Draped and Dressed, 1930

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The town nearly paid for his stupidity.

The new funeral director’s a fool.

Simon Jacobite came from Hartford up to Boston, failed there, and found Cross. I wish he hadn’t.

The man cut corners, and I know for a fact that he broke legs to make the dead fit into coffins that weren’t quite right. More than one ghost stopped by the farm to complain about the man, and I was planning on visiting him sooner rather than later to have a little discussion. I suspect that he might lose some teeth as the conversation progressed.

Well, sooner came along quicker than I imagined it would.

I’d had a telephone installed in the house, much to my chagrin, and it wasn’t much past eleven in the morning when the damned thing rang the quick three rings that signaled a call from the police.

When I answered, Patrolman Mark Davies asked me to get down to Jacobite’s about as quick as I could. They had secured the premises, but they didn’t dare go in.

I hung up the telephone, armed myself with the Colts and a scattergun for good measure, and rode into town at a gallop.

Davies took the reins from me when I arrived, and I saw some of the Cross militia had been called out as well. They were hard men and women, armed with Springfields and Thompsons. There was a scattering of cars and fresh blood on the sidewalk in front of the funeral home.

In short order, Davies told me that Jacobite had lost a hand to something in the building, and all they could get from the man was that he had been to the Hollow for some fresh flowers. Jacobite hadn’t wanted to pay for them.

Without a word, I nodded and went up to the front door and kicked it in. Entering the viewing room, I saw the casket and the flowers, and when I crossed the threshold, the corpse sat up. It grinned at me, and I took the top of its head off with the scattergun.

An unearthly shriek escaped from its mouth, and I dropped the weapon to the floor, drawing both Colts by the time the scattergun struck the wood.

The roar of the Colts filled the air and shook the room, and when I was done, so too was the thing in the casket.

I reloaded, picked up the scattergun, and left the room.

It was time to work on Jacobite’s teeth.

#horror #fear #paranormal

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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