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Inside Your Warm Coffin

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In the village of Piffling Vale, where the only sunny thing was its inhabitants’ amorous feelings for Eric Chapman, there was only one sweets shoppe, one city hall, and one cinema.

For Antigone Funn, there was something magical about the cine. It was the closest she’d come to her transcendent experience with Bijou at the circus. Being alone in the darkened room, silence abound, the air cool and dry, it was rather like the Funn Funeral basement actually. But instead of watching herself prepare bodies for their final repose, she got to watch other people make… well, something else entirely.

After her beloved Thursday nights at the Piffling Royale became overpopulated by the overly zealous and randy members of Piffling Vale, Antigone despaired of ever having her blessed alone time again.

You see, when Antigone had unstoppered the rushing river of her passion with her smutty collaboration with the Reverend Nigel, she couldn’t put the proverbial genie back into the bottle. She found she just couldn’t undo all the dirty daydreams she’d scribbled into reality, and while Scandallions was now out of print, her imagination certainly was not.

Thoughts of Chapman and his stupid golden skin, infuriating dimples, and deceptively potent biceps danced about her head, wouldn’t stop flooding her mind at entirely inappropriate times. The fact she was the best mortician in Piffling Vale didn’t help either; her hands knew what to do even while images of Chapman sunbathing on the beach danced about her head.

Ugh, he even made her think sunlight was a good idea.

There had to be something she could do to excise the blasted thoughts. Further writing was out of the question. It would be her luck the papers would get loose and the whole Octavia Blimp scandal would be revived yet again, and while Antigone wouldn’t be shamed for her desires, she certainly didn’t want to answer for them.

Wait, there was an idea. If she wouldn’t be shamed for her bodily lusts, and she couldn’t indulge with the subject of her passions, then there was one other option.

Double checking the door to her bedroom was locked, she made herself comfortable in bed and pulled the covers up over herself. That’s how people did this right? She unbuttoned her pants, cautiously slid her hand down, and got to the waistband of her panties. She hadn’t done this in quite some time – she was usually able to bury the desires as deeply as she had her aspirations of a creative life.

She was going to take the plunge, she was going to dive into this untapped well of desire, find out if the results would be as explosive as a mine full of –

“Antigone!” Rudyard bellowed from downstairs. “Chapman’s done it again! He’s poached Old Man Iwatoshi from us! We must be quick if we’re to persuade them we’re the men for the job!”

“And women!” Georgie said.

“You’re hardly ever here any more! You keep going out! Who puts their personal life before their work?”

Georgie said something but it was low enough Antigone couldn’t hear it.

“Whatever! I’m away now!”

Rudyard then slammed the door, and Antigone lay there, mood entirely ruined. She was never going to find sexual satisfaction now.

“Blast,” she mumbled to herself.

Sitting up, she buttoned herself up and sulked down the stairs.

Georgie was still there, arms crossed in her green jumper. “Just give ‘im a couple of hours, Antigone,” she said. “He’s just mad I have a life outside Funn Funerals.”

“I thought we already went over that. The whole Mayor’s secretary thing.”

“Oh, well, me finding myself a girlfriend apparently really shocked him.”

“You don’t say.”

“I gotta do this right, y’know, take her to cafes and stuff.” Georgie shrugged. “Should we go after him?”

Antigone sighed. “We ought to. No telling what trouble he’ll get into otherwise.”


Three meat pies, a rancid seagull’s egg, and wading through brackish water for a nugget of gold in a golf ball, Antigone finally made it home. During her good, long, hot shower, thoughts of Chapman intruded yet again. The thought of him between her thighs set her afire, her body going up like kindling as it spread across her like a fever, leaving her flushed for reasons unrelated to the heat of the shower.

If she was going to get steamy, she needed to make sure she wouldn’t be thwarted by whatever scheme Rudyard came up with next. She needed to be somewhere he’d never find her.

Luckily, it was Wednesday, her old movie night. Rudyard never noticed when she went there. He likely assumed she disappeared into a coffin when she wasn’t working. Hopefully the familiarity of going to the cine would help, even if her genre of choice wasn’t playing. She wasn’t going to do anything illicit there, well, no more than the usual intrusively indulgent dirty ones. But at least she wasn’t going to be bothered there.

