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DEAD RINGEREdit

"What's that noise? It sounds like a cell-phone."

"Some client must have left one here. Maybe that gorgeous blonde from yesterday."


"It's driving me nuts, we must find it. I think it's coming from that one at the end of the room."

"What? That's the one scheduled for tomorrow afternoon. We only just sealed it up this morning."


"Someone must have put a phone in with him."


"You may be right. But perhaps he's changed his mind and wants to be let out?"


"Very funny!"


"Yes, it is coming from that one. You'd better check the order document, and any special notes on it."

"I've found the file. Guess what? It says he left a suicide note, and insisted on being buried with his cell-phone."

"It's stopped now. Who could have been ringing him?"

"I bet it wasn't his wife. Did you notice that smarmy guy she came with yesterday in the fancy car. I guess it could have been anybody. Someone who hasn't heard the news. But how did it get switched on?"

"Perhaps you knocked against it, by accident, before we sealed him in."Edit

"Never! I bet I know how it happened; someone set it to turn itself on at a special time … Hold on! I heard something."

"So did I, a sort of a click. Should we open him up again?"Edit

"No way! I told you he was dead. But I think we'd better keep listening."

"Oh! Now I can hear a voice, but it's very faint."

"I can hear it too, but not what it's saying. Let's get closer."

The two assistants, in the funeral parlour, looked at each other in horror as the subdued muttering continued; but neither of them could tell what it said, however close they got to it. Their efforts were interrupted by the sudden, nerve protesting, noise of a car's squealing brakes; followed by the ominous loud sounds of splintering glass and crunching metal. As one, they abandoned the coffin, and dashed outside to the main driveway.

They were horrified to observe an expensive, familiar white, car, smashed up against a pillar of the main gate. They rushed over to open the nearest door, but it refused to open, so they tried the other one. It was undamaged and soon opened, but the woman driver inside was crushed up against the dashboard, with her head halfway through the shattered windscreen. She was clearly in a bad way, and moaning. Between her body and the collapsed steering wheel, a shattered airbag was visible. She turned her head, to gaze at the two horrified assistants, and croaked out her distress, "…note he left me …missing money …sewn inside his best suit …cremation tomorrow …almost here …heard him call me …unfaithful bitch …"

She grimaced in pain, and just before her head fell forward, they heard her last whispered words. "… filthy swine …did something to my car …too fast."

(C)2010 Tony Thorne MBE

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