Mr. Jankiel Jameson, formerly of Toms River, New Jersey, has been dead and buried for six years when he wishes to not be dead anymore. Just like that he is living again, breath coming into his body from who knows where.
Alive! he thinks. A miracle! I’m alive!
Slowly, in the pitch dark, he lifts his arms and pushes at the top of his casket. But it doesn’t budge. The thing is too well made. He pushes harder, then with all his strength, but he is no better off than before. Oh why oh why hadn’t he let himself be buried in the cheap model. No, nothing but the best for him, always. He remembers the undertaker bragging that his casket would last ten thousand years.
In the zombie movies–(Mr. Jameson figures he’s something like a zombie, though he has no desire to eat, let alone eat people)–the corpses always sprang from their tombs no problem, just ascended from the earth like ghosts rising up from the floorboards, as if dirt had no corporeal weight to it. But Mr. Jameson sees now that even if he managed to claw his way out of the box he would never be able to dig his way out of the grave. The rushing dirt would simply crush him, and oh! his decomposed limbs are so weak!
Besides, he doesn’t imagine he looks like something his wife and kids would want to see again.
Now that he’s had the chance to think about it, he decides being dead wasn’t all bad.
So he wishes himself dead again.
But wishes so rarely come true….
James Valvis lives in Issaquah, Washington. His work has recently appeared in Bananafish, Bartleby Snopes, Confrontation, Crab Creek Review, Eclectica, Hanging Loose, Metazen, Rattle, Slipstream, Southern Indiana Review, and is forthcoming in Arts & Letters, Atlanta Review, Gargoyle, H_NGM_N, kill author, Los Angeles Review, Midwest Quarterly, New York Quarterly, Pank, River Styx, South Carolina Review, and elsewhere. A collection of his poems, How to Say Goodbye, is due out soon.