Monday March 11th, 2013

The exercise:

Write about: the undertaker.

I dislike being sick.

Mine:

The undertaker regarded his most recent client the same way he had the thousands that came before her: without pity, without enthusiasm, without compassion. He knew nothing he could say or do would ease their pain, no gesture from a stranger they never wished to meet could bring their loved ones back. So why bother trying?

Besides, it wasn't like they could take their business elsewhere. His was the only funeral home for a hundred miles in any direction and, really, once you've got one family member in your graveyard, you've got them all. Assuming no disastrous disagreements within the tree, of course.

It's not that he didn't enjoy his job. He absolutely did. The part that didn't involve the living, at least. So he put up with those left behind, in order to work with those passed on.

But there was no chance he was going to waste energy being nice about it.

2 Comments:

Greg said...

Get well soon :) I thought you said it was only a cold though?
Heh, I quite like your undertaker: he understands his market very well and makes it work for him. I can imagine I'm the only one though....

The undertaker
"YOLO!" Marcus bounded to the door and yanked it open, startling the couple on the other side. They eyed him with distaste, and the woman – young, slender, thin blonde hair being tugged by the wind – said, "I think we have the wrong place."
"This is the undertaker's," said Marcus. He honked his comedy horn to underscore the pathos. "We like to present a family atmosphere."
The man – older than her, greying at the temples, neat, dark suit but scuffed shoes – frowned. "You're a clown," he said.
"Aren't we all? Life makes buffoons of every one of us eventually."
"You said YOLO," said the young woman accusingly. She had dark circles round her eyes and her nose was reddened.
"It's very popular with the frat boys when a kegger goes bad," said Marcus. "And we've never had more Facebook followers!"
"We'll go somewhere else," said the man. They started to turn to leave.
"Well," said Marcus. "You've got Walmart up the road, they'll plant a tree over your grave and its roots will eat your body and tie up your bones. Or you've got CostCo in the other direction; they'll put you in a bio-degradable plastic bag and slip you into a landfill when no-one's looking. Or there's cremation: there's a builder's yard down the round where they stick the body in the kiln, no questions asked, and you can become part of the road-improvement works of your choice."
There was a pause, and then they turned back. "Competitive rates?" asked the man.
"Absolutely!" said Marcus.

Marc said...

Greg - 'only' is a relative word :P

Hah, that's quite the unusual undertaker. I think I rather like him!