By Walt Staples

Odell Moore glared at his enemy. “Milton, it’s bad enough Melba married something like you. Now look what you’ve done.”

Milton Frisk returned the look of love from his brother-in-law and fellow funeral director. “I’ve done? Look, you bean-pole, if you hadn’t been a hog this never wouldda happened. The Monroes were mine. I’ve buried ever’ last one of them.”

Odell sneered at his short, fat opponent. “Ain’t my fault one of them came to her senses.”

Milton’s mustache bristled. “But they were a matched set. You know that.”

The taller man’s face and neck reddened. “Just because they were twins and died at the same time doesn’t mean you had to have both!” He glanced over where his assistant, Farley Bean, and Milton’s employee, Gus Ashe, lounged watching the combat with mild interest. “Farley! Why don’t y’all two go out back and show some proper respect for y’all’s employers? Maybe duke it out a little.”

Farley grinned his gap-toothed grin and bumped Gus on the arm. “Yeah, let’s you and me go out back and mix it up.” He chuckled. “Besides, The Blue Lagoon ought to be open about now. A brew would be nice.”

Gus cocked his head as he answered, “Works for me. By the way, did you know there’s a Blue Lagoon down in Bonsack?”

Oh, yeah? I didn’t know it was a chain—“ The door of the First Baptist Church of Tolz closed behind them.

Odell turned back to the man he hated. “So, how do we get out of this? The husbands find out they got the wrong wives and we’re toast. Royal Stuart would just love to ship my butt off to Richmond for fraud.”

Milton glowered at him. “It’s your own fault, calling him a moron over the battle reenactment. What fool picks a fight with the Commonwealth’s Attorney?”

Odell asked hotly, “What moron would have the Union cavalry in Courthouse Square when he knows danged well Turner Ashby’s men ran over them down on Church Street?”

If only their momma hadn’t had them dressed alike,” Milton mused, “same hair style and color, same clothes, even the same jewelry.”

Odell cooled down. “Yeah, never could tell the two of them apart…” he trailed off. The two men’s eyebrows rose as they looked one another in the eye.

Milton smiled conspiratorially. “I won’t tell if you won’t.”

Odell looked thoughtful. “But could we get away with it?”

The two planes are already off the ground—one headed for Anchorage and the other for Pensacola. We got a choice?” Milton shrugged.

Odell shook his head with a frown. “Boy, I hate people who dress twins the same.”



Walt Staples is a product of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. He is a member of The Catholic Writers’ Guild, the Lost Genre Guild, the Marine Corps Association, and the U.S. Chess Federation. Links to his published works may be found at his blog, “Variable Credence:”

On March 15, 2012, Walt Staples passed away of natural causes.  More information is at the Catholic Writers Guild blog.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.  May He rest in peace.  May his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace.