Chapter 42 – It’s the end of the world…

Chapter 42 – “It’s the end of the world…”

Now – Liberty Island, New York

“It’s just a body, Mikey.”

“It’s still creepy, Rich!”

“Given. But at $10,000 apiece we afford a lot to forget about it.”

“Who the Hell pays that kind of money to bury someone on Liberty Island?”

“Again, I suggest you just smile and think of commerce.”

“Easy for you to say. This whole thing dudn’t feel right. The hole’s already dug.”

“Yeah, but whoever did that didn’t have the coffin, did they?”

The pair opened the large, odd coffin. Then they lifted Braden Nelson’s corpse into it. They were panting heavily after that.

“Whew! That guy must have been a linebacker in his day.”

“Rich, let’s just close it and bury it. I’m telling you—”

“I know, I know. Bad feeling… Jeez. Look at ‘im. Must be from out of town, eh? Looks like a tourist.”

“C’mon, Rich!”

“Just a minute now. You wanna be right with things and not worry? We should say some words.”

“What, like a eulogy?”

“Sure. Sure.”

Rich took off his hat and took a respectful stance. Then he cleared his throat.

“Dearly beloved…”

“Idn’t that weddings?”

“Uh. Yeah. Right. How do funerals begin? Uhh…

“God, please accept this man for his good attributes. A dear friend. A good father. A loving husband. A…pillar of his community…wherever that might have been.

“We don’t understand why you took…Uh…this man, Lord. I mean he seems like a good sort. Did he really have it comin’ to ‘im?”

“Okay, that’s enough, Richie.”

Mikey reached to close the lid when Rich stopped him.

“What now, Rich?!?”

“Hey. I think I know this guy! Heh. Get it?”

He did not. Disgusted with the delay and anxious to get on with using the money for whatever it was he was going to use it for after he had a big dinner with a lot of wine, Mikey slammed the lid shut.

“All right, all right. Let’s slide this thing into the hole.”

It was twenty-five minutes before they got it in straight enough that they didn’t feel bad about burying it at an angle. It was another ten before they got the dirt back in on top of it.

“Who you suppose he was, Rich?”

“Nobody, I guess. Some out-of-towner passed while visiting the statue.”

Mikey still looked worried. Rich felt it too, but refused to give in to it. He had a good break in a bad economy and he was going to enjoy it. He pulled a bottle of rotgut from a coat pocket.

“Hey. Mikey. Fuggedaboudit.”

—–

©2011 Christopher C. Knall

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