• Rod Kackley

The Undertaker's Son


Here's a sneak peek at a new book I am working on, another in the St. Isidore Collection. This one focuses on one of my favorite residents of St. Isidore: Bradford Glasscock, the town's only mortician.

One

Bradford Glasscock dreaded Saturday. It was then that the nine-year-old and his seven-year-old brother Samuel would have their hair cut by their father, St. Isidore's only mortician.

It wasn’t so bad being the undertaker’s son. Bradford and Sam enjoyed a measure of respect because of it at St. Isidore Elementary. After all, how many other kids had dead bodies delivered to the back doors of their homes?

Bradford and Sam were also the only kids at school who slept every night two floors over dead people. Ethan Glasscock’s customers spent their final days on Earth in the four-story building that housed the Glasscock family, the Glasscock Funeral Home and the Glasscock family’s customers.

“The ambulance is here,” Bradford whispered to Sam as both stood on their beds in their pajamas to see out to the driveway.

“Another delivery,” Sam said.

“Wonder who died tonight?”

“And how?”

“Was it murder, or a traffic accident?”

“I don’t think so. We would have heard the police calls on the scanner.”

“True.”

“They probably just had a heart attack and died.”

“Crap.”

Bradford and Sam never missed a crime in St. Isidore. The family’s police scanner, which alerted them to tragedies that necessitated the transport of either the living or the dead, sometimes both, was never turned off. It provided critical communication for the business. And for the Glasscock's, death was all business.

Glasscock Inc. included two companies: the Glasscock Funeral Home and the Glasscock Ambulance Company.

Everyone in St.Isidore wound up in the Glasscock family home one way or another. They were either invited for dinner, or they were not.

“If you die, you ride in our ambulance,” Bradford told a new kid in school.

“And if you are hurt you ride in our hearse,” said Sam.

“Either way, you’re coming over to our house,” said Bradford.

“Yeah,” said Sam. “Dead or alive, everyone comes over to our house.”

On the playground, that was usually enough to stop any new kid on the block from making fun of their last name.

Ethan Glasscock made a good living as an undertaker, as did his father before him, and his father’s father before them both.

However, Ethan still had a problem with money. It’s not that he didn’t have it. It’s just that he hated to spend it, like his father before him and his father’s father before them both.

And, that’s why Bradford and Samuel hated Saturday, every Saturday.

Ethan couldn’t tolerate spending money to send his sons to Al the barber, not when Ethan cut the hair of his customers every day. He cut male hair and styled female hair.

Why should he pay Al to cut his kids’ hair?

So every Saturday, Ethan trimmed the hair of the younger Glasscock’s, Bradford and Samuel.

“We always hated it,” Bradford explained and Samuel nodded in agreement on the day they prepared their father for his final resting place, in the basement of the Glasscock Funeral Home.

“We didn’t mind getting our hair cut by our father,” said Bradford to a reporter for the St. Isidore Gazette.

“It was just that we always had to lay on our backs on the kitchen table while Dad cut our hair,” said Sam, “because none of his customers ever sat up.”

Chapter Two of The Undertaker's Son is coming soon....

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