[This is a flash fiction piece written for Monday Mixer.]
Rumor had it that something was strange about the new Ellsly Brothers Mortuary. A bold widow wrote a letter to the Raintown Gazette stating that her husband’s funeral was missing something. But she couldn’t say what.
The paper sent a reporter, Maggie Underworth, to write about the Ellsly Borthers’ process of preparing the dead. When she arrived, Rick Ellsly was removing the cloche from a new fern and Humbert Ellsly was stitching up a coffin’s satin lining with crisp, sedulous movements. They greeted her. They were perfectly nice. Something was off.
Maggie observed their preparation methods. She spent four days with them. On the fourth day, a vacuum cleaner caused a power surge. The brothers exchanged stoic glances.
Rumors aside, Maggie published a factual article. She left out her scruples, since she could not place them.
After all, the brothers had not been anything other than perfectly, precisely, robotically nice.