Fluffy Funeral Parlor (Ace)

This short story is based on an experience I had IRL when attending a relative’s funeral. The entire lobby was filled with shit to buy. It truly was a gift shop and felt incredibly crass. Anyways the situation always felt ridiculous and has stuck with me for years.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Anna lingered around the lobby of her little parlor setting everything right. The flowers were plastic and didn’t needed to be changed but their positioning was one of concern. The pamphlets were next: There were many sales brochures listing products of dubious quality that all looked about the same.

‘Your friend has crossed the rainbow bridge to Skettiland. Celebrate them with your very own custom artwork’

‘Keep your fluffy close to your heart with jewelry made from their ashes’

‘Grieving is a difficult process. Make it easier with our custom-bred biotoys’

This was a franchised funeral parlor. One of Hasbio’s great schemes to push up profits. There was nothing to be confused about: It was incredibly profitable. The chain was called ‘The Rainbow Bridge’ because of course they would have to milk that old cow for all she was worth. Each of the buildings were mandated to have an outside color scheme that was bright and cheerful. The lettering for the signs had to be the jumble of cutesy childlike letters associated with Hasbio’s brand.

This was a funeral home but may as well just be another Fluffmart. The lobby was basically little more than a gift shop to sell more shit to people going through a difficult time. All sorts of trinkets or doo-dads to divide people of money from their wallets. Talk of death was practically forbidden. It was always ‘crossing the rainbow bridge’, ‘new beginnings’, ‘sleepy times’. The experience of death was as ersatz as fluffies themselves. A hollow mockery.

Everything was ready for this morning’s service. Anna walked to the state room where the body was laying in wait to be visited. Just it’s family, of course. Rarely did you see a large group of people come to visit what was legally just a toy. This fluffy was a cotton-candy pink mare named Missy. Her owners had brought her in after a rather savage dog attack. In a sagging, leaking garbage bag. Normally this would mean a closed-casket service but Anna had been a real mortician before switching venues. She’d pieced together torn apart limbs, cleaned blood out of fur, restructured the mare’s face to look as normal as it could. Well, the top half that could be viewed look perfectly fine. The lower half was rather gruesome looking still but who needed to know? The creature looked innocent and carefree down in it’s little casket.

Speaking of the casket, it was just like anything else Hasbio produced. Garish pink with rainbow lettering on the side declaring it was a ‘HAPPY BEGININNGS JR’, and of course their logo. Anna left the corpse and went to wait in the lobby for the family to arrive.

A young girl and her parents. The parents looked as if they were running late to an appointment and already seemed as if they wanted to leave after entering.

“Come on, Mikayla. Let’s go see Missy.” The girl’s mother, a tired looking woman with her hair down up in a tight bun would say to her daughter. Her daughter had dressed in her best clothing, was ushered off to the state room to view the fluffy. Anna followed along at a respectful distance.

“Mom! She just looks like she’s sleeping. She’s not really. Is she?” Mikayla asked her mom, leaning in to get a look at what had been her best little pal. The girl had been at school when the attack occurred, luckily. Had she seen the body when Anna had dumped it out on a table, she would have no questions. That fluffy was a dead as a doorknob.

“No, honey. She’s…you know.” People didn’t want to talk about death. Especially in a place like this which practically begged for the subject to be tip-toed around, obfuscated in flowery language or tricky little mind games.

The girl reached out to settle a palm against the fluffy’s cheek, rubbed against her cold fur. Pulled away, perhaps feeling something was off. There was. There were places which had to be filled with cotton just to give substance. That dog had really done a number on Missy. Her father lifted up one of the leaflets he’d nabbed from the lobby.

“Look, Mikayla. We can get you a stuffed toy that looks just like her. We just send a photo in and they send us one in the mail.” Ah, Hasbio had gotten another one. Why bother trying to let your child experience the natural process of death? Just buy something and get them to shut up for awhile.

“I’ll leave you to your remembrances. Please find me in the lobby if you have anything you need.” With that, Anna would go to the lobby. Sidled behind the cash register, because this was basically just a gift shop after all. Several minutes passed before the family came back, the father stepping forward with his wallet already in hand.

