Fiction

Finding Some Company

She was a terrible woman; bad enough that at the funeral, the mourners could barely contain their glee.

She had begun life as an objectionable little girl until she blossomed into a wet blanket of young woman. From there she came into her own as a reason-her-husband-stayed-late-at-work until he had amassed quite a fortune, several patents and an early grave, whereupon his widow gained a veneer of bitterness and entitlement that would be the bane of every service industry employee, family member, doctor or lawyer in her path.

Until she slipped into a coma in the mid-90s. One would assume that someone lacking faculties would also lack the ability to bring misery to all around, and yet her living will kept her alive and in a pampered state. And just as the last of her fortune was draining away, she spitefully died.

Her funeral preparations were specific, right down to who was not invited and who would be cut out of the will if they skipped, as well as the church (hard to reach, no parking), the poems read (too long!) and the songs chosen.

But time played tricks on the old corpse. Her song of choice, a much-loathed pop ballad, had fallen from being played at wakes and in bad movies and television shows, to being played on commercials for the ASPCA, accompanied by scrolling pictures of sad-looking family pets. They were devastating commercials, the kind that made people hug their own pets, pillows and loved ones, and–one assumes also–donate to the ASPCA.

And as the song came on at the funeral, looks of dawning recognition were exchanged all around the church sanctuary. It had been a long time since anyone had heard that song in its entirety. For years people only heard the 30 seconds that played behind pictures of abandoned puppy dogs and sad kitty cats.

And lo, the song played. And unbeknownst to the casket resident, everyone’s heart became weighed down more and more with thoughts of the plight of family pets.

It was a somber affair after all.

 

 

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