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Coffins For Sale

lying in a coffin did sound excellent.

By Empty Poetry and VersePublished 3 months ago 13 min read
Top Story - December 2023
7

Coffins For Sale

By; Akil K.

The sound of metal clashing could be heard echoing in the distance, like a reenactment of medieval swordplay. However, it seemed too late in the evening and far too cold in the suburban town for something as extraordinary as that to take place.

The boys who were out enjoying the snow, just before the sun set decided to walk around the neighborhood in hopes they could locate the source of the intrusive echo. None of the five needed convincing, it sounded as though it was within their general vicinity.

Standing on the snow hill, aptly named for the perfect sledding that happened this time of year, one boy saw something that caught his attention. He shouted, "guys look”..

“It’s a man, but what is he doing?” on approaching him they could see he was juggling a variety of chrome objects each a different size and shape, but each had one thing in common they were all sharp and petrifying to the eye. Some had the slightest remnants of blood. The boys simply stared as the man began his death-defying stunt. Stunned and in awe the performance pulled the air out of their lungs.

Three cooking knives tossed from one hand spiraled through the air, caught both quickly and precisely. In the other hand, a long samurai sword was extended balancing a glass of red wine on the tip, every so often the blade would flick the glass into the air, then flip catching the glass again without missing a drop.

What was the strange man doing the boys all thought in their own mind, and why was he here in this suburb, after all this was no major intersection where he might receive attention, admiration, or a night's meal.

Suddenly he caught his blades and took a formal bow allowing his toung to dangle out of his mouth exposing its forked freakish nature. Before he could look up again the boys had all vanished.

Returning to their homes that evening one of the boys was frightened by what he had seen. It both shocked and stimulated his psyche, it had to be fake, he thought, even one knife would be too dangerous. Or maybe it wasn’t as petrifying as he thought, he decided to give it a go himself.

Sneaking into the kitchen he grabbed the wooden knife block and carried it back to his room like it was his father's favorite wine. He locked the door and laid out blankets so that no mistake would cause too much disruption. Holding four knives two in each hand the young man took a breath and then began.

He launched two straight into the air, then the next two. Immediately the blades ricocheted. Sending the sharpened iron into a chaotic spiral, one wisped right by his face, he thought gasping Wow that was close. Although he could no longer see completely, somehow caught it intuitively and was now juggling with little to no effort. How could this be so easy, he wondered, I guess It was a lot less dangerous than it looked. Although his face was damp, I must have worked up a hard sweat assuring himself, even as he became dizzyingly tired before collapsing to his knees and laying on the several blankets intended to muffle his error.

That morning there was a knock at the door. A woman opened to see a man with a large box standing outside, she asked, “How can I help you” "Hello ma'am I am a door-to-door salesman and I believe I can help you. I design and sell the lowest-cost custom-made coffins on the market, or as some of our clients call them sleeping boxes." He continued “They are upholstered with decadent satin, providing a cool insolated, and breathable environment. I have a few models with me today." She found the idea of owning a coffin quite demented. However, her son had a morbid obsession, she was always looking for ways for the two of them to connect. So decided to spend the $100.00 and purchase one of the handmade coffins for the living, as the salesman so tactfully put it. However, his heavily scarred hands almost made her too queasy to sign the liability waiver he provided.

"Thank you, madam I am certain your son will get a ton of use out of this, please reach out if you need a replacement or would like to grab another, we do deliver to your part of town." He left without haste, and continued down the street, going to every single house in the neighborhood with his unique macabre wares for sale.

After calling her son a few times to no sound of him reacting, she walked up the stairs. Knocking on the door, and saying his name she heard absolutely nothing, it was 10 o'clock he was usually quite the early riser she thought. "Okay, I'm coming in," she said, turning the door nob, it was locked. "What the hell is going on" she shouted. Beginning to push on the door frantically until finally, it swung open.

Reveling the young man lying on blood-soaked blankets. Clotted blood hid his identity, as the orifice of his eye was swollen shut. Lodging the end of the steel cooking blade deeply in his face. She began to choke falling to her knees, the breath was sucked from her aorta, making it impossible to scream. Her eyes overflowing with blood-red tears running down her cheeks.