“We’ll take the customized doll. A locket. A custom portrait…” Anna tallied up the purchase. It totaled $400. Well, these people had more money than they had a capacity for trying to navigate through difficult emotions. That was their bread & butter clientele.

“We’ll be enshrining Missy at Fun Time Park soon.” Fun Time Park. Just the word for a field where they planted the bodies and put up a marker, if a marker was paid for. “Will you be joining us?”

The father gave Mikayla a look. Shook his head. “We’re honestly too busy. But, uh, tell her bye for us.” Anna nodded. Of course. The family left, Mikayla turning to give Anna a shy wave goodbye. It was returned which left her to go back to the state room.

“Seeya later, alligator.” The mortician/funeral director told the mare down in the casket. Closed the lid with a squeal of shitty hinges.

32 Likes

This is disgustingly true to life.

13 Likes

i think the part that makes me the most angry is that this is exactly what a heartless corporation would do. its revolting.

Frankly im shocked there wasn’t more 9/11 merchandise. commercializing tragedy. selling quick and easy distractions so we never feel discomfort.

The biblical definition of gluttony isn’t eating too much food or being disgusting. The true definition of gluttony is taking more than you need. excess. taking for the sake of taking. consuming for the sake of consuming.

Some days it feels like we are all the poopy babbehs watching the bestest get fat.

11 Likes

Funerals seem very very different in America. We don’t tend to embalm corpses in the U.K. and don’t tend to have viewings as a result. I have never viewed a loved one’s corpse.

They’re still disgustingly expensive, though. I’ve never heard of one having a merch stand though, holy shit.

6 Likes

I’ve never understood it myself and am guessing it’s just an evolution of the wake from Irish immigrants.

The stuff for sale thing, purely American I’d guess. How it’s depicted in the story is damn close to the actual experience IRL at shittier funeral parlors.

3 Likes

And here I thought that the whole “goodbye bag” thing was the gauchest product imaginable. About the only thing that could be conceivably worse would be if an enterprising breeder set up shop across the street from this place.

5 Likes

As if funeral homes weren’t bad enough flood them with kitschy colors and signs like it’s a preschool. Just let people be sad fuck.

4 Likes

I’d be surprised if the Happy Beginnings Jr wasn’t of the reusable, trapdoor equiped casket variety, a la “Amadeus” ~

Image1 (1)

4 Likes

I wouldn’t be surprized if you could buy a fluffy with the coffin thrown in as a bonus. The plastic would probably outlive the fluff in any condition.

3 Likes

My 2 cents on funeral parlors. They tend to be low volume family owned private businesses, so they tend to have the whole “nickel and dime” your customers model to stay afloat.

There is a whole religious aspect to the whole “avoiding emotionally processing death” in the US but it has to do more with protestants than any catholic immigrant populations.

As a means of public health, they should really be either publicly subsidized or nationalized like municipal water or trash collection is since they are vital to prevent a public health crisis.

It would also help if we did what Europe did forever ago which was to dig up old skeletons to make room for new graves instead of what is presently occurring with perpetually expanding and expensive to maintain graveyards.

3 Likes

Oh there’s been incredibly gaucher takes on the fluffy end of life. It’s an old story on the booru, but I remember a story about how some Fluffmart locations had end of life facilities and the concept of the “Bye Bye Room” which was a humane euthanasia chamber that filled with invisible knockout gas to put the fluffy to sleep followed by asphyxiating gas to silently kill the fluffy without the fluffy suffering. And the Fluffmart employees were tasked with both operating the chamber and also upselling the keepsakes. It was horrifying and brilliant just how predatory it was having an euthanasia room in a fluffmart.

This story is a fantastic take on it as well. Fluffy funerals would be a pretty solid revenue earner with how easily they die.

5 Likes

Yeah. It’s either a contributor to or a result of our weird and often spiritually sterile society during the last couple of decades. We’ve dug too deep. Far too deep.

3 Likes

Or even better: end the practice of coffins as well and do green burials instead. Much better for the environment.

1 Like
2 Likes

I didn’t pay to bury my grandmother, much less for that worthless ball of garbage.

2 Likes