Sunday, September 27, 2015


Thirty-two-year-old Richard Franchitti didn’t believe in love at first sight until he met free-spirited Catherine and started a brand new life. A devoted father and husband, Richard fought to keep his family together when it would have been easier to walk away.
Tragedy left him with unfinished business.
Now a disembodied spirit, Richard relives his most important days. From the beginnings of unconditional love, to the joy of his daughter’s birth, and all of the difficult times in between, each treasured moment brings him closer to answering the question:
“Why am I still here?”
He was born Richard Franchitti, but his friends call him Ricky. Welcome to his funeral.

Heavy gun-metal gray clouds look like a rough ceiling made out of dirty cotton. Wind plays with an array of multi-colored umbrellas pedestrians have opened up to fend off fat rain drops which have begun to fall, landing on the sidewalk and street with large splats. 

“Hello? Cat?” I have to shout. Rush hour is in full swing, the traffic so loud I can barely hear myself think. 

“R-i-c-k-y?” Her voice is still full of static. I check out the screen and see only one bar of reception. A new carrier is definitely in order. Better call quality, my ass. That little talking hamster who sounded eerily like Andrew Dice Clay was full of crap. 

Since the finger in the ear trick didn’t work, I try my palm instead. The cacophony dulls, but only just. 

“Cat? You’re breaking up, baby. The service here sucks.” 

“ –at? “ –at? *ssss* … ear … you … *ssssssss*” 

“I can’t make out what you’re saying,” I yell into my phone, lips pressed against it. “I think I’m in a dead zone.” 

I am paying more attention to my phone than the traffic, surely looking like an idiot to the passersby as I scream into the evil device that is the cellular phone. In an effort to get one more cursed bar of reception, I sidle closer to the curb. 

“— ood news …” 

“What? You’re still breaking up, Catherine.”

“… ant … *ssss* … by …” 

“Huh? Aunt Bea? Dammit.” 

Almost on top of the street now, I check the phone again. Two bars. 

“I think we’re in business now, Cat. What’s this about …”

The sentence goes unfinished. A shout of “Buddy! Look out!” turns my attention from my conversation. Startled, I spin around to see what the commotion is, but it’s already too late.

“What the shit?”

Two massive halos of light become my entire world within a split second. They follow on the sound of a loud pop that turns into a screech of tires. There is a scream. Could be mine, could be someone else’s. My life doesn’t pass before my eyes, but a telephone pole does as I fly through the air after the brutal impact. Pain, short-lived but intense, shoots through me.

When I come to a stop, so numb it almost hurts, all I see are those dark gray clouds. They swirl and undulate, and I realize my face is wet. Is it from the tears or the dollops of rain the clouds shed?

Over the ringing and pulsing of blood rushing through my head, I hear Cat’s voice loud and clear. I can’t help but think how typical that is. 

“Rick? Ricky! What’s that noise? What happened? You there?” 

No. I don’t think I am.

Matt Schiariti is an Engineeer by profession, guitar legend in his own mind, and would-be author, time permitting. When he’s not writing, he’s reading. When he’s not reading, he’s enjoying a beer sporting a fancy name on the label. When he’s not enjoying a fancy-named beer, he’s most likely reading some more. Sometimes he does all three at once, to disastrous effect. Matt lives in southern New Jersey with his wife, two children, and insane dog. Funeral with a View is his second published novel, but not his last. You have been warned.
TWITTER * @Matt_Schiariti


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