Fiction

Short Story #02: Last Rites of the Living Dead

last rites living dead short story

Last Rites of the Living Dead

(Note: Mature content.  Only suitable for readers 18 years of age and over.)

Apart from his older brother, Jon, and a handful of trusted hospital porters, the building was strictly off limits.

Well, not exactly.

Short Story Writer’s Journal:

This story twisted and turned in my imagination, requiring a final push today to see it through to the end. The good thing here is that I wrote a record 1407 words; my previous best new daily word count for fiction stood at only 700+.

The initial story idea came from yet another insightful New Scientist article; this one about the medical world’s struggles to come up with a practical definition of brain death since the 1960s. And what a shocking real-life story it is. Our life in their hands.

The alien abduction angle only came as I was about half way through the tale and wondering how both Dr. Old and the mortician could ramp up the drama over all these brain-dead cadavers stacking up in the bowels of this admittedly unusual hospital.

The line that did it for me was from a well-known Peter Gabriel hit, Solsbury Hill, in which the singer tells of coming to take someone home. I’ve listened to this wonderful song more than a dozen times alone this month so I guess it’s no surprise that it influenced the plot line.

I really enjoyed writing story #2 because I had no idea until yesterday how it might end. There’s a touch of grim dark in there too and I suspect that’s coming from my bedtime reading of Roald Dahl’s short story collection; Skin and other Stories.

A summary listing of all short stories in this challenge can be found by clicking 52-in-52.)