Not Really Dead

One week after attending the funeral of a close friend, you receive a postcard in the mail with the words, “I’m not dead. Meet me tonight at Guido’s Pizzeria. Tell no one.”

Post your response (500 words or less) in the comments below.

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4 thoughts on “Not Really Dead

  1. kathleenmagner

    Sadie crinkled her nose at the smell of grease and burnt pepperoni when the entrance to Guido’s Pizzeria opened.

    “Are you sure you won’t come inside?”

    Hugging her jacket close, Sadie gave Mama Guido the same smile she had every fifteen minutes for the past hour. The snow had tapered off, but the descending darkness gave the late afternoon an ominous edge.

    “No. I’m fine.”

    “You’re going to freeze out here.”

    Enduring the repeated chastisement, Sadie burrowed deeper into her hand knit scarf and defrosted her face with a sigh. She tried to pull some warmth from Mabel’s tropically themed postcard tucked into her inside pocket but the thought served to stoke her irritation instead. Mama Guido’s dismissive wave spiked it further, and Sadie pivoted while the rotund woman wobbled inside where brick ovens blazed.

    Striding along the sidewalk, Sadie crunched the flakes fallen into her boots’ previous prints. Other treaded soles had added their mark, the crowd nearly exposing the cement at the street’s corner.

    Iced asphalt peeked out beneath tire tracks and glistened in the yellowed lamp arching overhead. Rubbing at her arms, Sadie rustled the down inside her sleeves. She stomped her feet, encouraging her toes to thaw. She watched the passing of a sedan and a hearty bus complete with clunking chains around its massive tires. They trundled along, their long shadows chasing them out of sight.

    Another shade seemed to leap into view and scurry along the brick wall alongside Guido’s. The shape seemed oddly familiar and despite her second thoughts, Sadie turned her back to the road. A glint, like the emerald cross Mabel had always worn around her neck, beckoned from where a dumpster peeked out from behind the restaurant.

    Pulling her cap down over her forehead’s furrows, Sadie stalked after the curious gleam.



    Sadie sped her gait and rounded the dumpster. She stopped short when snow and brick faced her instead of the face she had expected.



    Stepping in a cautious circle, Sadie passed over the back stoop, the dumpster, the bins of the picture frame store next door, and followed the fence along the perimeter of flanking apartments, and then the gates of the bottom floors at her left. Her frown deepened until she traced the fire escape and caught a glint at the initial landing.

    Mabel’s vibrant smile sparkled like new fallen snow.

    “I knew you’d come.” Wiggling through the opening, she hung by her arms, and then plopped onto the ground with a wet splat.

    Sadie gaped, but her desire for answers she’d already waited an hour to hear dissolved her surprise. “What are you doing here?”

    Mabel adjusted the hood of her parka over freshly purpled hair, before jutting out a hip and setting both hands at her waist. “What do you mean?”

    “You’re supposed to be dead.”

    …. Click here to read the rest and feel free to leave a comment.

  2. bilbobaggins321

    My bedroom door creaked open for the fifteenth time.
    “Here’s your last chance go, Mikey.”
    “No!” I said in tears, my head buried in my pillow.
    “Oh, honey,” she said sympathetically. “I know it’s a sad time when a best friend dies, but you have to get over it. I’ll be waiting in the hall.” The door creaked shut.

    When I didn’t show up, she apparently left, by the empty garage when I finally went downstairs. Reaching for the tissues, I noticed that our mail slot was full. Maybe there would be something that would brighten the gloom. I leafed throught the bills. Spoke too soon. I was about to put it on the counter when I saw one thing that I had forgotten to see- a postcard. It had a field of sunflowers on the front, and I automatically flipped it over.

    Dear Mikey,
    I know that this is probably a shock to you, but I’m not dead. Just calm down. I know that your mother left for the funeral. In the meantime, meet me at Guido’s Pizza down the street at one o’clock on the dot.
    Regards, Henry

    It was hard to keep my hands from shaking, and I set the postcard down and retreated as far from it as possible. I couldn’t believe it. In fact, I didn’t know what to believe. Either Henry made that hit from a truck incredibly realistic, with blood included, or it was some prankster hoping to cash in on my sadness. Either way, I was going to investigate. I slipped on my shoes and started down the block.

