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as he invited us to the store for a few colds ones afterwards.” With a tear appearing in the corner of Bob’s eye as he cleared his throat as he took a deep breath. “I was curious if he had followed through on going to the lawyers this year. So joking I asked him if had left the Thunderbird to Ralph or me, which would chap Ralph’s ass.” Robert paused and was reaching for the glass of sweet tea on the coffee table in front of him. After a big gulp he continued. “Sis, we all were laughing and joking and I wasn’t serious. However Uncle Dino’s joyful demeanor changed and his statement was firm as he slammed his fist on the coffee table.” “What did he say Bob?” TJ asked. “He informed us he wasn’t planning on dying anytime soon so there was time for the drawing of a will. Then he blurted out the statement that shocked all of us. ‘Bob I can promise you that whether I’m living or dead I’ll make damn sure Ralph never drives the Thunderbird a day in his life.’” “Damn, someone needs to let Ralph know that. Strange things happen when a Coulson shouts out in anger. I have seen a litter of kittens meowing one night and all dead the next morning” TJ stated. “That’s far enough TJ, and I see where you’re going. You’re about to start in on we are witches.” Susie said. TJ tossed up his hands while shrugging his shoulders as Susie asked Bob. “Well did Uncle Dino have a will or not?” “Nope, Beatrice gets everything.” “So a man in good health dies of a massive coronary and no one is suspicious.” Susie barked. “That is correct, it appears that you and I can only see the pattern.” Bob said. “I guess so. I don’t understand why others can’t connect the dots, the facts are there.” Susie said as she began raising fingers as she stated them. “Uncle Dino was the fifth husband of Beatrice Mavis. We all know her four previous husbands suffered heart attacks. None of them survived and wound up six feet under before their time…like Uncle Dino.” “Oh I agree Sis. For the life of me I can’t understand why she hasn’t been questioned about any of the deaths.” Bob stated. Although there was much more speculation Susie and Bob wanted to cover, they agreed sleep was needed when TJ reminded them the services for Dino were at ten the next morning. *** They all had gathered around Dino’s graveside to pay their respects and bid a final farewell to Dino. Susie looking around noticed the lack of flowers, the coffin was even bare of a spray. Tears were streaming from her eyes as the sky turned black and a cold wind blew over the grave. Goose bumps began to cover Susie’s body causing her to shiver as an uneasy dark emerald green aura arose from the grave, hovered, then vanished in another gust of cold wind. She clutched TJ’s

arm tighter as she whispered. “Did you see that?” “See what?” he asked, his forehead wrinkled. “That dark green mass of gasses or light that rose from Uncle Dino’s grave.” “What? No I didn’t. Don’t be making something out of nothing.” TJ said as he was patting Susie’s hand as he added. “What you probably saw was caused by the thick clouds blocking the sun then uncovering it. The changing of light caused a weird reflection in the lenses of your glasses.” TJ explained. TJ along with Susie and the other attendees jumped and were looking skyward as what sounded like thunder was rumbling across the heavens. “I hope the weather holds till we get Uncle Dino buried.” Susie whispered to TJ. “I don’t know what that was, but I do know it wasn’t thunder.” TJ said as he was exploring the sky and horizon. “Now – Now; let’s don’t be getting paranoid, it was just thunder.” Susie said then snickered. “Cute Susie,” TJ said as he changed his focus from the sky to the people at the grave site. “I have heard of being late for a funeral but this is ridiculous. I see Beatrice but not Ralph. What time you got?” Susie looked down at her watch then at TJ. “It’s only 9:45, so maybe Ralph will get here on time.” Susie answered as she began wiping her tears. Susie gasped as the aura returned and streaked down into the grave as the sky cleared and the bright sunshine returned. The service started on time as a few were still arriving as the preacher began to speak. Two seconds in, Susie’s face showed the disappointment she had with the man of the cloth. He wasn’t giving a eulogy or any type of celebration of life service. There was no talk of Dino that would bring comfort to those that were mourning the loss of him. Instead the preacher dove into a hellfire and brimstone message. The man of God closed his part of the service by offering those attending a chance to escape hell. When no one accepted his invitation his face showed disgust as he was turning the service over to the Mason representatives. They were from the local lodge Dino and Bob were members of. The final part of the service included family and friends returning a shovel full of dirt to the grave after the vault that contained the coffin was lowered. The pattering of the soil was rising from the dark opening in the earth as the shovel was emptied then passed. Bob took the shovel from a lodge brother and retrieved a scoop of earth. Bob started turning toward the grave when he paused and lowered the shovel to the ground. Bob squatted down beside the dirt filled spade. The tears flowing down his cheeks were falling from his face. They were being soaked up by the soil within the shovel as Bob began patting the black earth. Letting out a sigh, Bob eased back to his feet then lifted the shovel from the ground. Bob extended it over the dark abyss, rotated his wrist, returning the dark soil from which it came. Susie was taking the shov-

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The Corral - Online Magazine Issue: 1 Edition: Halloween 2019