[Books, Micro-story #12] One day, when I’m dead

By Werner Schmidt

16 January 2023

From my collection: Death by Design

Today or tomorrow or in fifty seven years, one hundred and thirteen days, seven hours and three minutes. Yes, something with some sevens,


I want to
+ be buried in a triangular coffin in the Namib desert
+ merge like coffee grounds in volcanic water
+ become a drop in subterranean rivers
+ drift to the bottom after momentary doubt
+ bungee! like sand through the hourglass in Days of Our Lives

The triangular coffin means I won’t have to lie on my back. My wife says I snore then, but I won’t believe her in all eternity. I’ll lie half on my stomach, half on my side, a knee pulled up, while an elbow supports. This also prevents rolling onto my stomach. Stomach sleeping leads to a stiff neck, as mourning dawns. My cheek should hug a sponge pillow in an ironed, summer pillow case, laced with lavender potpourri,


Insert my bite plate one last time, I may need it on my journey. Allow the earth to swallow me while Thunderstruck booms through desert air, followed by The Lonely Shepherd, something by Shahram Nazeri, and Joy, played on the Er-Hu. Bobby McFerrin is to conclude with his Voicestra version of Psalm 23.
Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da, the encore, of course.

Silence, at last, but for the lone wolf desert wind.

A thirty three thank yous, in anticipation, for arranging a fly-by of a squadron of thrushes from Leipoldt street, Dan Pienaar, Bloemfontein: Olive-coloured African Blackbirds. Then have them target the grave of the ornithologist who first called them by the same name as a yeast infection.
Maybe I’ll be smiling at a white-pooped sepulcher.
There is to me no greater majesty than my brown-feathered sprites.

Like the desert wind, which cheerfully, eerily howls over me under the completed moon, with ancient confetti rolling down dunes.
Killing me softly, breath by grain.

Credits: Thank you!
Cover image: Deadvlei photo by JP Desvigne on Unsplash
Narration by the author
Sound canvas:
The Lonely Shepherd by George Zamfir with Andre Rieu’s orchestra on YouTube
Obladi street performance by Daniele Vitale, on YouTube

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