As she strolled up to the Piffling Royale bundled in a grey wool jacket and a knitted scarf from Georgie’s Nana, she was relieved to see no one skulking about.

And there, in the window, was a sign proclaiming Le soleil dans tes yeux was now playing.

Herbert opened up the door and proudly proclaimed, “The movie nights were so popular I added a second one! And who better to be my inaugural guest than my best customer!”

“I was your only customer.”

“Not anymore! Business is booming, but you’re still my favorite. I even got you the latest in cinema seating, take a look!”

He motioned her inside, and she stepped into the warm lobby. There, in the middle of it was a coffin, the lid propped up.

She peered inside at the removable fleece lining, its plastic cup holders, and very solid silver hinges.

“Wherever did you get a coffin large enough to fit a person, a projector, a popcorn and a soda comfortably?”

“Chapman,” Herbert replied. “It’s his Top of the Line Deluxe Coffin.” Herbert George had a special fondness for Antigone and had special ordered them, hoping to win back his number 1 customer.

“Where does he even come up with these hare-ninnied ideas?”

“Beats me, but it’s quite the success on the independent cinema circuit! They premiered Le petit morte bleu in these babies.”

“Oh fine, give me the ticket.”

She handed him her cash and he gave her a ticket and a popcorn on the house.

“Enjoy the show Ms. Antigone! I’ll be just here in case you need anything!”

Antigone went inside the new screening room, which was a converted supply closet. There another of the Deluxe Coffins awaiting her. She laid herself down, put her popcorn in the holder, and reached up to close the lid.

It was surprisingly light, she didn’t even need both hands. Nor did it slam shut or give any splinters. If it wouldn’t increase Chapman’s business, Antigone would be tempted to buy them for Funn Funerals.

Why couldn’t Chapman have opened a second cinema instead of a funeral home? Why did he have to upend Antigone’s life? She never had such lust before! It was an itch to scratch every so often, but it’d never been focused on a single person like it had been Chapman.

(A small, very small!, part of her, the part of her that admired the new Antigone who ventured out of home without her outdoor suit and rode on hot air balloons, was ever so slightly pleased.)

The projector whirled to life behind her hair, blowing air onto her scalp, and Antigone settled in for the experience.


Twenty-two minutes in, the going was finally getting good. Stéphane had finally admitted why he hadn’t given himself over to his yearning for Hélène. His previous girlfriend had fled at his specific desires, but Hélène eagerly welcomed them.

“Come here,” Hélène whispered sultrily. “I promise if you’re very good, I’ll...”

And then someone opened the lid of the coffin. The change of lighting confusing her eyes for a moment, as a body slid on top of her, the lid shutting behind them. She started shoving at the unwanted intruder.

“Get out! Get out get out get out! Leave me and my disgustingly maudlin French cinema alone!”

The person craned their neck to look up at the movie, where Hélène and Stéphane were divesting themselves of their inhibitions along with their clothes.

“That doesn’t look very maudlin to me,” the voice remarked. “Not unless this is going to end with them dying at the end? It’s not that kind of film is it?”

“Good Christ!” Antigone hissed recognizing the voice instantly. “Is nothing sacred! Must you stick your nose into everything I love?!”

Chapman was still looking at the screen. “Good God, he’s terribly flexible.”

Stéphane held his thighs up towards his shoulders, as Hélène stroked her slick strap-on (How had it gotten wet? Did they use butter? Lubricant? Had he wet it with his mouth? This is why she hated interruptions.).

Hélène entered his ass, Stéphane letting out a throaty moan on the surround sound speakers.

“This has got to be another hallucination,” Antigone mumbled.

“Hallucination?”

Chapman placed his hand over Antigone’s forehead, and then clambered over her, staring into her eyes.

“Get off of me, you magnificent oaf!” she slapped his chest. But as she realized she could indirectly feel his rippling pectorals this way, she continued to whack at him in a way that was more caress than defense.

“Hallucinations are a very serious thing you see, it happened to a dear friend of mine...”

“Ugh, no, you are not one of my raunchy fantasies if you’re going on about that long time ago tripe again.”

“Raunchy fantasies?”

“…I said that out loud, didn’t I?”

