A Saturday Funeral

The Gutter's golden rule?

Don't let your mouth write a check your butt can't cash.

A Saturday Funeral by Michael Davis

Billie Lou sat on a folding chair in the funeral tent, not crying, just looking at the hole that held her husband. She was alone.

Working the funeral—and over time at that— Merl and Kipp sat a ways away waiting to fill the hole.

“Sum bitch, Saturday’s practically the fuck gone,” said Kipp. He was sitting under a large oak breaking sticks into twigs.

“Ya need to learn sum fuckin’ patience. All ya young people do.” Merl was laying in the shade with his hands on his stomach and his hat brim over his eyes.

“Fuck patience, been an hour since everyone gone. Pfft. Even the priests gone.”

“Kid, her husband just died.”

“Died my asshole. She murdered the poor fuck.”

“You don’t know that.”

“Hell I don’t, everyone knows.”

“It was an accident, Kipp.”

“How many wives blow off their husband’s head while cleanin’ a sawed off?”

“Could happen. If he’d survived he’d tell ya was an accident.”

“If he survived?! She blew his head off!”

“M’kay just sayin’”

“Just sayin’, how the bastard supposed to survive wif’out a god damn head!”

Merl moved his hat off his eyes. “God damn keep your voice down. Want her to hear you?”

“I don’t care she does or not. He couldn’t survive.”

“Chicken did.”


“Chicken lived month’s wif’out his head. Fed him in the neck,” Kipp said.

“Bullshit, nothin’ can live without a head.”

“I went school with Maynard Kyle. Asshole, no great loss.”

“Maynard the husband or wife?”

“Husband. Billie Lou Kyle’s the wife.”

“You say he’s an asshole. That’s how you know Billie Lou there killed him?”


“No asshole ever died accidentally wif’out it bein’ murder. Asshole’s motive.”

“All right. You die, I make sure the cops are on it.”

“Damn right, God when she gonna go? Gotta take down the tent, chairs, cleanup, fill the fuckin’ hole, look like it gonna rain, gonna be muddy as shit out here.”

“Let her be.” Merl sat up against the tree.

Kipp stood up. “I’m gonna go tell her she’s gotta leave.”

“Let her be. You don’t know crap she’s been through.”

“What? Murderin’ her husband?”

“Naw, they had a boy. Houston. He was scrawny kinda odd but a good kid. Houston was bein’ tortured at school by this Kooter kid.”

“Cooter? Like cooter?”

“With a K. Last name. Him and his friend tortured Houston. One day as a joke or somethin’ they set him on fire. Dragged him out onto an empty field, doused him, lit him. Houston went into a coma, was bad on Maynard and Billie Lou. She knew who was pickin’ on her son, so she went to Kooter’s house. The way I heard it, Kooter and his friend were playin’ basketball in the driveway. She comes up with a tire iron swinging. The friend no longer walks right. Kooter’s in a home now. Can’t even piss without help.”

“Jesus. Her kid die?”

“Yup.” Merl lit a cigarette. “So don’t be botherin’ her. Hunh…she’s comin’ our way.”

Merl stood as Billie Lou walked up. “Can I have one of those?” she asked.

“Sure.” Merl gave her a cigarette and lit it. “Sorry about May. He’s in a better place, Billie.”

“Yeah. Thanks, Merl.”

“Pfft.” Kipp shook his head.

“You got somethin’ to say, boy?” Billie Lou said.

“Why don’t you go start foldin’ chairs, Kipp?” Merl said. 

“No, you got somethin’ to say, have the balls to say it,” Billie Lou said.

“Alright,” Kipp said. “Sorry for your loss but everyone knows you killed ‘em.”

Billie Lou sighed. “He was miserable, drunk most the time. He wanted me to do it. And, everyone can kiss my ass with what they know. Thanks for the cigarette, Merl.”

Kipp said, “Bet her kid was askin’ for it too,” as Billie Lou walked past.

Billie Lou put her cigarette out in Kipp’s eye as Merl started towards the funeral tent. “Just don’t kill him, Billie Lou,” he said. “You’d just be makin’ more work for me.”

Michael D. Davis was born and raised in a small town in the heart of Iowa. Having written over thirty short stories, ranging in genre from comedy to horror from flash fiction to novella he continues in his accursed pursuit of a career in the written word.