Jedidiah Smilie was anything but, he was a totally miserable specimen of humanity. Who because of his calling as Local Undertaker gave him good reason to sport a dour and malevolent countenance at all times.
He treated his Pall-Bearers with total disdain, they might have been so much cattle. The one thing that Jedidiah feared above all else, was the thought of burying someone alive and the ensuing consequences. The thought haunted his dreams and he often awoke sweating and shaking with fear.
His Pall-Bearers decided to wreak their revenge on Jedidiah for the harsh way he treated them. They removed the cadaver from one of the coffins scheduled for burial the following day. One of their number laid inside and the lid was replaced, whilst another ran to summon Jedidiah.
He arrived, puffing and panting in a state of extreme agitation, as soon as he neared the coffin the man inside rapped on the lid with his fist, then started to run his nails along the inside of the lid. Jedidiah struggled to get his breath, then doubled over in some kind of seizure, more to the point, to all appearances he was dead.
The Pall-Bearers panicked and decided that to hide their misdeeds they had to dispose of Jedidiah’s corpse. He was placed in the by now empty coffin and the lid was replaced and screwed firmly shut. All ready for burial on the following day.
They recruited another Pall-Bearer and one of their number stood in as Head Mourner, the coffin was laid in the grave. Prayers were said over it by the Local Minister and then the grave-diggers started to shovel soil atop the coffin. It was then that Jedidiah awoke, into his worst Nightmare, But for the very last time, because this time it was real !
(c) Damian Grange 2017