751. Bit by bit


(A story for Halloween)

Warren lay in the hospital bed. He couldn’t move but he could hear.

“We’re sorry, but he’s clinically dead. When you’ve said your goodbyes, the machine will be turned off.”

Don’t pull the plug! Don’t pull the plug! screamed Warren inside. I’m still alive!

“Thank you, doctor. We would like to switch the machine off ourselves. Goodbye, Warren.”

Warren heard the switch click. He knew they were wheeling him to the morgue. He heard the mortician complain about the amount of fluid in his system.

“It must’ve been one hell of a gigantic cyst. Look at all that stuff draining off.”

He heard them injecting him with embalming fluid. He felt it. It was excruciating. He heard his funeral; every word. He heard them lowering the coffin into the grave.

I’m not dead! I’m not dead!

He heard the clunk of the dirt falling.

He heard his body rot; bit by bit; piece by piece. Decaying bones take centuries.

He was dead, but this was Hell.

42 thoughts on “751. Bit by bit

  1. Cynthia Jobin

    Yes, yes, this certainly is a marvelous Halloween story; it brought back olfactory memories of embalming fluid. And it’s definitely one convincing version of Hell, (there are so many versions of Hell to choose from….) I wonder whose teeth will rot faster…Warren’s, or those of the kiddies collecting their treats tonight….

    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      LOL! I believe I personally might be winning the tooth race! Trick or treating was unheard of when I was a kid. It’s only fairly recently that it seems to be taking on here. I always get a bag of lollies (as we call candy) and keep it handy. But the kids on the street are too scared of the grouchy old bugger who lives at number 12!

      1. Cynthia Jobin

        When I was a kid, I loved Halloween more than Christmas or my birthday….because of the eerie, theatrical masquerade part of it. I spent weeks planning the most dramatic thing I could imagine, to wear, raiding the attic, crafting things out of whatever was at hand.. (That was before there were bought costumes based on Disney themes and such.) It really had little to do with the treats handed out, for me. Besides, my diabetic Dad raided our stashes of all the best stuff after we went to bed that night!

        1. Bruce Goodman Post author

          We would have fancy dress parties, but not associated with Halloween. My mother would spend ages – perhaps even weeks – sewing the costumes. I remember a sister going as a camellia, wearing literally hundreds of handmade camellia flowers. Another sister went as Little Bo Peep, wearing an outfit that would have outshone Elizabeth the First! Dozens of costumes kept in a chest after use, and brought out regularly for home concerts!

  2. thecontentedcrafter

    I knew someone who was cremated because she so feared that very thing happening….. not realising that her fear was her own hell and she lived in it for many years. So who eats the sweets that are purchased for the Halloween callers who are too scared to approach the grouch at #12?

      1. wolfberryknits

        We’re all sweet enough 🍬🍬🍬 Halloween grinches, not a single one in the house. 🙂 Anyone willing to brave the 50m elevation in the dark to our house just gets a free lecture from M on the Americanisation of Australian culture.

        1. Bruce Goodman Post author

          LOL! Well no costumed figure knocked upon my door, but I noticed that the waiting bowl of confectionary kept getting lower as the evening progressed, There is clearly a light-fingered someone in the house with a sweet tooth.

  3. kritsayvonne

    Argh! No wonder some Victorians chose to be buried with a bell pulley inside their coffin that they could ring if they came around after burial. I believe it’s the origin of the term, saved by the bell.

    I heard a good idea on the radio this week… Cook Brussels sprouts dip them in chocolate and serve to trick or treaters! X


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