Aspects of my death were interesting. I’d gone to my granddaughter’s pub for a pint at lunchtime.
“‘Ello ‘Enry,” says old Malcolm, a ‘regular’, whilst discussing spade design.
Soon I felt unusually tired. “Sorry Malcolm, I need a lie-down.”
Later, I headed to the bookies with Malcolm’s ‘surefire’ tip, ‘Blind Optimism’. Strangely no-one greeted me. The girl didn’t look up at the counter. “Hello!” I knocked on the glass.
A young man in a patchwork jacket showed surprise. “Henry, you’ve passed over!”
“Passed over, what d’you mean?”
“You’re dead! Didn’t you know?” Everyone turned to look.
“No, I’m not!” I threw a sheaf of betting slips in the air. “See!”
The handful of customers ran for the door.
An old man with brylcreemed white hair entered. “Come on Henry lad, time to go!”
I gasped. “Dad! but you’re … dead.”
“We live on. Come along son, there’s folk waiting to meet you.”
Outside, brilliant white light filled the street. There was my auntie Ethel, smiling for once, and my mother too. A little white dog ran towards me, its tail wagging furiously. “Marley!” He jumped into my arms and licked my face for the first time in forty years.
Featured in the book, To Cut a Short Story Short: 111 Little Stories
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