By Scott Wilson
Word Count: 2538
Gerard watched the funeral service from the comfort of his air-conditioned Bobcat excavator, smiling gleefully as the minister carefully pressed the switch and the beautifully polished coffin slowly descended into the grave. He opened his lunchbox and took out a piece of Kentucky Fried Chicken, leftovers from last night’s dinner, and took a large bite and washed it down with a swallow of Mountain Dew. Waiting patiently for the service to finish and the last of the mourners to leave, Gerard amused himself by playing solitaire on his mobile phone, while listening to the latest Iron Maiden album. Sometimes, he became so focused on the mp3 he listened to that he failed to notice the mourners leave, allowing him to finish the job and fill the final resting place of the deceased in with the dark, rich soil of the Hemmant Cemetery.
Today, Gerard was unusually focused on the large group of mourners; rich friend, relatives and celebrities of the deceased. He had never seen so much money gathered together in one place. Analytically, he calculated that the clothes worn by the sixty mourners would be worth more than his run down workers cottage a few streets away. This was not a bad thing, he thought to himself. At least his extracurricular activity would net him a nice bonus for the day’s work, and give him that satisfied feeling that he thought felt like having great sex.
Thirty-seven minutes after the first of the funeral party arrived, the whole shebang was over. The last to leave was the deceased businessman’s twenty-one year old trophy bride. Gerard imagined what it must have been like to be shagging a beautiful young bird like that, especially when she was young enough to be your daughter, or even granddaughter. She was putting on a good show for the crowd to, tears running down her face, smudging her mascara so much that she looked like Brandon Lee in that movie, The Crow. She did the good old, throwing herself on top of the coffin just before the minister lowered it into the grave. Surely, she did not expect the relatives and other mourners to believe she really loved the old guy that much. Then again, who could blame her for wanting to ensure she got all that she deserved after shagging the old geezer for five years. It mustn’t have been very attractive to her; Gerard thought to himself and almost brought up his KFC just thinking about the sickly smell of mothballs on the old guys testicles.
Gerard kicked the Bobcat into life and slowly rolled over to the recently vacated plot. He had to get out and move some plastic chairs around to make room for the machine to drive to the pile of dirt. Cursing under his breath, Gerard thought that the couple of tartan fold up chairs left behind might be worth the amount of time he had to spend moving the Cemetery’s own plastic chairs. This thought cheered him up again and he giggled like a little school girl when he sniffed one of the canvas chairs that a good-looking, middle-aged woman in a short black skirt had sat on. He could smell her expensive perfume, mixed with her own scent, and felt himself getting an erection. The excitement was almost too much for him to bear and he poked his tongue out to touch the canvas seat around where he guessed her vagina was rubbing against.
“What the hell are you doing?” A powerful English voice yelled at him.
Gerard turned around, lowering the chair back to the ground with one hand while pretending to pick up a contact lens with the other. He poked himself in the eye to make it weep.
“Issa just gettin’ my lens offa tha chair, sir.” Gerard said and sniffled. “Was a very movin’ service an’ all. Musta popped out when I bent down to pick uppa chair.”
The elderly gentleman looked at him suspiciously, but the felt a wave of compassion when Gerard looked directly at him with his moonlike face and quivering lips.
“Yes, yes it was very upsetting. My brother, Archie Fields was a well respected lawyer and he will be dearly missed.”
Gerard wiped his nose again and sniffled.
“My wife has lost a diamond earring; she thinks in might have fallen off around here. I said I’d look for her but would rather get to the wake.” Mr Fields said softly, pulling his wallet from his coat pocket. “If you see it when you are clearing up, can you please let my office know?”
Mr Fields handed Gerard a business card, and a fifty-dollar note. The earring was worth three thousand dollars and he thought that Gerard would not know it’s value if he found it. By giving him the money, Mr Fields assumed Gerard would be so grateful that he would call him rather than keep the earring.
“Youssa very generous man. I be sure to call ya if I see it.”
“Thank you very much. Good bye.”
Gerard’s excitement was rising by the minute. This funeral was ending up being a real gold mine for him. If he found the earring, he would make over six thousand dollars by the end of this job. He began stacking the plastic chairs up, scouring the well-mowed grass for the shiny white gem as he did. Eventually, he did come across it, pushed into the ground from someone’s heavy boots, probably the fat young guy sitting at the back of the crowd. Gerard was sure he saw him looking around the chairs for some dropped candy or something when everyone else was shaking hands and consoling each other.
It took Gerard twenty minutes to carefully lower the soft dirt back into the grave, leaving a two foot high mound in front of the large plague with the deceased’s name and image loving engraved in gold embossing. He put away the plastic chairs, stowed the canvas fold-up chairs in the back of his panel-van and drove down the Bobcat back to the shed at the back of the cemetery. Once his full time job was finished, he would start his shift for his own little business.
