Living With The Dead Added£0.99
Add to basket
(A short story of 3185 words)

Living With The Dead


by Kathleen Jones

Ellie works in a mortuary and lives on the premises. And then she falls in love with someone her employers consider totally unsuitable.

When I was six, we went to live in a two room shack out the back of the funeral home. A bedroom for my mother, a bedroom for me and a lean-to made of packing cases and corrugated tin to hold the stove and an old table. We kept the milk and the frozen goods in the ice box in the mortuary. My mother had the rooms free because she cleaned for Mr Moeran who had the funeral business. I used to go with her into the chapel of rest and help her polish the caskets. Some of them were ebony black like grand pianos, and some were the polished, red wood of rich people’s dining tables.

The most expensive were great satiny coffers bulging at the sides in wavy panels that held the dust, and a domed lid that had a cross in the centre with carved rays of light falling away from it right to the edge. The lid was in two sections so that you could open the top half to look at the face of the dead person. They were all lined, depending on the price, with either frilled cotton or cheap satin my mother ran up in the evenings on an old treadle machine in her room. I would hear her after I went to bed, shrrr, shrrr, shrr, hour after hour; shucking the material up on the thread so the frills fell just right and then, shrrr, shrrr, shrrr, again, until I fell asleep.

The bathroom was through the mortuary where Mr Moeran put the stiffs out on the slab to do his vampire bit with the syringes and the tubes and the formalin, dressed up in overalls and a huge rubber apron. There was a glass case with a light inside that held all his surgical instruments. If I wanted to use the bathroom at night I had to walk through this room in the dark, but it never bothered me. Kids at school used to say, ‘Isn’t it kinda weird living with all those dead people?’ But I never minded. They were like friends. Four or five days they were there and I got to know them real well...

What others say about Living With The Dead - Add your review

© 2024 CUT All rights reserved.