At the end of the month on a remarkably overcast day, a funeral was held for the young man. Only the other boys knew why he had those four knives. To everyone else, it was a strange mystery. Sitting alone at home his mother reminisced on the pictures of her son, and her husband whom she had lost a couple of years before, it was just her now.

How she yearned to be a family again. Just then her eye caught sight of the coffin-shaped graphite printed card. She dialed the number and placed an order for a 5ft 8in coffin one that had the paintings of her husband and son on either side.

The sound of clashing metal again echoed through the busy afternoon air. This time in the business district, the hustle and bustle captured the minds of mortals as it normally does. Not many were worried about the somewhat odd sound of colliding steal. After all, it could be anything, but most likely was nothing, and no concern to those glad to be done with their soul-retching 9-5 jobs. One of these men walked with his head low wondering how he had found himself so poor. After all, he always followed what he was told to do, he journeyed along the tried and true path. Yet he was not fulfilled and felt increasingly empty as time went on.

No matter what promotion he was given at his corporate job, it still did not give him the substance that he searched for. Toying with the idea of death, he imagined his body stepping out into traffic right as the bus approached, or maybe a semi would be better, more likely to kill on contact he thought. Just as it passed him with a gust of dirt and leaves, he noticed something. No one was watching the most masochistic dance the world had ever seen.

Right in the middle of Times Square, a demented magic was overlooked. Its sound was ignored, but he could see it, right to the core of the metaphor. Each blade, a cleaver sharpened for cutting meat, flew through the air there were four he counted. "No, it's seven," he thought out loud, all of them were launched high in the sky rotating so quickly they resembled an electric saw. One would surely sink into his flesh, he held his breath, or rather it was stolen from him. As if sucked in by the turbine of a blood-stained jet engine.

One at a time each blade was caught with perfect precision, and the final one in the creature's mouth. But that one sliced the fine flesh at the corners of his mouth, blood dripped, and along with it a fork tong slithered from the dark pit of his mouth. His eyes locked on the man who stood speechless across the street. Again, his breath returned filling his lungs as if he had awakened from a near death in the bathtub.

Immediately the epiphany arrived, I have not taken risks in my life, I have not juggled the blade. Metaphorically speaking the knives represent those dangers in life, stepping into our self, and of course the fear of being. But if one is skilled enough the knife is almost harmless having only one edge, he thought the knife was most dangerous because it causes fear. But this man who juggled them has concurred fear, himself, and therefore life. This existential meaning sank deep into his heart as he hurried home.

Her face came to his mind, but mostly her lips, the due that would run from them if they were to be kissed. His fantasy was to caress her pale flesh, a rare farness that allured him, she was frail, and sickly for a reason he was not sure. But it drew him, why did I never shoot my shot, what had I been so afraid of? If I will not pursue my desires, why do I deserve to live, maybe this was the cure to his solipsistic depression. It was decided, he would stop at his favorite late-night haunt for a coffee.

Her eyes were black with poorly applied makeup, her fingers long and elegant, there was no meat on her body to spare. How she floated was a mystery, she was at her post, but he already knew she would be. Next in line, he ordered, "expresso in hot water," she replied "You mean an Americano." He smiled and said, "You know your coffee. She scarcely made eye contact, as though she could sense the romantic pressure straining his heart.

Although there was no escaping what would come next? When she handed him the mug, he took her hand and, in a Victorian, -age presentation expressed his deep desire to enjoy her company. Without so much as moving a muscle in her face, she gestured with her chin, "That’s my boyfriend." So candid she must receive this request a dozen times a night he thought.

Glancing at the burly, soot-filled man, a cloud of negativity began to fill his lungs, causing a choking feeling, now the emptiness had returned, and a brokenness had emerged, from some hidden place possibly within his nerves. He sat and sipped his coffee, and listened to the voices, each was only interrupted by the sound of ricocheting blades. By those blades how many times that man must have been cut, how many times?

