The coffin lid flew open like the cork off a champagne bottle, and the would-be corpse sat up, gasping for air. He looked around and felt his body, checking all limbs were intact as his lungs adjusted to the earthly air. His yellow three-piece suit was a mess of sweat and blood as he had been squirming and pounding on the wood with his bare knuckles and elbows and feet for what felt like hours. Wheezing, drooling and extremely disoriented, he locked eyes with Mother.
She clutched her mouth, chunks of excessive mascara pooling down her shocked face. “My Peter!! You’re alive! You’ve come back to me!” screamed Mother, mere seconds before fainting. With the back of her left hand against her forehead, as though on cue, she blacked out. Her thick legs gave way, crumpling in a heap on a pile of tinder.
Gasps and shrieks were heard collectively throughout the mystified crowd. The sight of a now-alive Peter, who was deathly pale and totally shaken, was enough make anyone question not only their sanity but how any of this could be possible. Most of the crowd stood back and squeezed their loved one or child, or stood in front of said loved one with outstretched arms of protection, as though a ferocious animal had just retained freedom and was about to pounce on them. Tensions and heart rates soared in the face of such profound shock.
His journey from life to death, then to life again didn’t do him justice. The embalming fluids injected into his body instantly created a violent puking scenario. With his pale hand on the edge of the casket, he projectile vomited what one might consider liters of bodily waste. More gasps were expelled and mother’s turned their children’s glances away from the debacle of throw up.
Peter breathed deeply and used his tailored sleeve to wipe clean his quivering mouth and teary eyes. Henry and Caulfield came to the side of their brother’s pine box, shrouded by a sense of nervousness they never knew before. After all, it was traumatizing enough seeing the brother die but now witnessing his rebirth?? With Peter’s arms around their shoulders, they lifted him slowly from his coffin and out onto the damp, wooded lawn. When they let go of him, Peter’s body gave way and he collapsed, in the same fashion as Mother, who was still unconscious, in the arms of the concerned Minister who was doting on her as he stroked her nest of hair.
“Oh, my sweet Mabel. I’m going to make you a sandwich when you come to. I don’t know why but I think you will want one. Does this sound good, Mabel? Mabel?” Upon saying her name, the Minister shook her repeatedly, her lifeless arms wagging around.