    Ebd of Part One- Please Comment

  3. jmiff328

    The mood was somber in the 19th century colonial style funeral home. The living room wall had been knocked out to make it and the bedroom one. It was twice its original size to accommodate extra large funerals. It was comfortable and serene with peach colored walls covered with pictures of watercolor landscapes. The carpet was a deep pink color not far from the walls. It was thick and you sink down just standing in it. The atmosphere and surroundings can almost make you forget your childhood best friend is inside the extra large mahogany casket in front of the room.
    Funerals in small towns become events and this was no different. With the circumstances of William’s death it had become a spectacle to rival Friday night football. A couple hundred people were lined up at doors and had been for hours just to catch a glimpse of a murdered body. They were noticeably disappointed when they realized the casket was closed.
    I never know how to act at funerals. I did what I usually do, stayed near the back not moving but not standing still either. I shuffled my weight from one foot to the other until the line of mourners slowly thinned out. Handshakes and tearful hugs were doled out to the grieving widow. The line died altogether and I stayed static in the back. Jennifer, the widow of my late friend William, moved toward me and stopped a foot short. She looked left then right, turning her head in exaggerated fashion. She then thrust herself forward with considerable force pressing her lips into mine. I grabbed her by the shoulders and pushed her back into her own space. “Stop Jenni!” I said. “There could be people still here, and this is Will’s funeral for God sakes!” Jenni’s lip quivered, I thought she was going to cry but instead it turned into a smile. She spoke slowly. “Bless your heart; did you forget how William died? Because I didn’t. Would you like for me to remind you?” “No I don’t think that’s ness.” I was interrupted by Jenni. “A phone call from an old friend woke him up in the middle of the night, the friend was in trouble and he had to go out, he.” “Stop!” I yelled. I knew how he died. It was impossible to forget something like that. Television makes it look like nothing but you can’t believe everything you see. Jenni walked around me and headed for the exit. “I’m sure I’ll see you at the cemetery tomorrow.” she said. I replied “Yeah, unless I see you first.” She was so beautiful I couldn’t help myself. She left and I turned to the empty room, “I’m sorry” I said to the dead body in the box.
    I planned to take a shower and head straight over to Jenni’s. I dropped my jacket on the kitchen chair back and moved on to the bathroom but something caught my eye. It was a postcard face up with a picture of a decidedly white Jesus floating above water with a halo over his head. I flipped the card over and read what changed my plans drastically. It said, “I’m not dead. Meet me tonight at Guido’s Pizza.” It was signed WR. William Reynolds, my heart raced as I put on my coat to head out again.

  4. RainbowKitsune

    She couldn’t imagine the night wind getting any colder but here it was, not two seconds after she finished muttering to herself then flicks of ice and rain started to mix within the air. Living near the ocean was nice, but any season other then summer and the weather seemed absolutely dreadful. It didn’t help that the constant noise from incoming ships and large semi-trucks were a daily occurrence; even at night, the area was hard at work. This district was the only one in the country that made full-time use of the overnight shift, making the would-be back allies come to life.

    “I’m not dead.” Kindra repeated the words over and over again, the end result providing little comfort against either the semi-snow, semi-rain drenched weather or the mixed feelings towards the note left for her on an unmarked postcard. As for the weather, even her best winter coat didn’t seem to stand a chance, which proceeded to make the top of her ‘things to go shopping for’ list for the coming weekend. The postcard, however, was an entirely different story.

    Her best friend, Liira, was the type of person who had this annoying knack for getting into trouble. With a torrid on-and-off relationship (both friend and personally), needless to say, neither had been on speaking terms for the past six months. So it had been a shock to Kindra to find an invitation in the mail for Liira’s funeral.

    -Exactly one year ago-

    “You’re so intolerable sometimes, Liira! It’s like you don’t care about anything that goes on around you, as long as you get what you want!” Tears mixed with anger as Kindra shouted at Liira from across the room. Liira seemed to shrug off the accusations with ease, unemotional and still.

    “What did you want, Kindy?” Liira sneered back. “What were you expecting? I don’t really care who you are – we aren’t together, we aren’t partners and I could question our friendship.”

    Liira moved the bed sheets aside in one swift motion; her dressy nightgown barely reaching past her upper thighs. “I do what I do because I must, baby.” This time, Kindra noticed the subtle change in attitude. Liira was trying to tell her something, just her, which meant either one of two things: ‘Liira was in trouble (which was, in it-self a vague statement)’, or ‘Liira was in life-threatening danger, making this the second time in five years trouble’.

    I bright, wide smile crossed Liira’s lips as she stood not five feet away. Gentle, delicate fingers made their way around Kindra’s face and an involuntary sigh parted her lips.

    “Always remember the Bronx. We part, we cry and shout in anger but we are like beings of habit. Like a circle, we shall find our way back to the beginning.”Liira’s words seemed to help Kindra to relax, and the previous feelings of anger felt towards this woman had vanished. “Now go, before the clocks can no longer turn back time.”

    -End flashback-

    No sooner had her mind finally been able to separate itself from the extreme temperatures wrapped around her when Kindra was forcefully pulled back into the present. Hail stung face, almost blinding her but it didn’t matter anymore. The sign for Guido’s Pizzeria, brightly lit in green and red neon letters created a beacon for her in the storm. A little over three months ago, the new Pizzeria had its grand opening; a new, quaint twenty four hour diner. Even in the dead of night the place was very popular yet, before this new diner, the restaurant had been just-as-successful dance club. The Bronx.

    “Wait for me always, Kindy.” The words Liira had whispered to her before they parted ways paced across her mind. An erratic heart beat, nerves that felt like twitching at the drop of a pin increased with each step. She counted the stairs as she ascended; swinging doors pushed open effortlessly to reveal a classic 80’s style diner and pizzeria.

    Kindra’s heart rose towards her throat as she locked eyes with that familiar stranger across the room. She couldn’t see clearly; the shadowy corner covered the strangers face. Walking steadily past the hostess, ignoring the stares and comments surrounding her, only one thing mattered now. That postcard, who was it really from and who was this person that caught her attention so deeply? The shadows lifted slowly, and a familiar voice reached her ears.

    “It’s time, Kindy. To stop waiting.”


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