“Yes.”

“Curses. I don’t suppose we could just forget all about this like we did with the mines?”

But what if they didn’t? Fiery hell, Antigone wasn’t going to be able to forget about it. Just like she’d been unable to rid herself of her burning desire for Chapman. And at that thought, all the sordid fantasies she’d ever had about him began playing across the silver screen of her imagination.

Her breathing grew heavy, and her chest heaved against Chapman’s, the scant contact making her nipples peak. The Eric Chapman really was in a coffin with her. Chapman was in a coffin, with her! Antigone Funn!

Antigone’s mind ground to a halt.

Much like a small animal playing dead, Antigone found herself frozen as Chapman began calling her name. He gripped her wrist, and then his fingers wrapped around her neck to take her pulse. His face was all she could see, and she could see the cerulean of his eyes, shining like lapis.

“I don’t think you’re alright Antigone! You’re eyes are dilated, your pulse is up, and you’re sweating. You could’ve been poisoned!”

She had to say something, anything, before she begged him to have his wicked, wicked way with her. “I have not been poisoned! Whoever’s heard of a poisoner on Piffling Vale? Some food poisoning sure, but we got rid of that oyster shop immediately.”

“If it’s not poison than what could it be?”

“Claustrophobia! Now let me out of this damn thing. Herbert!” she yelled. “Herbert!”

“Ahhh, Herbert is indisposed.”

“What have you done with him?”

“I asked he do me a favor.”

She gasped. “What kind of favor?”

“I, ah, broke things off with Vivienne, and she’s been looking for me. I asked if I could hide in the theater, and if he’d distract her until she disappeared.”

“That doesn’t explain why you’re in my coffin, in my movie. I mean, at my movie!”

“I thought she wouldn’t look in a supply closet, especially in a coffin inside of one.”

She couldn’t fault him for that logic.

On screen, Hélène grabbed Stéphane’s neck, and the sounds started to get really raunchy. Mortified, Antigone tried to squirm away, and in the process, knocked over her popcorn.

“What was that?” Chapman said in alarm. “Antigone, if you keep flailing about like that we might tip the coffin, and the thud will certainly arouse Vivienne’s suspicions!” He tried to still her limbs, but unfortunately the only thing being aroused was Antigone.

As Chapman’s body moved over hers, their limbs entangling, Antigone couldn’t help the traitorous gasp that escaped her.

“Antigone, are you alright!” They scrambled again, and this time the moan that escaped her could in no way shape or fashion be construed as anything else but what it was. A wanton cry from her body, pleading for the release it could only find beneath Chapman.

“Oh,” he said.

Antigone wished desperately that the floor of the coffin would give way, and let her sink into the underground mines where she would never be found again. When that didn’t happen, she said, “Is that all you’re going to say, oh?”

“Well, one never knows what to say in situations like these.”

“You’re telling me this is the one situation you’ve never encountered before?”

“Yes, actually,” he sounded quite surprised himself.

“So there’s no template for this sort of thing?”

“Not at all. It’s not as if they cover this sort of material at… the mainland.”

“You’re not repulsed?”

“Repulsed? Why ever would I be repulsed?”

“I smell like embalming fluid.”

“Your very fine grapefruit scented fluid.”

“I’m ashy from never seeing the sun.”

“Nothing a good moisturizer can’t fix.”

“My brother is Rudyard Funn.”

“Oh, well, yes. You’re quite right at that, but I can hardly fault you for a happenstance of birth.”

The wheels in Antigone’s head began turning again. “If you’re not repulsed, and you haven’t tried to escape, what are you then?”

For once, Chapman was without words, and Antigone was almost quite pleased with herself, if only she wasn’t waiting for an impossible answer.

“I don’t know,” he ventured.

And what Antigone said next, she said because it was dark inside the coffin, and if there was anywhere Antigone knew herself with absolute surety, it was in the dark. Here was her kingdom and she would not be made less by anybody or anything, even if it was a coffin inside of a movie theater.

“Well, by your own admission there are no rules, and we’re trapped here, in a small space, we should get closer shouldn’t we?”

“Antigone, if I get any closer, I… what are you getting at?”

