The Casket

by Maurice Bernier 2 years ago in fiction

The Nightmare That Refused to Die

The Casket
Photo by Wendy Scofield on Unsplash

It was a long day. Joe had worked many hours at his new job, not because he wanted to, but because he had to do so. He was a newlywed. His wife Susan, previously a widow, had a child with another on the way. He loved her so much. He had only known her a few weeks after her husband, Peter, died. They went out for lunch from time to time. It was during these lunch dates that they discovered a true affection for each other. After a period of mourning, they decided to see each other. They had only married a few weeks ago, exactly less than a year since Pete's death. Joe had worked as much overtime that he could possibly work. He hadn't had a day off in a few weeks. Already, he had seen one of the guys from his job drop dead due to fatigue. He couldn't afford to put Susan in danger of being a widow once again. He had to take it easy but now wasn't the time. He needed the money and he needed it now.

It was now 8 PM. Sue went to visit her mother. She took her son with her. She was a few days along in her pregnancy, so there was no danger in her giving birth, at that moment. He needed the rest. He would sleep a few hours before picking her up. After that, he would return to work. He ate a small meal that consisted of a hamburger and some home-made fries. He poured a small glass of cream soda. When his meal was finished, he went into his living room and sat in his favorite easy chair. This would be the first time he experienced any comfort since starting his new job some five weeks ago. He felt his eyelids gradually growing to a close. Sleep would be his instant and much-welcomed friend. He couldn't wait. He then dozed off to dreamland.

He awoke at 12:30. He checked his pager. Sue hadn't called. Was she going to spend the night at her mother's house? She knew that he was running himself ragged at the job. He made a mental note, however, to have the phone installed as soon as he was able to to find a day off. He then decided to get some more sleep. He didn't move from the chair and waited for the morning sun. The alarm on his watch was set for 5 AM. He would then get into his car and head back to work.

He stared into the partial darkness of his living room. It was extremely dim. The street light barely made out the shadows in the room. He looked at them in hopes of being able to fall back to sleep. He made out the TV, the stereo and the picture on the wall. There was another shape which was familiar yet unfamiliar. He had seen it before, but not in his house. It was long. It was eerie. It was before him. It was a casket. It was fully prepared for its final service. Why was it here? Why was there a casket in his house? Why?

He slowly moved his hand toward the light. In a flash, as soon as he was near the switch, he turned it on. The burial box faded with the light. Was it still present although it was invisible? He was wide awake. Was it a figment of his imagination? He did put in more hours than any human could muster. Was he still asleep? You don't dream for this type of incident. It was just too frightening.

Again, he slowly turned the light off. As soon as his eyes adjusted themselves to the dark, he saw it again. It was a scary sight. It was too demonic for belief. Why was it here? He reached for the light. The death box disappeared with the light. He left the light on and, due to his overtime fatigue, fell asleep.

It was now morning. Sue was due to be back in a half hour before he left for work. Was he really having a life-like nightmare? Was there a casket in his house? He had to find the answer. If that was true, he couldn't let Sue stay here.

He waited.

Nothing happened. He did hear Sue pull up into the driveway. Should he tell her? If he did, would she think that he stepped way over the edge of his sanity? It would be too risky. He had to take the gamble and not tell her and arouse any suspicion.

He rushed out of the door and turned her back toward the car. He stepped into the driver's side and, together, they headed for his job.

She went to the office. There, she would fill in for the secretary. He went on to the field where he proceeded to begin his work. The next few hours provided some interesting moments.

It was lunchtime. Sue took the car and went to lunch. She wanted to go with him to lunch, but he insisted that she go with the other secretaries. He wanted to work through lunch and try to get home early for the weekend. He took his lunch and began munching on it.

He walked through the building. There it was again. The same casket he saw last night was now in the same building with him. What was going on here? Was he just too tired from all of the overtime? Why was this happening once again? He wanted answers and he wanted them now.

He walked over to it. He reached out for it. The metal of the lid seemed so cold to the touch. This was just too real to imagine. Why was it here?

He turned and walked away from the room. He only walked a few feet away. He heard a sound. The box was now moving. He couldn't believe it. Now, the thing was in motion. The only problem was that it wasn't being pushed by anyone. It was moving on its own accord.

He ran. He headed for the second floor. He ran up the stairs. It couldn't follow him up a flight of stairs-or could it? He walked into the back room. He opened up the door. There it was again. It was now in the room. Joe got frightened. The casket had indeed followed him up the stairs. Why?

He couldn't risk going up another flight. He decided to jump out of the window. He landed in the bushes in front of the building. He landed with a soft thud, brushed himself off and saw Sue in the distance. When she pulled up, he hopped into the car with her. He asked her to drive anywhere except home. He wasn't ready to go home just yet.

They drove to the summer house. She figured that he certainly needed some major rest. Her sister would take care of her son for the time being. She wanted to spend the time and take care of her husband.

She went to the kitchen to fix him a quick meal. He went into the bedroom. He needed some sleep. He stumbled into the room. Even though it was the afternoon, the room was very dark. He took off his clothes and went for his rest. He pulled up the cover.

Something was amiss. Sue usually kept two or three covers on the bed. He only felt one. It was a flimsy cover. He went to sit up. He bumped his head. Why? He put out his hand. It was then that he discovered his nightmare.


He struggled to get out but was useless. He was trapped. There was no lock. He was slowly suffocating to death. He felt darkness fast approaching. Soon, it was over.

Sue came into the room to feed him. She turned on the light. He didn't respond to the light. She dropped the food and checked on him. She didn't feel a pulse. She called for an ambulance. Later that evening, she found out that she was a widow once again.

A few days later after his funeral, the autopsy revealed that he suffered a massive heart attack. He was buried in a mahogany casket-the same type that he had seen during his last few days.

The messenger of death had followed him and claimed his life.


Maurice Bernier
Maurice Bernier
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Maurice Bernier

I am a diehard New Yorker! I was born in, raised in and love my NYC. My blood bleeds orange & blue for my New York Mets. I hope that you like my work. I am cranking them out as fast as I can. Please enjoy & share with your friends.

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