How can he stand to be ignored, how could he persevere? Only a demon, only a specter, only a mutant. I could never, I can never win, I'm just a…. before he could finish his thought, there was a shriek. Blood covered the counter; his love had sliced her finger with a blade as she prepared a bagel. Her boyfriend rushed over to assist, and so did her demented suitor. When he got there, he carefully removed the blade and packed it in his suitcase.

In The Morning there was a knock at the door, It was a short red-headed man with a thick mustache. "Hello, there sir might I interest you in a sleeping box, a coffin for the living? They have several health benefits such as resting in peace and awakening the undead within."

He thought for a moment, lying in a coffin did sound excellent. Although he had never considered it; a cool resting place, dark and ascetic sounded like just what he needed. "The man chuckled from beneath his mustache, I can see your interest, for you today I will sell you three halves off. Or in other words, buy two get the third for free." He quickly paid the fee, and the short man wheeled each 6ft tall yet remarkably light coffin into his home.

Setting them in the living room, he left his card and bid him farewell. Watching him through the kitchen window he waited till the coast was clear then opened his bedroom closet to remove the two bodies. One corpse was his pale lover, and the other was that burly man both lifeless and limp. He carefully took each body and placed it into its unique coffin. Then finally he laid down in one of his own. Shutting the lid for a deep rest, he prayed he would awake with a newfound peace.

"You see and when it's not in use the coffin lid doubles as a coffee table and the box here becomes an excellent bookshelf." The red-headed man said feeling quite clever, everyone loved that part. Another sale he thought, he had sold coffins across the entire town what a perfect investment, the short man had a great feeling about this concept but never figured it would be this lucrative.

"Okay so two coffins fitted with stained glass and a classic Christian aesthetic coming right up," he wheeled in two coffins, which came with their own ominous aura of impending doom. Like whispering bloody merry in the mirror as a child or speaking of the devil nonchalantly. Yet when we pray for death does it ever find us, or does it instead wait for the perfect time to pounce, wanting to be unexpected and therefore tragic?

The moon rose that night and was red as petals on the bed of the romantic. One would think the rain must have been crimson as well, the streets so flush with blood. The night stank of iron and sounded like death. That is silent, with the interjection of fear and dread just to return to silence.

A man the CEO of one of the largest companies in the area was one of the many victims of the night, backed into a corner he bled into the drain, a mob all gripping different kitchen cutlery punctured his vital organs until they protruded his stained three-piece suit. He was alive, but simply awaiting his cruel torture to end.

Chased through the street was a dog attempting to escape the maenad and madness of a woman who sought to slit its throat and end its barking for good. A Nurse in a hospital went patient to patient lifting each of their wrists and slicing deeply, allowing the vein to pour the capacity of vitality profusely. She got on her knees and drank, and drank, and drank. Her lips were black with clotting hemoglobin. The dead lie in the street and the living run in fear or are possessed by steel. An ambient sound echoed as an impending omen on the land, knives clashing in mid-air, sparking as if to ignite the souls of the possessed.

Undisturbed in the wake of chaos, the man juggled a flawless act, two swords one long and one short, slashed the air around him, while seven short knives danced through the air, each blade pointed straight forward, as if levitating.

The moon's light trapped in their silver reflection caused a spontaneous combustion. As if the sharp metal was not daring enough, now each blade burned brightly. The light illuminating his blood art, the red pool beneath him could be seen clearly in the glow. As he danced. Stepping with grace, and diction he drew a pentagram, and missing his catch for the first time, a blade fell into the ruby liquid, a flame ignited with ease like gasoline, yet burned black as oil. All that could be heard was a variety of chuckles both in low voices, and high tones. The fire burned for several moments producing a cloud of smoke the wind soon carried away. Leaving in its place only a charred coffin.

slasher
7

About the Creator

Empty Poetry and Verse

Empty and Endless The Heart Of a Poet.

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Comments (3)

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  • Alex2 months ago

    nice

  • Excellent and Deserved Top Story, We are featuring this in the Vocal Social Society Community Adventure on Facebook and would love for you to join us there

  • marie e ehlenbach3 months ago

    I really liked it! I am a novice at haunting and ghostly things!

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