Short #1

29 Jun

The Claiming

Twenty years after his burial, there was a knock on the top of the casket. The corpse heard this because his soul had waited there for God to come and take him. After 15 years, he thought maybe he should start waiting for Satan instead. The knock elated him as much as any unclaimed soul in his rotten body could be elated. There was a second knock and a third. The forth was a strike which splintered the wood into odd angles. With one final blow the moonlight trickled in, illuminating too much space around him. His first-dead body had filled the whole casket. His skeleton found it spacious. The soul slithered out of the coffin, climbing the trail of moonlight out of the hole. What he saw beside his coffin appeared human, but too beautiful, and more animal. He watched the pale hands effortlessly lift his skeleton from its rest and toss it onto the grass beside his grave. The pale thing climbed into the coffin and pulled what was left of the casket lid back over him. A shower of dirt followed the movement. Homeless, the spirit floated to the nearest town and found respite in the eaves of a large barn. For 20 more years he hovered, this time having something to watch. In that time, he learned that it had been a vampire who robbed his grave and that not even the undead wanted to claim him. It became obvious that he was meant to do the claiming. The exorcisms began the following week.

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