Behind the shed, Gerard moved a pile of sandstone and opened the trapdoor he discovered two and a half years ago. By taking no sick days or vacations, he had ensured that this secret was not discovered by anyone else. He covered the trapdoor with turf so nobody would see it when he went down into the catacombs and left it without the protection of the sandstone. Hanging on the stone wall a few steps down the entrance was a Dolphin Flashlight. Gerard picked it up and switched it on before continuing down the concrete stairs the passageway twelve feet below. It was cold and damp in the ancient tunnel; Gerard shivered and rubbed his arms to get the circulation going. Each time he came down here, it took him a few minutes to get used to the chill down his spine and the rank smell of death all around him. The first time down here, Gerard had vomited his KFC up before getting more than a few feet from the stairs. Without the aid of a map or markings, he found his way to the plot where Archie Fields grave sat. Waiting for him was the stepladder and thick sheet of gray metal sitting in a grove just above where the coffin lid finished. Gerard rested the torch on the ground, facing the ceiling and quickly climbed the stepladder. The metal sheet was heavy, it took a fair amount of wiggling and pushing to slide it across the length of the coffin, and a foot into the dirt passed the end of the grave. Gerard climbed back down the ladder and walked a few feet further down the passageway to where he left the small hand operated scissor-lift platform the previous day. He wheeled it under Archie’s grave and jacked it up until the platform sat flush under the pink spray-paint outline Gerard marked out earlier that day. Gerard began the painful task of slowly, and carefully shovelling out the two feet of soil between the passage ceiling and the coffin about. This task was labour intensive and Gerard would have hated it if it were not the only real form of exercise he ever participated in regularly. Muscles built up in his arms, back, and chest over the past two years and Gerard looked buff and lean, like a weight lifter. He could shovel five times as fast as he was without feeling the burn in his arms, but that was too dangerous. Patience and a soft touch was what were needed to safely tunnel into the grave above without causing a cave in or damaging the coffin and the goods inside.
Methodically and painstakingly carefully, Gerard shovelled out the seven-foot long and three-foot wide space until the coffin dropped onto the flat platform bed with a loud thud. Anyone above would think old Archie was turning over in his grave at the thought of giving up his young lover and warm bed for this cold deathbed of loneliness. Gerard lowered the scissor-lift trolley and brushed the soil from the lid of the coffin. It was only slightly marked from the soft soil landed on top of it, but nothing that would not polish out with a bit of TLC.
“Let’s see what we have here.” Gerard said softly to himself, losing the fake retard slang he always bung on when talking to mourners. He found this allowed him to get away with just about anything.
Carefully prying open the coffin so he did not damage it, Gerard felt an erection building up again. The anticipation of seeing the good inside was always intense and mind blowing like an orgasm for Gerard. If he had actually ever had sex he would have known that the feeling he had was probably more intense and fulfilling in many ways and he was not actually missing anything being a virgin. Inside the coffin, Archie lay as peaceful and tranquil as a Buddhist monk at the foot of the Andes. The mortician had groomed Archie extremely well, better than Gerard did on a special occasion, like a wedding or the Sunday morning Church service he attended ever week without fail.
Archie wore a pure silk Armani suit, deep navy blue with gold buttons adorned by crested eagle images. The silk tie Archie had on was worth more than any complete set of trouser and shirt Gerard wore. Pure gold cufflinks shone brightly like glimmering eyes when Gerard shone his torch around the coffin. Gerard ejaculated in his pants when he saw the beautiful, black leather shoes. He considered keeping them for himself, rather than selling them at the small designer clothes shop he co-owned with his brother, Jacob. Gerard told Jacob that he had a contact in Asia that sold him designer clothes and accessories at bargain basement prices and Jacob accepted this. Why question his brother’s source when they made three hundred percent on every item of clothing they sold at his prestigious store in Bulimba.
“Okay, Mister Fields.” Gerard said, propping the corpse upright. “It’s time to get a bit up close and personal.”
Gerard slowly undressed the cold, blue corpse with clinical carefulness. Each item of clothing was carefully hung polished wooden coat hangers on the sparking, stainless steel clothes rack Gerard kept in the tunnel. By the time all the clothes were removed, Gerard had come in his pants again. He wheeled the clothes rack back to the staircase and left it there while he finished his work back in the tunnel.
Returning to the open coffin was a disappointment for Gerard. The corpse was naked, lifeless and void of anything worth getting excited over now. All the good stuff was hanging neatly on the clothes rack. He felt this way whether the corpse was male, female, stunning in appearance or just downright ugly. Necrophilia, he did not know how anyone could be excited over having their way with a dead person’s pale and depressingly blue body, but while there was a market for the corpses, he would provide.
