Last Call

Arthur Mackeown

   Damn undertaker. This coffin was built for a midget, not a six-foot two ex-rugby player. He must have stuffed me in with a shoe horn. And the heat. If anyone’s coming to rescue me they’d better hurry up, before there’s nothing left but a puddle. But suppose nobody comes? Suppose they’ve already checked on me, and I was still dead to the world? What then? Buried alive in me prime, that’s what…Help! No, don’t shout. That organ’s making such a racket they’ll never hear me, anyway.

You’d think I’d be used to it by now. I mean, I’ve dropped dead and woken up again so often my doctor calls me a medical miracle. This is twice I’ve woken up in the middle of my own funeral service. I can hardly wait to see that poor old parson’s face when I leave on my own two feet yet again. He looked quite annoyed the last time

But why don’t they come? They…Hold on! What is the matter with me? The cell phone. My wife left me a cell phone. No wonder no-body came to check. Eh? What’s this? Bloody battery’s almost dead. Silly woman, let’s hope she hasn’t turned hers off just because she’s at a funeral. Well, here goes nothing…

Hello? Mary? Well, of course it’s me. Do you know anyone else who’s being buried alive today? How about letting me out, then? Excuse me? Why don’t I call one my bits on the side, instead? Don’t be ridiculous. All that ended years ago. You’re the only one for me, you know that. Just get me out and I’ll show you. They what? Well, how do I know what they’re all doing here, bawling their eyes out? I didn’t invite ‘em, did I?

Anyway, never mind about that now. You can pull their hair out later. And will you please stop giggling? You’re at a funeral, for Pete’s sake. What will everybody think? You just concentrate on getting me out on the double, it’s like an oven in here. Come again, you’re breaking up. What do you mean, it is an oven in here?

My name is Arthur Mackeown. I’m 66 years old and originally from London, but have lived on a kibbutz in Israel for the past 38 years. I began writing short stories 4 years ago, when I bought my first computer, and have been published in several print and online magazines. I’m also a small time artist and sculptor. My hobbies are reading, photography, and travel, and I sometimes use my travel experiences in my stories. I may have a book in me somewhere, as well, but it’s a little late in the day to go looking for it.