Herb hated funerals. The crying, the dark clothing, the somber mood. The whole scene was downright depressing. Then there was the procession. Traffic jams always stressed him out, and that’s all a funeral procession was—one big traffic jam.

Herb watched as the police car led the procession through a red light. He noted the expressions on the other motorist’s faces as they sat at a standstill — the impatience and irritation at having their lives interrupted by an absurd parade to honor a dead man. Well, how did they think he felt? They could get back to their lives at the next green light, but not Herb. He was stuck in this ridiculous parade all the way to the cemetery. And speaking of ridiculous—the suit he had on was about as comfortable as a straightjacket. He’d never wear something like this under normal circumstances, so why was he expected to now?

As the procession crept through town, Herb checked his watch. It had been nearly twenty minutes since they’d left the funeral home. Twenty minutes and they’d barely made it five miles. Herb sighed. He couldn’t spend all afternoon playing follow-the-leader at twenty miles per hour.

Finally, the cemetery came into view. Herb watched with relief as the police car signaled left and led the line of cars through the old iron gates. The gravel path wound through the graveyard, taking them past age-old tombstones and even older mausoleums, to an empty section of land where a six-foot-deep hole in the ground waited. Finally, the procession stopped, and the driver of the hearse opened the door.

It’s about time, Herb thought as he smoothed out the wrinkles in his suit, lay back down in the coffin, and pulled the lid shut.


Chris Reed  Chris Reed's website has fiction and poetry appearing in a variety of small press publications including Black Ink Horror, Killer Works, Chimeraworld 5, and the Cutting Block Press anthology, Tattered Souls: The Provocative Boundary of Fear, with works scheduled to appear in upcoming issues of Twisted Dreams and OMG! The Book of Awesome Stuff. Aside from writing, Chris enjoys Seinfeld reruns, frozen pizza, and hockey fights. He lives in Davison, MI, with his wife and their two enigmatic children.

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