Take me already Chapman! she almost shrieked, but instead managed a sultry, if squeaky, “Come closer, Chapman. I don’t bite… I think.”

She used her ankle to draw him down, and she planned to kiss him, but he planted into her chest instead.

“Mmmfffrrgggh,” he said.

“What was that?”

He lifted his head, his hair less perfectly coiffed.

“Antigone this is very sudden, and honestly I’m a bit confused...”

“Chapman, you’re concern about my virtue is very kind.” He hadn’t, in fact, been thinking of that at all, but it had featured in many of Antigone’s fantasies. She had imagined many a time how she’d convince him to be her bodily introduction to the carnal pleasures, so her mouth naturally followed the scripts she’d dreamt. “And I am telling you I’m not very interested in my virtue, except for it being thoroughly, unabashedly punctured upon by the throbbing... ”

“Throbbing? Is your head bothering you?”

“For Christ’s sake Chapman, I’m asking you to fuck me senseless, put your hard steely manhood in my quivering cunt until we both explode with ecstasy! How much clearer do I need to make it? It can’t be surprising, not when everyone on this island is tits over arse for you. Except my brother, he’s never been into anyone, and especially not you...”

“Thank God,” Chapman said.

“...and I know I’m just Antigone Funn, the sister everyone’s forgotten about...”

“How could they forget you? Your all-over outdoor suit was very memorable...”

“...and I know I’ll never be the voluptuous, well-traveled pin-up you’re used to. I’m no Lady Templar...”

“That’s not true at all, Antigone.”

“Of course you agree with me, with them! Wait, what?”

“Well, you are certainly different from Vivienne, but that’s not a bad thing at all. I know you, Antigone, I've seen you. You’re loyal, sticking with Rudyard even after I asked you to join me, and not many people would’ve done that.”

That had more to do with Antigone not wanting Chapman to win at everything, and to a lesser extent, not wanting to flee in shame when she eventually made a fool of herself by revealing her sordid lust to him.

“You care about your friends,” he continued. “The funeral you game Georgie’s Nana was top-notch. I couldn’t have done it better, because what made it special was that you and Rudyard care about her enough to do it right, and to be there with her. I could never have done that, because I don’t have that relationship with Georgie like you do.”

This getting complimented business was quite nice. “Go on...”

“And you’re singular. I’ve seen a lot of death in my time as a … mortician, and you get familiar with it, intimate. When I tried your Memento Mori chocolates, I knew you knew.”

“Knew what?”

“I didn’t expect to find anyone here who knew. Especially not here, where I came to make a fresh start of it all. But you do. You understand what it is to die, that this life ends in nothing but our bodies turning into mulch, and even in that, there’s something indescribably about the experience. And I don’t think anyone’s gotten quite as close to that understanding as you.”

As Antigone lay beneath him, gaping like a fish out of water, he added as an afterthought, “And you are the best mortician on this island.”

Antigone had thought looking at Chapman was dangerous for her loins, but being seen by him, recognized for her talent, well, it was dangerous for her heart as well. And that was a more lethal mixture than anything she’d put into her Memento Mori chocolates.

“Kiss me, already!” She grasped his shapely biceps and pressed her mouth to his, taking the plunge into the deep waters of passion. It was uncoordinated of course, it was her first kiss after all, and she wasn’t entirely sure how to go about it. But it had to be fairly simple, right? Lips on lips, a bit of wetness, maybe a bit of teeth, and sweet mother Mary that was his tongue.

“Breathe, Antigone,” he said, and then kissed her again.

Is this what it felt like when coming to life? It was like he was breathing into her lungs, and her heart was pumping whatever magic that was his through her blood, and is this what it felt like to be golden and beloved by so many?

She gripped his shoulders, worried if she didn’t have anything to hold onto, she’d blow away in the winds of desire.

“Touch me,” he said.

She began petting him as she would a stray alley cat.

He laughed, then took her hand and guided it to glide lightly against his chest. “You’re welcome to take my shirt off too, but that might be hard in this space.”

Muttering about hard things, she maneuvered her hand between their bodies and grasped his… not very turgid member.

“How come you’re not aroused?”

He gave a small twitch beneath her hand.

“What was that?”

“You’ve got to give me a moment to go from ‘concerned for your health’ to ‘ready for sexual congress,’ Antigone.”

