Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Excerpt: Undertaker by William F. Brown


Boston: where California meets Jersey…

I knew I was in trouble when Gino Parini shoved that .45 automatic in my face and made me read my own obituary. I’m not talking about something vague or California-cosmic, like the San Andreas Fault will turn Nevada into beachfront property, or those McDonald’s French fries will seal my arteries shut, or second-hand smoke will give me lung cancer. I’m talking about my own honest-to-God black-and-white obituary ripped from page thirty-two of that morning’s Columbus, Ohio newspaper:

TALBOTT, PETER EMERSON, age 33, of Columbus, died Sunday at Varner Clinic following a tragic automobile accident. President and founder of Center Financial Advisors of Columbus. Formerly of Los Angeles, a 1999 graduate of UCLA and a lieutenant, US Army Transportation Corps...

That was me. I was Talbott, Peter Emerson, 33 years old, and formerly from Los Angeles. I had graduated from UCLA and I had been a lieutenant in the Army. Coincidence? I didn’t think so. There was only one of me and I didn’t die in the Varner Clinic or anywhere else last Sunday. I was an aeronautical software engineer and I had never been to Columbus or heard of Center Financial Advisors much less been its President. Still, when you’re looking into a set of hard, dark eyes and a .45 automatic, it’s hard to argue the fine points.
But I'm getting ahead of myself . . .

The Undertaker is available at

William F. Brown's website is HERE.

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