“Wake” appeared in The Brownstone Review, No. 10, 2000.


Nor was she really sure why she was going to the funeral home to begin with. When she read the obituary notice in the paper this morning at breakfast, along with the visiting hours, the first thought that came into her mind was Susan’s plan of becoming an undertaker. At the time, Brenda had no idea where a fellow high school sophomore could have gotten such at idea, but from the delight Susan had taken in it, Brenda had assumed that her main reason for choosing the profession was the shocked and disbelieving looks that greeted her discussions of it. Brenda had to admit, though, that Susan had been serious about it. She’d sent away for literature from the New England Institute in Boston and had even observed an embalming at Cole’s Funeral Home, refusing, however, to discuss the procedure; but whether out of loyalty to Tom Cole or to the corpse, Brenda was not sure.

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