Friday 19 April 2013

'Death Penalty' by Stephan Burn

Death really isn’t as bad as people make out. 
Sure, there’s all manner of legal complications - inheritance and property ownership and the like - but mostly life just goes on. 
I’m lucky, really. I’m not the only one in this position, not in this community. Nobody quite knows why Regal Island is special in this way, but we’ve embraced it: the community has embraced me, and my buddies at the police department are just happy that the accident doesn’t stop me coming along to bowling nights. It’s a shame I can’t pick up a bowling ball or down a pitcher of beer, but I guess you’ve got to make some kind of sacrifice for a miracle, right?
It’s my wife who’s having the most trouble adapting. She did her grieving and her mourning, but here I still am. I can’t help out with dinner – or eat, for that matter – mow the lawn, pick up the shopping, or do any of those small repairs I’d been putting off for months. 
Worst of all, she always wanted kids. Now she never can. Not with me, anyhow. 
Sure, the ‘til death do us part’ business technically means she could move on - but how can she? Here I still am, every morning and evening, in her house, in her life, while she contends with being a widow – and having a husband at the same time.
The other problem is that it’s not just the good guys who carry on past their expiry date. Regal Island never had a lot of crime, but enough, and some of those guys have become pretty brazen now that they’re seemingly immortal. Sure, we can restrain them in circles of salt; but they can plan, and they can wait. After all, time is on their side.
But we’ll keep finding them, keep locking them up. It’s not like they can leave town; we keep a salt circle intact around the entire community and police it religiously. It makes some of the citizens feel like they’re locked up with the criminals. Criminals who seem to be coming here from all over the country to die - and live forever. 
But hey, it’s all in a day’s work for the Regal Island Police Department. 
Some say we’re cursed. But I say God bless the RIPD.

1 comment:

  1. This could be a whole novel - great idea! I hope you're working on it as we speak.


2024 Wigleaf Longlisting

Huge congratulations to Lisa Alletson whose 2024 FlashFlood piece, ' Translucent ' made the Wigleaf Top 50 longlist! You can read th...