Each step is a key for heels. When you go down the stairs, the steps seem all the same. It doesn’t matter if your legs are long or short. What really matters is the rhythm.
<<Right, here we are.>>
You’re never at ease when having a coffin over your shoulders. You can feel the head of the dead inside banging at every corner every time you turn on the landing. Simply when you’re an undertaker, you must forget it. The star of the show, the dead, the departed has to be forgotten.
When you have a coffin over your shoulders, all the attention has to be on the stairs.
36, 37, 38.
Every step is a trap, as sheet music for a short-sighted musician.
<<The last effort and we’re there, guys.>>
This is the voice of the agency owner, whispering few steps away, his voice full of anxiety.
Someone said the dead was a trapezist and he fell from 7 meters right at the center of the arena. He drop there like an angel, or better as a cat. Everyone called him with this nickname, The Cat, anyways.
49, 50, 51.
Outside there’s the whole family and then his friends. The jackets are well torn apart by few hours in the car, the dark circles around the eyes colored by tears.
In the understandable silence, only the crying of a horsewoman. Apparently, there’s still no vaccination against death.
72, 73, 74.
If you search for problems, here’s where they start, in the last few steps. Luckily, this time it seems all going on well, “all smooth” as a skater would say.
Oh, no, please, not smooth! Rough, attached to the ground, stable.
Few more steps and the sweat starts dripping down the point of the nose. Outside you can see a patch of sunlight, few curious look at it in bewilderment. Not too far, a dark sky promises a battle soon.
75, 76, 77.
They said it wasn’t the fall but the laughs to kill him. Apparently, he started to laugh, a leg bent unnaturally and the head lost, like a red sponge, in the sand of the arena.
Yes, they said he laughed, scary mask, while everyone tried to help him and someone crossed himself, with a hand in front of the mouth.
Just a second later-the difference between a mere eighty and an eighty-one-and you fall. And then you fly away, The Cat at his last show.
78, 79, 80.
The glass door is few steps away, open.
The head of the trapeze artist, the corpse inside the coffin, bang again and this time, eight sweaty hands lost their grip. An instant is enough for the coffin to fly, with an original jump, a travel abroad, away from everyone, from the door open.
They said that he always tried the impossible, a cat always upside- down, ready to jump.
The coffin lands like a large wooden airplane- or a shiny tree. It crashes in front of horrified faces, half-smiling mischievous and slow, unaware people. When it lands, it’s just a knot of wood’s splinters and noise.
You cannot see the corpse, but you can see just a shapeless pile of wood and metal in the street.
Someone smile, embarrassed, the hands pop to the mouths as corks from sparkling wine bottles. Someone make the others uncomfortable, simply looking around.
When everything seems to be only a story to share with friends, it starts raining. As it was a last laugh from the dead, the rain wash away the splinters and eight arms take what remains—his last baptism.
Up in the dark sky appears a light that seems an orange slice.
And among wooden splinters lies a cat.
This story is property of Flyingstories and in the person of Daniele Frau. For any reproductions of this story, please contact the author.