“It’s not an instant thing?” Antigone thought passion was a floodgate. You were either dry or drenched, no in between about it.

“You can help me along.”

“Oh?”

“You could ah, touch me.”

She didn’t dare move for a moment, the thought of having her way for him unfolding in a myriad of paths.

“The concept isn’t all that different,” he said into her silence. “Could you just…”

Antigone rolled her eyes. She was a virgin and a shut-in, but she’d seen enough French cinema to know how this worked. She gripped him through his pants and began pumping his member.

“Ah, yes, Antigone… like that...” Hearing Eric’s voice like this, growing short and rough, was something else entirely.

She felt giddy as he began thrusting into her hand, and his breathing stuttered.

“Christ, the way you use your hands...”

“You don’t find them grotesquely spindly?”

He groaned as she paused. “When we were embalming Jerry, your hands were so sure, even in the dark. You were positively magic.”

“Oh, yes. Rudyard didn’t believe me when I said I could.”

“Antigone, why is it that you’re so...” With her keen night vision, Antigone can see the look on his face, like he’s putting something together like composers compile symphonies, and he his funeral services.

Whatever Eric did in the past, he clearly had more experiences in making out in coffins than she did, because he managed to pull her shirt down with his teeth. That should not have been as erotic as she found it, but really when you were sitting on a volcano full of molten wantoness like Antigone was, it didn’t take much.

“I love your breasts Antigone.”

“You do? You can’t even see them; they’re rather small, and it’s dark.”

He traced her nipple with his tongue, and she let out a squeak.

“Quite sure. If you couldn’t go without a bra, I couldn’t do this as easily.” He sucked her breast into her mouth and she moaned.

She removed her hand from him, and grabbed fistfuls of his hair, pulling him in close.

“Don’t stop!”

He alternated between her breasts, using his hand to knead the other, pinching the nipple. And Antigone had never fantasized about that, but the sharp pinch just made everything just a bit more.

And so smooth, so debonair was Chapman, he managed to align their hips just so, that when Antigone writhed bodily beneath him, his throbbing manhood (fully erect, because of her!) bumped against her clit.

Antigone helplessly worked herself against Chapman, and occasionally, they thumped against the sides of the coffin, but Antigone was beyond caring about such trivialities.

One such bump dislodged him, landing his face near her armpit. He seized the moment, and nuzzled her armpit, breathing in her scent.

“I, ah, don’t shave. Never had a need to since it’s never warm enough to wear sleeveless blouses...”

“That’s alright. It’s cute, and I like the way you smell.” He gave a small lick, and Antigone felt her body shiver from her toes up.

Antigone had never been called cute, not even when she was a baby dressed up in matching onesies with Rudyard. It was never a word she anticipated being called, but she was finding out a great deal about herself.

“Rather reminds me of my time in the French cinema,” he mused.

Before she could ask if it was a long time ago, he gave a cheeky smile and said, “It was quite recent. The way they use lighting on the bodies is quite something, and I wanted to see if I could apply it to my services.”

“...Right… funeral services...”

That damning smile of his needed to be outlawed, if only it didn’t make her heart thunder like a galloping beast across the plains.

“If you’re still talking, I haven’t done my job right.”

Antigone’s pants were loose, so Chapman was able to slide his hand under them easily, and just the thought of it sent her mind to new planes of consciousness. If this was her reward for her earlier masturbation time being thwarted, then she had no complaints and Rudyard could interrupt her anytime he wanted.

He cupped her through her underwear, holding it there until she began wriggling about. He made a sound of surprise, than quickly pulled her pants down.

“You’re wet,” he said with some surprise.

“Of course I am, you devastatingly beautiful fool, that’s how this works isn’t it? I get wet, you get hard, you put your pulsating ...”

“...that makes me sound like some sort of robot...”

“...length into me, and then we ride the open seas of passion until we reach our destination...”

“An… isle of passion?”

“Exactly! Now do me!”

She thrust her hips up knowing the moment had come at last, that she would come at last, but...

“Ah, could you unzip me?”

“Oh, yes, that.”

