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BLOCH, ROBERT – A QUIET FUNERAL In The Skull Of The Marquis De Sade collection. 1965 Pyramid Books. Not so much a short horror story like other works in the collection, and the kind of story most readers would expect from Bloch, but a macabre crime story. It concerns a man who decides to murder a leading member of the Mafia, the best counterfeiter (forger) in the business. The plan is simple and greedy. The killer intends to cause a car crash, and steal all the counterfeit dollar bills from the victim. To all intents and purposes, the perfect crime goes well. The killer gets the money, which he uses to treat himself to the good life. . He sees the car go over a cliff and burst into flames. He sees the obituary for his victim in the newspapers.  He decides to amuse himself by going to the man’s funeral.  He buys flowers with the counterfeit money. When he arrives at the funeral parlour however, the killer remembers that he has a lifelong phobia about funerals and premonitional fears about his own death. He feels very claustrophobic. Soon, it is apparent to him that something doesn’t feel right.  This is confirmed when the funeral coffin opens, and the forger gets out, holding a gun to his assassin. The Counterfeiter is not a vampire or a zombie; He is in fact still alive. He saw the crime coming and faked his own death. As a master forger, it was no problem for him to fake up an edition of the newspaper that carried the story of his death.  Now however, there is to be a funeral, and a body is needed. The murder victim that never was forces his own murderer into the coffin, and seals him in to be buried alive.  http://mgpfeff.home.sprynet.com/bloch.html

 

Arthur Chappell

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