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THE PRANK

by Mari Janecek


"Let's make your Uncle Frank sit up at his wake."  Mari told her neighbor Danny and Johnnie her brother..

"Yeah, how can we do it?"  Danny quizzed.

"We can call the theatrical rental stores and see if we can rent invisible cables, or wires, strong enough that will hold up a person."  Mari said. "Just don't tell them he's dead."

All three started laughing and Danny said, "Why not?"

Mari wanted, needed, and desired to enjoy life to the fullest.  Obsessed with laughing at inappropriate things conjured up in her mind.  Her craziest idea ever and she hoped it would work out.

Her friends, in the formative teens, went along with all her crazy ideas.  She never would hurt anyone, but ventured into mischief and always got caught.  As the only girl in her gang, the Royal Jewels, she sparkled in her impish pranks.

Mari lucked out on the first phone call.   Danny could rent the invisible wire for fifteen dollars a day.  Only needing it for one night, they pooled their monies.

Danny drove downtown and picked the wire up at nine the next morning.

They scheduled the wake from four p.m. until six p.m.  Danny called the undertaker to ask permission to come earlier, mentioning that he didn't want his friends to see him cry.

Mari and her brother, Johnnie went with Danny to the funeral home.  When Danny saw Uncle Frank, he wailed.  Mari put her arms around him for comfort.  Startled at his humanity, since he caused her to fear insects, but she forgave him long ago.

With her brother Johnnie, standing guard, Mari opened her huge black bag.  After removing the wires, Danny lifted Uncle Frank up in the casket, while Mari wrapped the wires around his chest and over his arms.

After many failures, on the eighth try, they pulled up Uncle Frank without having him fall sideways.

"How can we pull him up without anyone seeing us with the wires?"  Danny asked.

"We can move some of the plant stands to the side of his casket." Johnnie piped up.

"Brilliant," Mari told him.  Her little brother sure catches on fast.

Danny and Mari finished placing the flowers back on the stands, when Danny's mother walked in.

"What are you doing here?"

"Johnnie and I came to show our respect."