Note from Brian:
For December 2017, I have something that’s not exactly a holiday season kind of story, but perhaps a reminder to hug your kids tight the next time you see them. As always, please feel free to email me at brianfreeman@cemeterydance.com if you’d rather share your thoughts about this story privately. Thank you again for all of your support! — BJF

“The Last Beautiful Day”
by Brian James Freeman

Louis Stephenson’s work begins with a ringing phone in the middle of the night, but the bad news isn’t for him.

This is not the first late night phone call he has received since he put his name on the volunteers list at the hospital. It seemed like a good idea at the time, as morbid as the work sounded, but these days he’s having serious doubts about his decision.

Louis answers the call on the second ring, hoping Melissa wasn’t disturbed in the other room. She hasn’t been sleeping well these past few months, not since they lost the baby, and insomnia is only one of the symptoms troubling her.

Louis holds the phone but can’t open his mouth to answer.

His therapist suggested he volunteer for the job. She said it would help fill the growing void caused by his overwhelming grief, but Louis thinks maybe the emptiness he feels is actually the result of the cruel joke God has been playing on him. First the dead baby inside his wife and now these phone calls.

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