Further, down the tunnel, Gerard wheeled the scissor-lift trolley until he reached the pulley lift he rigged up to the basement of his house. Slowly and quietly, he pulled the ropes and levers until the platform lift reach the lower level of his small worker’s cottage. The basement was an unexpected surprise that he came across when repairing some rotten floorboards in his kitchen. Gerard wheeled the trolley to a large stainless steel bench and carefully slide the coffin onto it before returning to the tunnel to store his equipment until the next funeral.
Before he opened the trapdoor behind the shed, Gerard used his custom-built periscope to make sure nobody was around. Every now and then, a group of Goths or teenagers having dares with each other, would visit the cemetery and he would have to wait for hours before he could leave the catacombs. Today, the coast was clear and he was able to bring the clothes and accessories to his panel van without any delay. Five and a half hours after the funeral, Gerard was back home.
He made a few phone calls and organised a buyer for the corpse, a delivery point and the usually sale price of two and a half thousand dollars. Gerard found it amusing that Archie’s clothes would bring in more money for him than his body would. It was easy to lift the corpse into the body bag hanging next to the stainless steel workbench after the hard work digging earlier that evening. By nine twenty that evening, the first transaction was complete and a raving homosexual necrophilia was going home with a perfect mate. Gerard often wondered how long these sickos kept the body before they had to get rid of it, but did not want to ask. Some of his customers bought a corpse every few weeks, others only the once.
At twenty to ten, Gerard loaded the coffin into the panel van and delivered it to the funeral home. He had a meticulous tracking system for making sure he did not sell the same coffin to the same funeral home twice. A coffin was a coffin to some people, but these funeral home directors seemed to notice the finest details on them, as a parent would notice a new freckle on their child. Ten thousand dollars through selling the same coffin four times was the best Gerard had achieved so far. After too many burials, some coffins were just too badly damaged or foul to sell again.
On the way back home, Gerard stopped at KFC again for a Colonel Burger and large fries. Working the night shift always built up his appetite and nobody quenched his craving like the Colonel.
Gerard drove back home, stored the cash the safe in his basement and went to bed dead tired, dreaming of the money he would make from the Lord Mayor's funeral tomorrow.
The Fringe is open to submissions of poetry, flash fiction and short stories of any genre. Stories accepted will be published online in our Ezine and also in the monthly pdf magazine.
We are also open to submissions from artists for inclusion in the magazine.
Submissions should be in RTF format or in the body of the email. Send email submissions only to email@example.com
Currently we only offer payment for one story selected as the feature story in the monthly pdf magazine only. The successful author will be contacted to organise payment via paypal for a $5AUD payment. Authors of other accepted stories published on the webzine and in the pdf copy will receive a copy of the pdf version of the mag the story appears in.
We are open to unpublished and previously published stories up to 40,000 words in length.
About The Fringe Magazine
Here at The Fringe Magazine we publish Short Stories, Flash Fiction, Poetry in all genres and reviews of books, roleplay games, music and movies.
Our variety seems to be hiting the mark with over 100,000 views of our Online Magazine with a good spread across all articles.
Our variety seems to be hiting the mark with over 100,000 views of our Online Magazine with a good spread across all articles.?xml:namespace>From surveys we've conducted, our readers are like most people and enjoy reading all kinds of books, both fiction and non-fiction.
With over 350 readers visiting our site each day, we listen to the voice of the masses and try and procure books in all genres to review. To date, we have reviewed over 600 books, including; non-fiction reference, music, art, photography, gardening, cooking, Self Help, architecture, design, biographies and roleplay games.
We also review fiction in all genres; Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Historical Romance, Paranormal Romance, Horror, Crime, Thriller, Comedy, Western. We also publish Author Interviews, Paintings, Sketches, Art Work, Art Work by Susie Wilson, and non-fiction articles. The only thing you won't find at The Fringe Magazine is a bad review, if we don't like something, we won't put up a review at all.
You will also find music and dvd reviews and the occasional interview with musicians and actors.
- ► 2011 (753)
- ► 2010 (403)
- ► 2009 (214)
- A Whisker and Tail
- HOORAY: Christmas Crackers
- HOORAY: The cover of Darkness
- Billy Bad Boy
- The Cover of Darkness
- An Unexpected End
- The Field
- Plan D
- A Nice Bunch
- Grave Disorder
- Theorkrane the Great
- The Wizard
- The Chimney
- HOORAY: Black Bullets
- HOORAY: Bushranger Blues
- HOORAY: My Legacy
- HOORAY: The Lift
- Caught Somewhere In Time
- Christmas Crackers
- Noise Pollution is a Matter of Opinion
- The Lift
- ▼ November (22)