"Her Majesty's Dark Note" by Slovakian Knight, June 2012
Disclaimer: All characters presented here are product of fiction. Any resemblances to real characters are of a pure coincidence. No intention was made to insult anyone for any reason.
AN: This story is an act of fiction. No one should attempt to act in the same manner as described.
Summary: We will ask you to choose the fabric and color, the detail of small decoration accessories and ask you to give us a name for your baby's embroidered nameplate with a few words to accompany it. If you can, that is ...
Her Majesty's Dark Note
Gathered around camp fire, chewing some munch-mellows, Lawson Parry, Tricia Wilson, Martha Edlin and Adrian Collert enjoyed fresh forest air, listening to insects and some night birds.
"What? …" Tricia glanced at Lawson's reflection of fire.
"I just remembered some weird cases of coming back from the Land of the Dead …"
"Oh, … really?" Adrian poked fire with his stick. "How about telling us about it, then?" Martha shoved him in his ribs and he produced couple of loud "ouches".
"Here it goes …" Lawson exhaled, watching moon above them. "Jeana Davis was found motionless and not breathing in bed by a neighbor …"
"And ... when was this?" Martha interrupted him. He grinned at her.
"Some two years ago after she tripped and suffered a head injury at her home in Chicago." He rubbed his nose, listening to some coyotes in the distance. Martha embraced herself and Adrian immediately rubbed her jacket, trying to warm her up. They kissed lightly. Lawson embraced Tricia. "When the neighbor … who found her … could not wake the pensioner up …", he continued, "… they feared the worst and thought the elderly woman had passed away." He looked at Martha and Adrian that looked like a newly wed couple.
"And …?" Martha took Adrian's stick and poked fire for him.
"She was placed in a coffin which was kept in her house unsealed under some weird tradition for friends and relatives to pay respects ..." Tricia frowned plastically.
"That's sure odd …" Adrian added and Martha shoved him lightly, realizing he was horny like a cougar.
"But the day before the funeral …", Lawson sipped some water, offering it to Tricia, "… neighbors found an empty coffin, and later discovered the 95-year-old …", Adrian and Martha were now staring at Lawson as if he was some kind of a 'magi', "… who had since woken up …, in her kitchen … cooking!"
"Cooking?" Tricia repeated, looking at Martha, wishing Lawson had similar sexual urge.
"Yes! Imagine that?" Lawson looked at Tricia and then drank some more water, hot, burning fire and sweet mellows making him constantly thirsty. "The day before she was due to be permanently laid to rest, however …", they listened to some growling-like sounds and Adrian mimicked to his rifle, "… Mr. Hanson arrived at his neighbor's property and found her 'corpse' had disappeared."
"Now imagine THAT!" Adrian continued to behave like a teenager and Martha stepped on his foot.
"Yes!" Lawson wiped sweat from his forehead, taking off his jacket. "Neighbors searched her property before finding the pensioner in her kitchen … cooking, for Lord's sake!" They laughed a bit.
"What did the doctor say?" Martha was curious about it.
"Oh ... a doctor at the hospital was quoted as saying …", Lawson scratched himself behind the ear, "… 'Thanks to the local tradition of parking the coffin in the house for several days, … she could be saved.'"
"Wow!" Adrian kissed Martha. "We should adopt the same tradition for your mother!" Martha stood up, pointing a warning finger at Adrian. "What? …" He simulated disappointment.
After Martha hid the rifle, she sat back.
"I know another case though …"
"Oh, you do? …" Tricia winked at Martha.
"Yes. Of a young boy named Agostino Nero."
"What kind of a name is that? …" Adrian sipped some from his camping canter-bottle.
"Anyway …" They knew it was an alcoholic beverage and were afraid since the rifle was in his tent. "He was declared dead at 7.40pm on Friday of that year … and his body was handed over to his family in a plastic bag."
"My God …"
"Yes." Lawson sipped more water, mumbling how hot it was suddenly. "The child's devastated family took him home where grieving relatives held a wake throughout the night …", another growling sound made them aware that some other animals lived in the forest as well, "… with the boy's body laid in an open coffin."
"That sounds so … sad …" Martha checked on Adrian's hazy stare in secret.
"But an hour before his funeral was due to take place on Saturday …", Lawson grinned, "… the boy apparently sat up in his coffin and said …", he rubbed his nose again, imitating, "… 'Daddy, … can I have some water?'."
They all awed and laughed a bit, unsure as to what will come next in his story.
"The boy's father, Antonio Nero, said …", Lawson paused as if listening to some invisible frequency, "… 'Everybody started to scream, … err … we couldn't believe our eyes.'" He paused again. "'Then we thought a miracle had taken place and our boy had come back to life.'" He looked around them, his eyes slightly watery. Tricia embraced him.
They listened to some birds quails, wondering what kind of birds those were.
"I remember we entered one of those Chicago funeral homes ... I believe it was called 'Timberman & Sons' …", Lawson snorted loudly, grinning into a sneer as he looked at Adrian and Martha, "… And … the first coffin we came to … I also think it was cheapest one as well … was …", they listened to some rifle shots in the distance and wondered what it could be, "… was covered with pink organza, pink satin bows, with a pink ruffled skirt around the bottom."
"Sweet Jesus!" Martha opened her mouth, her lip curling into laughter.
"Yes. Tasteless and frilly, it seemed … totally out of place, if you know what I mean …" Lawson scratched his shaved skin. "Interior fabrics were both woven and knit, … from plain weave taffetas to crepes, linens, suede and … I believe velvets as well ..." He glanced at Martha, adjusting his spectacles. " Specialty fabrics available too …"
"What for?" Adrian was coming to his senses and they were almost openly glad of that.
"Oh … I guess for decorative and accent needs, and … heat shirring is another popular choice as well ..." He grinned.
"What?" Martha was inquisitive.
"Most fabrics are high-quality 100% polyester …"
"But … that's not why you grinned, is it? …" Lawson kissed Tricia.
"You've got a detective of a friend there …" He smiled at Martha. "You're right. It's not because of that." Another shot was heard, echoing through the empty forest. "One of the models included a metallic object that was inserted sideways as to the head of the deceased …"
"Used for … what? …" Adrian took another swig from his bottle, laughing.
"You won't believe even if I told you …" Lawson finally stood up, trying to cool himself down. "In case the deceased suddenly wakes up …"
"You mean … like that old lady …?" Tricia twisted her neck up to see him better in the dark.
"That's right!" Lawson re-emerged from the dark. "To dig himself OUT of it! …"
"Sweet Mary and Jesus!" Martha stood up, shaking in disbelief, throwing some odd stares at Lawson. "Good God! …"
They finished their munch-mellows and were preparing fire for the night.
"Did you know that under the Funeral Rule, consumers are allowed to …"
"Funeral rule?" Tricia looked at Adrian.
"Yes. I am sure your 'inspector' knows everything about it …" Lawson made an affirmative nod at him. "Under this rule … you pick and choose the services you want at a funeral home, although you may also opt for basic packages of commonly-requested services."
Martha sat back, Adrian embracing her.
"If they appear in person to request information …", Adrian listened for some sounds, then continued, "… the funeral home must provide a general price list which includes pricing information about all of their services …"
"That's true!" Lawson giggled.
"… along with legal information related to the Funeral Rule, and consumers may keep this price list."
"Yup! All by the book!"
Adrian kissed Martha and she purred like a cat on Adrian's shoulder, looking at Tricia.
"Consumers who request pricing information over the phone are also entitled to hear relevant pricing information." Adrian yawned, making some sounds with his mouth.
Night owl announced herself with couple of characteristic sounds.