TEMPTING THE WICKED • by Samantha Memi

I was dead. Lying on the floor thinking: why me? It seemed so unfair. There were so many things I wanted to do with my life. It was too late now. There was no one to give me the kiss of life. Death for me was final. Just as I was getting reconciled to the situation my husband came in and said, “Samantha, what are you doing down there?”

Obviously I couldn’t answer. Then he leant over me. Thankfully I couldn’t smell his breath.

“Sam? Are you all right? What’s wrong?”

He put his hand on my tit; he hadn’t done that for years. I hoped he wasn’t into necrophilia. I wasn’t in the mood.

Then he squeaked. Not loud, more of a constipated choking in his throat. He left the room. I floated out of my body and looked at myself. My God, look at the state of that, I said to myself. My husband came back with my daughter. They looked at my body. Daisy pushed my shoulder.

“Mum.”

She shook me.

“Mum!” She looked at her father. “We’d better phone an ambulance.”

Bit late for that.

Will I go to heaven or hell, I wondered.

***

The ambulance men arrived. Actually one of them was a woman, so strictly speaking it should be: an ambulance man and woman arrived. I thought I’d better say that in case there’s politically correct people in heaven and they say: ‘Hey, you didn’t tell your story properly. You can’t come into heaven if you don’t tell your story properly.’ And then I’d be buggered in hell for eternity just because I wasn’t pedantic enough about the gender of ambulance personnel.

They briefly checked my cold corpse, then lifted me onto a stretcher, covered me over and carried me out.

My daughter cried. My husband consoled her.

My sister came round. What was she doing here? I hadn’t seen her for  years and then, as soon as I’m gone, she comes round. Does she fancy Ali? He always joked that if he’d met her first he wouldn’t have married me.

“We need to sort out the funeral,” she said.

Ali sobbed: “Violet, she’s not even cold yet.”

“We have to be practical, Ali.” She put her arm round him.

Hey, don’t hold him like that. You floozy. What’s he doing? He’s crying on her shoulder. He’s embracing her. My God, don’t do that. You cheater. He’s kissing her.

Daisy walks in.

“Dad!”

Ali parts from Violet, embarrassed.

“Daisy, it’s not what you think.”

Daisy leaves. Ali follows.

My own sister. What a trollop. I’m not even buried yet. I wish I was a poltergeist. I’d get her. Throw an ashtray at her or something. Except we don’t have ashtrays. A vase, no, that’s Daisy’s favourite.

Ali comes back.

“I’m sorry, Violet; you’d better leave.”

“Yes.”

“I can’t upset Daisy. Today has been bad enough as it is.”

Well done, Daisy, get the scumbag out.

At my funeral both Ali and Daisy cried. Violet stood near Ali, smirking.

***

Then suddenly it was Judgement Day.

“You haven’t done anything good enough to be in heaven,” said God. I suppose it was God. We weren’t formally introduced. “But you haven’t done anything bad enough to go to hell. We come across this problem quite often,” He sighed. “You expressed a wish to be a poltergeist.”

“That was just an off-the-cuff thought,” I said, a bit worried.

“Nevertheless, a wish is a wish. We’ll give you six months probation as a poltergeist.” And He disappeared in a puff of smoke. Actually there wasn’t any smoke, He just vanished. I put in the smoke to add to the story, but then thought it’s silly lying; I mean, if you’re on six months probation as a poltergeist the last thing you want is more black marks for telling lies.

***

Violet moved in with Ali. Not straightaway. That would have been unseemly. At first she just stayed for a night or two. Daisy didn’t like it. At least not to begin with, but she got used to it after a time.

I didn’t know what to do. If I did any spooky tricks God might keep me as a poltergeist forever. On the other hand I found it difficult not to scare the shit out of the woman who was sleeping with my husband. One evening Ali and Daisy went to see my mum. Violet went out with her mates. An hour later, she came back with a man. What could I do? She was cheating on my husband and that made me angry. He had to find out what she was doing. I dropped a big brass Buddha on her head. It knocked her cold. Her lover screamed.

“Did you see that,” he yelled, “it just lifted up in the air.”

He couldn’t revive Violet, and ran out of the house.

When Ali and Daisy got back she was still unconscious. He phoned an ambulance. The police came. What’s been going on here? Ali explained that when they got home he found her knocked out cold with a bleeding gash on her head. The policeman frowned. A likely story. Violet went to the hospital. She never recovered. The police were suspicious.

Three weeks after my death (a heart attack apparently) Ali received £50,000 insurance he had taken out on me two years earlier. I didn’t know anything about it.

They exhumed my body. I didn’t care, I was rotting anyway. They found strychnine. The bastard. What a nasty thing to do. And he’d told me it was a new blend of coffee, a little more bitter than my usual.

He got life. Daisy went to a children’s home. I’m in hell.

Now that’s what you call a dysfunctional family.


Samantha Memi is a housewife who cleans, dusts and cooks. Her windows are sparkling bright. There are no cobwebs lurking in corners, and her bathroom is germ free. Her basement is a bit smelly but, as the only person who goes down there is her husband, she doesn’t mind.


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