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Grave Consequences





Grave Consequences

 

‘Look at them!  All gathered around the gaping grave, waiting for the last words from the priest so they can drop their flowers on me and escape to the expensive restaurant where they’ve booked a special luncheon. 

Daughter-number-two smiles because her idle boyfriend squeezes her arse.  And look!  She turns to him and twiddles his balls.  She knows her not-so-dear old dad was loaded and expects to fare well.  When my will is read on Tuesday, her arse squeezer will probably leave for greener pastures.  Maybe then she’ll spend more time with her two kids.

My wife doesn’t look too distressed and her lover looks positively expectant – another one who’ll soon be hitting the road.

You must admire the job my brother’s doing.  He arranged and paid for everything after we watched my wife tell him she was too distraught to do so.  ‘He deserves a good send off but I’m not up to it yet, David,’ He was the one who put his hand in his pocket when everyone else said it was too commercial a thing to do for one’s own.  Anyone would think there was snob value in not arranging the funeral of a supposed loved one.  Brother David will be generously rewarded on Tuesday.

My lover of four years, don’t pull a face, Gabriella, has had the sense not to attend the event as she would have been vilified.  She’d do well not to go to the reading of the will, either.  She’s been well endowed – is well endowed.  Come on, that was funny.

Daughter-number-one is there with her long-time partner, Cynthia and their daughter.  She’ll do okay too, but, like Gabrielle, should avoid the reading.

First-son looks depressed.  He knows that, after having four businesses subsidised until inevitable bankruptcy, he has already received and wasted his inheritance.  How did he think he could run businesses with unappreciated and underpaid staff while he vacationed half the year?

Second-son looks pleased with life.  He knows he’ll no longer have to beg for money from me to maintain his stable of polo ponies.  Come Tuesday, he’ll have to find another generous benefactor.

The three grandkids are visibly upset but they’ll be okay.  My will leaves the bulk of the estate to them and is so watertight adults won’t be able to get near the money.  If they think they can charge the estate for raising the kids, they’ll be disappointed.   Just to make sure, I’ve appointed my lawyers as administrators of the children’s trusts until they attain the age of thirty-five.  Hopefully they’ll be sensible by then.

So, Saint Peter, do you think it’s possible they could all start to love and care for each other?  Will they subdue their greed and forget the hurt?’

He raised a bushy eyebrow.  ‘It’s not likely is it?  Why would they suddenly undergo a change in character?’

‘I don’t know.  It’s out of my control now.  So, are you going to invite me in?’

‘Mmm, we’re not sure yet.  You’ve left a mess back there.  Those who can take care of themselves are given the bulk of your estate, while those incapable of handling their affairs and are most in need of help are left with nothing.’

‘And for this you’re going to deny me entry?’

‘It’s possible, yes.’

‘You can’t be serious!  I’ve already been waiting in this minimalistic heavenly green room for days.  Will it help if I go back and sort things out?

‘How?  Your body is at least partially decomposed by now.’

‘What about reincarnation?’

‘You have to be literally reborn into a baby just conceived.  I don’t see how that could suit your purposes.’

‘Come on!  Help me out here.  You point out how things might be if I don’t intervene and then deny me the opportunity to sort it out.’

‘You should have taken care of that while you were in human form.  We can’t have people travelling back and forth like they’re on some public transport system.’

‘Bollocks.  What about going back as a ghost?’

‘Well, it has been done.  The trouble is so-called rational humans don’t believe in ghosts, so the effective value is almost always negative.  People explain away such visions as childish fantasy, aged rambling, alcohol, drugs, eccentricity, or declaring the witness is mentally unbalanced.  It’d be difficult to break down those barriers.’

‘So, what, I’ve just got to stay here?’

‘For a while, at least.’

‘How long a while?’

‘Oh, I suppose matters will have been cleared up in thirty years or so.’

‘Thirty years!  What am I going to do here for thirty years?’

‘The magazines are recycled every month.  There’ll be others passing through who you can converse with.’

‘Any of them likely to be on as long a waiting list as me?’

‘Oh yes, many.  Look at that group over there; they’re waiting to welcome you to their exclusive society.  Murderers, thieves, adulterers; you’ll fit right in.’

‘This is ridiculous!  Aren’t there any options?’

‘There’s one, but I’d think carefully before taking it, if I were you.’

 Peter Lingard


When a youngster, Peter Lingard told his mother many fantastic tales of intrepid adventures enjoyed by him and his friends.  She always said, ‘Go tell it to the Marines’.  When he asked why, she said, ‘They’ve been everywhere and done everything, so they’ll want to hear about what you’ve been up to’.  Of course, Peter joined the Royal Marines as soon as he was old enough and now has a seemingly inexhaustible supply of tales to tell.  He has had 300+ stories and poems published, as well as having many pieces aired on Radio NAG, Queensland and 4RPH, Brisbane.  Professional actors have performed some of his doggerel and he has appeared as a guest on Southern FM’s program ‘Write Now’ to read and discuss his work.  He recited and chatted about some of his poems on 3CR’s ‘Spoken Word’ and had a monthly spot on 3WBC (94.1FM) to read his tales.  His novel, Boswell's Fairies, is to be launched on 14th October and can be purchased on his website; peterlingard.com 

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