One Last Request
by R.C. Murphy
Nobody cared that William Clay Parker met his maker at the end of the Sheriff’s rope on a blustery May afternoon two weeks prior. Bill—as his only friend called him—earned his neck tie well and good when he put a bullet through the preacher’s wife after she caught him stealing the good silver service pieces out of the church. If his ma were still breathing, she’d have lectured him good and long while he hung to death and continued while they shoveled dirt over his pine box.
No, what concerned the folks of Coloma the most was the fact that Bill Parker crawled out of his grave that morning and sauntered down the road, humming a tune through a somewhat bent throat.
Startled eyes watched Bill walk past in his funeral finery from behind thin sheets of glass. A bag of herbs hung from his belt. If anyone were brave enough to let him close, they’d note that the herbs did nothing to conceal the stench of rotten flesh.
At the end of the road, Bill marched up to a house he knew better than his own. Rosie Darling, her eyes wide as a belt buckle, tried her best to smile at the man that kept her in silk robes and whiskey. But by God, the grave didn’t do a thing to improve his looks. Not that he’d been a heartbreaker before.
“Rosie, my dear, I’m in need of your special talents,” Bill told her.
“You came all this way for me, I’m flattered.” Rosie figured it must have been a long crawl out of hell for a piece of tail, she’d oblige a dead man his last request.
They retired to the back room. Rosie performed her trademark tease, showing just enough skin to raise his attention before crawling under the blankets. Bill grinned. His breath stunk, she noticed, as he sidled to the bedside.
Off came the belt. Off came the hat. Down went his trousers…
“Hell’s Gates,” Bill muttered and stared at his rotten dick lying on the wood floor. “Don’t suppose you’d give me a discount now, Rosie?”