For this week’s challenge, use one of the images in this gallery as a starting point for a short story, poem, free-write, or musing on whatever you’d like.
“It’s ideal. I can use the space between the first two arches for storage. Nice and dry and with the air circulation, the wood will remain crisp and fresh. At the back ……”
“Just a minute Nick, are you sure. You know everyone will see our stock before they entire our establishment and they might find it a little distasteful.”
“Oh come on Morticia, that’s the way things are. No good trying to hide the bare truth. My daddy, his daddy and all the ancestors have been in the trade for a few years, but they never had the opportunity to buy something like this. This is a dream come true.”
Morticia had to agree with her husband Nick. Their old business premises were being demolished to be replaced by a supermarket. It had been a difficult search, but when they heard that the old crypt of the abbey was up for sale Nick knew this was the answer to his dreams. The abbey had been deconsecrated many years before and used as a storage room for a carpenter in the meanwhile.
“But Nick, we will have to clean it up.”
“No problem Morticia, the front recesses are perfect, it is at the back where it is damp, but when I fit in the air conditioner, it will be perfect.”
“You think so Nick, but it smells a bit mouldy.”
“That is just the air stagnation. The carpenter never used the back part. He said something about it being too dark and damp and things making noises while he was working, although I don’t know what he meant by that. With modern machines we will soon dry it all out and there will be no strange noises.”
“What was that Nick?” said Morticia
“What was what?” asked Nick
“I thought I heard something like high pitched squeak.”
“Probably a mouse, but we will soon be rid of them.”
In the meanwhile Nick and Morticia did not see the two figures watching them from the darker part of the arches. They could not see them, they were invisible, as ghosts of the past usually are.
“What did he say Ethel, he will be using it all for his business.”
“I think he did Edgar, but we can change that. As soon as he sees us wandering around with our heads under our arms and chains on our legs, he will alter his mind about using our home for his work. Our bones have been resting here for many years and no modern supermarket or fancy computer shop will move in.”
“Ethel he didn’t mention what it will be. Perhaps it will be a flower shop or a pet shop. You know you always liked flowers when you was amongst the living and I have never forgotten good old Belladonna, my faithful black cat. It was a shame they burnt her with me.”
“Meow, someone talking about me?” and a long furry black cat with staring yellow eyes appeared.
“Hello Belladonna, we were discussing that our cryptical home will now be used for something new.”
“Meow, if it will be a pet shop, all the better. Perhaps there might be a little black kitten there I could train to carry on with my good work.”
Later in the week work began on the old crypt of the abbey. The old ground was covered with lovely wooden flooring and carpets. The walls were painted and comfortable chairs were placed in the middle of the room. The insides were finished. Nick and Morticia were pleased with the result. An air conditioner was also supplied and the back rooms were complete.
Edgar, Ethel and the feline Belladonna were watching. Now and again they gave a little scream, but Nick and Morticia decided it was the wooden floor that was making the noises. They knew from experience in their trade that wood tended to sqeak and creak now and again.
The day arrived when the entrance rooms were fitted with their stock and a sign was put over the entrance – Nick and Morticia’s Funeral Parlour. The coffins fitted nicely in the first recesses. All successful undertakers must have a good selection for their customers.
And the three undead: they were happy, looking forward to a comfortable sleep in an empty coffin. Nick and Morticia carried on their business and never noticed the guests.