Reader’s Digest has run a fun little flash-fiction competition for the past few years, asking people to write a story exactly 100 words long – no more, no less.
This was my crack at it:
Sickle and Reeves, Funeral Directors, directed the best funerals in town. And ‘directed’ was truly the word.
They were spectacular affairs, talked about for months after. Susie Bairns had fireworks and a close-up magician. Rupert Tippley had a bouncy castle to keep the kids busy while the adults learned to make cocktails. Everyone said it was what he would’ve wanted. (After all, it was cirrhosis of the liver.)
But Sickle and Reeves’ last funeral, before the closed sign went up, ruined their streak. It was a dull thing, closed casket, and Reeves brought the mood down with all his sobbing.
Needless to say I did not make the shortlist. Who knew people didn’t like absurdist stories about funeral directors…?