Chapter 27, Part 2: Bread Week is for the Undead

Laurel and Hodges Funeral Home

Alice

It was a truth universally acknowledged, that breaking and entering wasn’t a crime if you didn’t break anything. At least, that was the excuse Alice gave herself as she jammed a hairpin into the lock on the basement door. Ben tried to define his contribution to the effort as “keeping watch,” but Alice was having none of it.

“You’re a non-corporeal being who doesn’t exist outside of my body except for in graveyards. You can’t keep watch.”

Creaking wooden stairs gave way to freshly scrubbed tile that did nothing to mask the sharp chemical smell of embalming fluid. Here, among the many coffins and urns there was no doubt that Barbara Jean Jeffries was dead.

For Alice there was nothing fancy or mystical about raising the dead. She just called them and waited—sort of like dialing a phone.

“What in the devil? I haven’t even started my rest! Whoever it is snatched hold of my spirit better explain themselves!”

“Uh…hi…it’s me,” Alice waved, awkwardly.

Barbara pantomimed a scythe.

“Oh no!” Alice jolted. “That’s uh Ben’s—er, my employee. I’m Alice.”

“Mmhmm,” Barbara Jean narrowed her eyes. “Then who, pray tell, is that gentleman behind you?”

Ben. The God of—

“I don’t need all the pomp and circumstance,” she scolded. “Also, you’re not the God of Death. She is,” Barbara added, cocking her head in Alice’s direction.

“Yeah, kind of…for now,” Alice took a steadying breath, “And as The God of Death I was wondering if I could trouble you for your banana bread recipe?”

“My what? You woke me up from eternal rest for that? What ails you child?”

Alice flushed and then cringed. “Well, I mean I figured you weren’t using it so…”

The argument sounded pathetic even to her own ears.

Barbara Jean sighed and motioned for Alice to help her out of the coffin.

“You know, I didn’t teach my kids a damn thing about that recipe, kept thinking I had more time to pass it on when they would truly understand. Now, it’s too late. I’m dead and all that waiting ain’t mattered a lick.”

“That’s not true,” Alice assured her, thinking of her own mother. “Maybe they didn’t always show it, but I’m sure they appreciated you.”

“Please, child. The worst thing your own flesh and blood can discover is that their parents are but mere mortals—regular sims making it up as they go along.”

Barbara looked down at her outfit and laughed. “All dressed up and nowhere to go. Death comes to wake me up over some damn banana bread.”

Alice dipped her head. What she wanted from Barbara Jean was selfish. This woman thought she died having no impact on her family when here, the whole sainted lot of them was sitting in a vestibule prepared to wait anywhere from 45 minutes to 3 hours to bid her adieu. 

“Ms. Jeffries, why don’t you come with me? I think…I think there’s something you should see.”

    6 comments
  • Dolly Llama
    May 3, 2020

    Barbara recognizing Alice as the God of Death clued me into something I hadn’t realized earlier: being the God of Death doesn’t come with as much bookkeeping as I thought it would. I thought it would be like black-comedy Santa Claus, all running around screaming about this stupid pandemic for the wrong reasons while blipping around the world to see people out. It’s telling how Ben has supermagicalawesomeomg powers but all the time in the world to bug Alice. Speaking of, does the God of Death just cover human deaths, or do they also oversee invertebrates? Microbes? They’d need to find someone with stellar time management skills who isn’t afraid of phone calls.

    Dang. Between “and so the witch tore out the man’s heart because he mansplained too much” and “a funeral for a date? Is this because you’re concerned about my dietary restrictions?” &c., Vlad’s hogging all the good lines. Those are the sort of lines you copy-paste to your best friends before the chapter goes live. A couple other bloggers have been doing GloPoWriMo and I’m going to go back and read their poems with that witch thing as the last line. The tonal shift’s only jarring in some of them. WIP example:

    (yada yada)
    A pallor where the sun had shown; where it had shone for me
    And fed the field of marigolds—and so the witch tore out the man’s heart because he mansplained too much.

    Pretty ok.

    Vlad’s blazer looks hot pink under the warm-spectrum night-shift, which added to my enjoyment of the chapter. As did Gwendolyn! GWENDOLYN! CAN YOU HEAR ME? TEACH HIM HOW TO BAKE. And lord, this thing has like 30 antagonists by now and everyone’s murdery. The U.W.B.S. producers are going to be overjoyed by the drama, then horrified, then overjoyed again.

  • theplumbob
    July 9, 2020

    Aww, the whole thing with Barabara was surprisingly heartwarming. How nice that Alice made her be able to appreciate her own wake, very thoughtful of her!

    And yay, Alice and Vlad did meet ul in their fancy attire, and have bounced back, yess!

    Nice to see Gwen again. Miss Hell, not so much. Ugh. This can’t be good news.

  • Yimiki
    February 16, 2021

    Awww, I really liked this chapter. What Alice did for Barbara was so heartwarming. Her actions have made me think she’s skilled before (like with Contessa), but this is the first time that I thought Alice would actually make a pretty good god of death. And then even Vlad came around and sincerely apologised and awhhh my heart <3 all the fuzzies.

    • feroshgirl
      February 16, 2021

      I’m biased but I definitely think she’ll make a great God of Death! Hehe, yes, Vlad is capable of apologies. Things are so warm and fuzzy right now, sigh 🙂

      :: evil laughter ::

  • Manny Likes Sims
    March 25, 2022

    The banter and wit are supreme here! Especially Vlad. Gold star for you, Vlad. And Vlad teaming up with “hell spawn” Gwendolyn? Heck yeah, I’m 120% on board for this duo of evil-being-who’s-actually-smol and smol-being-who’s-actually-evil!!

    • feroshgirl
      March 25, 2022

      HAHAHA! THIS IS MY FAVE DYNAMIC!!! Vlad and Gwendolyn, BFFs forever.

      so glad you enjoyed the banter. Even now, I feel this is one of the best chapters I’ve written with these two!

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