Robert could never do what John did for a living. Working with all those corpses... The thought of touching the cold lifeless flesh made him ill. But then, somebody had to do it. And it was a good thing that there were people like John around. If it were left up to him, he'd just bury them. To heck with preparing the body!
Robert pulled up in front of the enormous building. The doorman parked the car for him as he walked up the front steps. He hoped John was ready. Even sitting in the lobby gave him the creeps. He approached the desk and asked if they would notify John that he was there. Then he sat down and flipped through the pages of a magazine.
The day had been rather slow. They'd only had 2 bodies brought in. The second had arrived only about a half hour ago. Jeffery had taken it downstairs. John had offered to stay and do the embalming, but Jeff told him to go ahead and leave.
John stood at the front parlor window watching for Robert when a thought occured to him. "Jeff... You know how Robert's skitterish about the stiffs?" he asked, turning to help Jeff arrange the casket he had brought into the room.
"Yeah?" Jeff responded.
"You want to help me play a trick on him?" John asked, laughing.
"What you got in mind?"
"Go downstairs and lay on a table. Take my coat with you. Then I'll tell him that I gotta go get it, and bring him down with me."
"You're really rotten, John. You know that?" Jeff laughed. "We'll scare the pants off of him!"
"Here he is now. Go take a nap, Jeff" he suggested.
"Robert. Hey, thanks for picking me up."
"Yeah, that's okay... You ready to go, man? This place gives me the willies." Roberts eyes darted around.
"Come on with me for a second. I just have to get my coat."
"Where is it?" Robert haunched his shoulders.
"Downstairs. Come on. Then we can just go out the side. It's closer to the car anyway." John started walking away, leaving Robert no choice but to follow.
Halfway down the stairs, John told him about the body that had just been brought in.
Robert hesitated and asked "How many are in there?"
"Just a few. Come on Robert. You don't think they're gonna jump up & grab you, do you? And I assure you, it's not catchy," he laughed as he grabbed Robert's arm and walked with him.
They entered the room and John went over to the coat rack behind the tables. He grabbed his coat and tossed it over to Robert. "You can come in, you know. You don't have to stand in the door. I'll just be a minute. I have to check out some of the supplies."
Robert was opening his mouth to say he'd wait in the car, when he noticed a slight movement on one of the tables. Suddenly the sheet rustled and fell away from the body as it sat up. Robert screamed a blood-curdeling cry and stumbled out of the room and up the stairs.
John heard footsteps behind him and the sound of the sheet being dropped all the way to the floor. He was still bent down on the pretense of going through the cabinets. He was chuckling as he got up and started to turn around. "Boy, I'll bet I just blew any chance of geting a ride from him again."
He looked up into the cold blank stare of Mr. Arthur Kultz, no.10943.
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