She eagerly obeyed, freeing his erection. She quickly shimmied her underwear down as far as it’d go, and she felt the heat of his cock against her belly, the precum painting little streaks there. She grabbed his hot member, ready to spear herself upon it, but then he spoke.

“Hold on, Antigone, let me grab the condom...”

Although Chapman’s night vision wasn’t nearly as good as hers, he was able to pull one out of a pocket hidden within his pants, and put it on expertly.

“You just carry those around?” She wasn’t sure if she was offended that he always anticipated needing one, or thankful for his forethought.

“You never know when you might need one. They’re useful for a lot of things outside of sex; starting a fire, handling hazardous materials, storing water...”

“That’s very nice, but can we focus on the present!”

“Oh, of course, I’m sorry about that, whoa!”

At that very moment, Antigone seized her destiny in her own two hands. She would not be interrupted again. The opportunity was here at last, and she would grasp it! So she pulled him towards her, only to mash him against her opening, his head nudging her but not entering her.

“Noooo,” she moaned in frustration. To be be thwarted now! Right as she was about to have sex with Eric Chapman. She lay there and awaited oblivion to carry her away from this humiliating moment.

“Antigone?”

“Why must everything be so hard?”

“Well, that’s a good thing in this case. The angle’s just off, here...” And Eric took himself in hand and adjusted the angle, slipping himself into her.

It was a miracle of nature, like birds singing and dewdrops upon petals, and… wait… “For God’s sake man, put it in all the way!”

“I’m trying to be considerate!”

“Consideration is for people who have time for niceties and tea. No better time than the present!” Her hands searched for purchase, eventually finding his hipbones, and yanked him down to meet her as she thrust her hips up.

Her cunt was slippery and slick, and he slid in easily.

“Oh,” Antigone sighed, a bit surprised by the feeling. The uncomfortable stretch she’d expected, but the heat of him, the way he easily flexed and fit inside of her – that was different and breathtaking.

“Antigone?” he asked in concern. “Are you alright? You’re not breathing.”

She took a gasping breath. “Yes, yes, it’s all good,” she said hurriedly.

He slowly rotated his hips, and she yelped. She thought she’d explored every inch of herself, but he was reaching new parts of her, or making old spaces feel like they were being discovered anew once more.

Antigone braced one hand against the side of the coffin, and dug the other into his well-muscled back.

“I’m ready, take me!”

And Chapman, being the gentleman he was, obliged her. He pulled himself back, and then thrust deep, sheathing herself within her aching flesh.

“Yes, Chapman, yes!”

“You can call me Eric,” he said against her neck, breath warm.

“Oh, yes, old habits and all that. Yes, Eric, yes!”

“God, Antigone...”

Eric captured Antigone’s mouth in a searing kiss that promised unbridled passion. His tongue plundered her cavern, just as the Chieftain’s brother had in Chapter 8 of Isle of Passion. That kiss alone had Isle of Passion banned in no less than twenty-three schools and by the whole of the Anglican Church! But this kiss, dear reader, this kiss’ desire, wantonness, and sheer filth, blew it out of the water entirely.

And so, Antigone and Eric gave themselves over to the torrential downpour of lust. Their throaty cries as ferocious as jaguars in heat, the slap of flesh loud as thunderclaps, their sighs as humid as the jungle after a rain.

Together, they approached their peaks. Eric’s cock rubbed against the most secret spaces of Antigone, drawing her closer and closer to her climax. She slipped her fingers between them to rub her clit. The pulse between her legs grew hotter, more insistent, and she was almost there.

“Oh, oh… Eric...”

“Fuck, Antigone, I’m not going to last. You’re so wet, and you’re squeezing me so tight, like I’m in the death grip of a boa constrictor...” This time, Eric was the one whose breath stuttered.

Antigone’s ravenous pussy began clenching around Eric’s cock, and there was no give in him, and she howled.

He reached for her hand, interlacing their fingers.

Together, they dove off the waterfall of desire and plunged into the pleasure that awaited them below.


Eric’s weight on her was nice. Like the heaviness of silence or being buried beneath the weight of the earth.

She dared to sneak her fingers beneath his shirt, and pet his lower back, where there was a thatch of hair.

