The Casket (Horror/SF)

Someone your character knows dies suddenly and unexpectedly. Apparently it was a heart attack, though the deceased has no known history of heart problems. When your character attends the funeral, he finds that it is ‘closed casket’; not only is the casket closed, it’s securely fixed shut. Nobody seems to know why – at least, nobody is saying.

Questions and ideas for follow-up:

  • Why the special funeral? Clearly it wasn’t a simple heart attack. Why is the coffin closed and sealed? Is the corpse unpleasantly disfigured, possibly as a result of some secret project/activity/creature attack? Maybe a message was scratched/tattooed on the dead person’s forehead (written either by the dead person himself or by the killer).
  • It could be that the coffin doesn’t contain the supposedly dead person. Maybe if people look too close they’ll realise that the corpse isn’t exactly who they think it is… Maybe it’s a clone or an alien impersonator?
  • Or maybe, now the person is dead, the horns on his head/wings on his back have become visible.
  • Have there been other funerals like this recently?
  • Does anyone else at the funeral know what really happened? Is anyone looking suspicious/worried?
  • Does the character notice anything else suspicious at the funeral? Are there unmarked vans outside? Surveillance cameras? Is there any strange glow/noise from the coffin? Does he notice a concealed gun beneath someone’s coat? Is the funeral packed with men in black? Or priests with vials of holy water?
  • Does your character have a particular reason to wanting to investigate? Does he know – or suspect – the secret? Perhaps he shares it. Maybe he fears he might be next.
    Maybe he doesn’t investigate but the investigation comes to him.