – namely students from the nearby medical school leaving cadavers outside his drive-thru window.
But this latest joke isn’t the quite the same. This cadaver appears well-dressed, shows no signs of decomposition, and doesn’t need any support to keep it from flopping over. Even more peculiar? It’s begging to be let in.
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Try a sample from The Drive-Thru Window…
Roy owned the only drive-thru funeral business in Maine. He’d been plying his trade through the slide-back window with its slightly green tint for coming on eighteen years now. After being in the mortuary game for nearly as long as Moses wore knee pants, Roy knew two essential things about the business: How to save on expenses to make the most profit, and how the semblance of stability was a deciding factor when grieving families selected a place to make their final goodbyes — which was why the only change to Roy’s business plan in eighteen years had been a recent adjustment in his operating hours.
Over his eighteen years in the drive-thru funeral business Roy had also gotten used to practical jokes. So, on the day of Mrs. Hempston’s funeral (the funeral that would be his last midday service), when he pulled back the curtain that covered the slide-back window and revealed a body propped up outside with its face smooshed against the greenish pane, Roy chastised himself for letting out a squeal of shock.
The body should have been no surprise because this sort of jest occurred twice every year: once on April Fool’s Day and once on Halloween. Roy glanced to the calendar he kept to the left of the slide-back window. Yessah, still June. Roy’s brow furrowed in confusion as his gaze returned to the squashed cheek. “Hard tellin’ not knowin’,” he said with a shrug as he wondered who was deviating from the joking schedule. And right before Mrs. Hempston’s funeral, at that. He would have to clean the slide-back window before the service began. He gave a grunt of disapproval and rummaged around for the Windex….(end of sample)
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