She wasn’t sure what the appropriate thing to do here. Thank him? Send him a box of chocolates? Kick him out? Marry him so this could be all hers from here on out and all the other villagers could sod off knowing he was all hers? Never mind that one, Rudyard would just try to convince her to take over Chapman’s and send Eric into ruin.

She licked at the salt across his artery.

Eric groaned against her breasts. “Jesus, Antigone, you drained me dry.”

She preened beneath his body and his praise.

He leaned up, and bumped his head against the lid. “I just wish this were a more spacious accommodation; it makes things quite difficult. We’ll have to do this in my bed next time. I’ve a queen size bed.”

Antigone wasn’t sure what was more implausible, that he didn’t have a king size bed, or that there’d be a next time.

“A… next time?” she ventured. She was frightened he’d say it was all a mistake, but she didn’t want to wait to find out. She’d done enough waiting.

“Of course. I didn’t even get to undress you and attend to every inch of your body!”

Antigone shuddered. What kind of service would that be! She might not survive being under that amount of scrutiny. It’d be like being burnt beneath the sun.

But then again, she’d once thought going out without her outdoor suit was impossible too.

Antigone wasn’t the same as before, she’d given Rudyard a piece of her mind and was now co-owner! She’d successfully advocated to keep Isabella MacGoulan’s original script of and directed it! She’d then driven out the formidable Lady Magdalena with her very own whip! And most importantly, she’d managed to plan Georgie’s Nan’s funeral.

So, shoring her courage together, she rasped, “So, this wasn’t a one-time thing?”

He looked at her. “Look here, I realize I have a reputation, but it’s greatly exaggerated...”

“I don’t know about that, you were quite good at this.”

“Oh. That one. I meant I don’t sleep around indiscriminately.”

“...does that mean this was a very discriminate thing, despite the fact this was very unplanned?”

“Antigone, I thought I made it clear, you’ve been the most fascinating person I’ve met on Piffling Vale. I asked you to be my business partner, because you’re an amazing mortician, and because you didn’t seem interested in anything else. I learned my lesson about pursuing uninterested women after earning Georgie’s scorn.”

She gaped at him for a moment. Uninterested? Her? After a number of squeaks, she still wasn’t able to get any words out.

“Well, let’s get out of this coffin. Herbert’s bound to come back soon, and I need to dispose of the condom and clean up from the popcorn.”

Antigone realized with all their movement, the small bucket of popcorn had tipped over and was everywhere.

“Oh, yes. Good idea.”

Eric opened the coffin, the dim light of the cinema trickling in, along with cool air. Their combined efforts had made the coffin very hot. Eric withdrew from her and the coffin. Antigone stared up at the ceiling, and Eric peered back down at her, extending his hand.

She took it, and once she stood, stole one more kiss.

When they parted, her hands on his firm chest, and his around her waist, she couldn’t help but give a small smile.

Her! Antigone Funn! Stealing a kiss from Eric Chapman like a pirate until his gaze were dazed.

“Dinner, then?” he managed.

And she agreed, because there was more plundering to be done after all.


coda

“So why ever did you make this coffin anyway?”

“Sometimes you just need to fake your own death and watch all of the funeral attendees so you can find out who double-crossed you.”

“Let me guess,” Antigone said, eyes squinting, “it was a long time ago?”

“Ah, yes.”

She rolled her eyes.

“...Say, could I borrow one of them?”

“Whatever for? You haven’t fed anyone else those Memento Moris have you?”

“What? Of course not, you bought all of the stock...” She had some ideas on what she and Chapman could do with them, it could be a lot of fun… but she had other plans first. “I was just thinking wouldn’t it make Rudyard feel terrible for ignoring my genius all these years if I were dead and I had you do the funeral.”

“I was thinking more petit morts, not a funeral service.”

“I’m sure we can come to an agreement.”

“Oh?”

“Ohhhh Chapman,” she swooned clutching her breast.

When Chapman stared at her too long, Antigone added, “Just because I don’t write anymore doesn’t mean I can’t express myself creatively,” and then resumed dramatically swooning.

“Oh, I get it! Ahem!” He cleared his throat, and placed his sturdy arm beneath her back as he dipped her low. “Well, then, Miss Funn, I think we can come up with some kind of payment...”

He kissed her once more, and they let themselves be swept away by their desire.