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Revitalization, My Lovely, Chapter 5
August 8, 2005: The organ sounded swell as it pumped out the soaring chords of "I Did It My Way". Cascading floral arrangements ringed the coffin. So much so the corpse was impossible to see. A shame because the morticians had done an A-1 job on Bob Slotsky. Slaugerton's most prominent unofficial political consultant lay in state at the Jack N' Al Funeral Home and Place O' Peace (POP). The POP was out back. Where the dearly departed rested amidst groves of ailanthus trees and fields of purple loose strife. Undertakers Jack & Al Porcini were casual about matching remains with markers. Figuring since the Lord is omniscient, He knows where the bodies are buried. And would have no problem combining the resurrected with their souls come Judgement Day.

The service for Slotsky was packed with New Jorksacutt's top pols and players. State Senator Jed Puptue and Governor Herb Kuspitor stood in one corner surrounded by supplicants. Bix Blanc, editor of the Slaugerton Herald-Union (commonly called the "SHU") was asking them for their thoughts on the way Slotsky died.

"It's a sign of the tragic times we live in" said the Governor, shaking his head "criminal violence can claim anyone, anywhere."

"We need more federal funding for state wide anti-crime initiatives" intoned Rep. Puptue.

"That's right" chimed in Slaugerton Mayor Terry McConn, "crime isn't just an urban issue. I mean, Bob lived in Peanut King Park. Hell-- my mother lives in the next cul de sac. She's scared shitless."

"With good reason" said Slaugerton County Executive Frank Tusk. He wondered if McConn knew he knew Slotsky had actually died twice. The first time at the hands of Mayor McConn and local development lovely Lara Tremor. McConn and Lara hadn't figured on Slotsky coming back zombie. After his unexpected revitalization, Slotsky had hit up McConn and Lara for death benefits. Tusk suspected the duo had done in Bob Zombie just like they had Bob Slotsky.

"Weird how the killer cut off his head" said Tusk. He watched McConn closely. McConn's left eyelid gave a twitch. That was all Tusk needed: he'd known McConn since college and could read him like a book. "And sewed his lips shut" he continued. The lid twitched double time. Tusk twisted the knife "and filled his mouth with salt." By now the entire left side of McConn's face was writhing like a crackitute in a quarter drop peep show. Even newsman Bix Blanc noticed the hinky herky jerky. McConn held a hanky to his face and faked a sob. Waving away their concern he moved off, head bowed. Kuspitor tut-tutted "Poor guy-- he and Bob went way back."

"Terry came up behind Bob and me at St. Coochi Coo's," replied Frank Tusk "back when it was still St. Mary's*. We were in the same frat house. We used to short sheet Terry's bed and make him pay to use the can."

The others smiled, remembering their own youthful hi-jinks.

Across the room local development lovely Lara Tremor had entered. Her black dress clung like tar on the fossilized bones of a saber tooth tiger. Though wearing her somber face, she felt good. Slotsky was out of the picture. This time permanently-- due to the zombie know-how of Alkar Y'Hut, the Grubanese mortgage flipper helping the city with a haul of HUD homes. Plus she'd just come from a public input session in a low rent nabe slated for redevelopment. When she told the "stakeholders" that thanks to the city's power of eminent domain, bulldozers were already being revved by the preferred developer (aka McConn's buds at DWI Construction) their response had been truly comic. Lara almost laughed aloud as she recalled how old man Henderson, the tailor shop owner, had turned pale and clutched at his heart. Maybe next time he'd think twice before writing letters to the SHU complaining about city services!

"Lara thank God you're here". McConn was a-dither. Half his jowls were jumping. Words poured out of him: he was sure Frank Tusk knew they'd offed Slotsky. Lara pooh poohed. So what if Tusk suspected, there was no proof. Besides, McConn's top cop had already fingered a suspect; a nutcase from the Peanut King Assisted Living Facility for the Criminally Insane who was AWOL from his job as janitor at a local day care center. Plus Tusk didn't know the reason they'd done Slotsky was because he'd been wearing a wire for the feds. And that she and McConn still had that wire and there was plenty on it re County Executive Frank Tusk.

The left half of McConn's face sagged back onto his shoulder. As usual, Lara was on top of the situation. McConn didn't know what he'd do without her. Which bothered him. A lot.

I Did It My Way wrapped up with a flourish. "Ladies and Germs, please take your seats" said Funeral Grand Master Jack Porcini. (Al was out back digging a hole in the POP.) McConn and Lara parked it. Frank Tusk's wife Wilma, seated with her hubby right behind them, leaned forward and whispered "Did you see Bob's body? Jack and Al did a wonderful job. They took all those stitches out of his lips and that nasty salt from his mouth-- I hear they used one of those little hand held vacuum cleaners. They even glued his head back on! Along with his hair piece-- you know how it always slipped. And they replaced his..."

But the rest went unheard by Mayor McConn and local development lovely Lara Tremor. They stared, as if transfixed, at the coffin. Was it just their imagination or were the flowers which cascaded over it beginning to stir and rustle?

"I am the resurrection and the life" intoned the priest who'd replaced Porcini at the podium, "he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live..."

The End?

Carola Von Hoffmannstahl-Solomonoff

*St. Mary's Catholic College was re-christened St. Coochi-Coo's in 1984, upon receiving a massive endowment from Sal "Coochi-Coo" Adobo, a prominent Slaugerton restauranteur and silent partner.

Episodes of Revitalization, My Lovely

Revitalization, My Lovely; Chapter One
Revitalization, My Lovely; Chapter Two
Revitalization, My Lovely; Chapter Three
Revitalization, My Lovely; Chapter Four
Revitalization, My Lovely; Chapter Five
Revitalization, My Lovely Reloaded; Chapter Six
Revitalization, My Lovely Reloaded; Chapter Seven
Revitalization, My Lovely Reloaded; Chapter Eight

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Copyright (c) 2005 by Carola Von Hoffmannstahl-Solomonoff. This material may be freely distributed subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the Open Publication License. This license relieves the author of any liability or implication of warranty, grants others permission to use the Content in whole or in part, and insures that the original author will be properly credited when Content is used. It also grants others permission to modify and redistribute the Content if they clearly mark what changes have been made, when they were made, and who made them. Finally, the license insures that if someone else bases a work on this Content, that the resultant work will be made available under the Open Publication License as well.

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