The beginning of The Devil Has Dimples starts with a funeral on Halloween night.
“Mackie, you ever been to a funeral on Halloween?”
He thought for a moment, most likely turning the decades over in his mind searching for an answer.
“Nope. This is the first night funeral I’ve ever been at. Makes me think it might be a good idea when my time comes.”
“Never for me either, although I did attend a Halloween wedding once. It was a bit over the top,” said Grant.
Maudie’s casket was perched on a roller parked next to the grave hole.
“Her casket looks like it cost a handsome dollar,” I said.
Mackie nodded. “They should have given her a kid’s coffin, since she was so small. If’n I die in the next ten minutes, stuff me in there with her. There’s more than enough room.”
Grant chuckled. “I don’t think your wife would like that, Mackie.”
Mackie shook his head, “You’re most likely right. Maybe I can get us a double wide and we can sleep together ‘til the end of time. That would jolt her.”
Grant and I couldn’t help but laugh, the visual alone was hilarious.
We watched as kids, busy munching on treats, and bobbing for apples, threw apple cores and candy wrappers all over the ground.
The more serious-minded adults brought lawn chairs and ice chests to get a head start on the beer bust.
When the time for the service arrived, everyone lit their candles. I have to tell you that was a show. The candlelight sure was pretty. Some of the kids had their candles in hollowed-out pumpkins, so there were orange and white lights all over the place. It was dark enough that you couldn’t see the empty candy wrappers anymore. A few placed candles on the built-up burial sites, making the area rather festive, even for a graveyard.
Silas managed to burn his snout almost off with his candle. Bitsy threw a bucket of apples and water over him and his cronies and managed to put that fire out quite nicely.
Reverend Benny Gagnard stood at the head of the casket. Drawing his fist up to his mouth, he coughed to clear his throat, then said in his loud, hearty sermon voice, “She’s dead. Thank you, Lord.”
Mackie turned to me. “That was the shortest eulogy I’ve ever heard.”
“Yeah,” I agreed, “He must be still ticked off ‘cause of Maudie telling his wife about his indiscretion with the choir leader.”
Mackie nodded. “Just goes to show you. What goes around, comes around.”
Then the choir led out the song. Angie Tassin, the choir leader and Maudie’s arch-enemy, raised a little triangle and whacked it twice. The choir, all Angie’s friends, began to sing, “Ding dong, the witch is dead, the wicked, wicked witch is dead.” Angie finally got her revenge. They continued the song while the rest of us hooted, hollered, and laughed so hard, tears rolled down our faces. Silas fell out of his lawn chair and lost what was left of his burned snout, but didn’t spill a drop of beer.
The only person who seemed to take everything serious was Sedge. He was dressed up in a new black suit complete with the label still on the sleeve, a hat in his hand and even carried a bunch of yellow flowers he’d picked that grow wild along the roadside during this time of year.
Mackie said, “I’ve never known Sedge to dress in a suit. Didn’t even know that he had one.”
“Maybe he’s in costume.” I replied.
“As what? A funeral director?” Grant asked.
“He could be a mourner, what with the flowers and all. He and Maudie have been friends for a quarter of a century.”
Sedge placed his hand on the casket and started to cry.
The three of us stood there, uncomfortable, not knowing what to do.
Someone dressed up in a witch’s costume walked over to him and patted him on the back, giving him what comfort she could and handed him a handkerchief. He was so overcome with grief that he almost toppled into the grave.
Finally, the singing stopped, and while everyone wiped tears and smirks off their faces, the casket was lowered, and old Sedge dropped his bouquet on top.
Then Silas threw in Bitsy’s candle and that started a candle throwing frenzy. Needless to say, there was a really big blaze going in no time.
The grave diggers got hopping and shoveled dirt in fast. Eventually the blaze was buried and so was Maudie.
The town’s sure going to miss that old gal. She sure knew how to enjoy life, and her death wasn’t so bad either.
Then came the biggest surprise of all.
The next day, the daughter no one knew existed showed up in Boggy Bayou.
You can read reviews and other tomfoolery, such as where to purchase this amazing piece of work here.
Pepper is in the process of proofing the softcover edition, which should be available in the next few weeks…she’s old, so she’s slow.