Tansy Undercrypt
Author, Illustrator, Purveyor of Doom & Whimsy


June 16th 2017

Harriet sat very quietly at the bedside, holding Gwendolyn’s hand. “Gwen,” she whispered. “Do it,” came the faint reply. Harriet slipped a rock under Gwen’s tongue and patted her face. “Out with it,” Harriet said. “Breathe out all of your regrets, all of your secrets, all of the harm you know you’ve done. Do it.” […]

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May 18th 2017

“We’re close now,” the attending physician had said. Quietly, Marilyn opened her purse and lifted out a Ziploc bag containing a tube of lipstick, some theatrical adhesive, and a large flower. Leaning carefully over the bed, Marilyn skillfully applied the dark peach lipstick to her mother’s mouth. “This is her all-time favorite color: Georgia Summer,” […]

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April 26th 2017

“You’ve been busy this month,” Olive whispered, reaching for his hand. “Sometimes, I think I work too much,” he whispered in return. “But you do an excellent job; your boss must appreciate it,” she continued, patting the bed beside her. He sat down. “Yes,” he said, tired, “but, sometimes, even that …” “Doesn’t feel like […]

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March 1st 2017

“You’re a long way from Denmark,” the gentleman on the doorstep said, showing his badge. She sighed and gestured for him enter. “Rumored to be the happiest place on earth,” he continued, moving into the living room and sitting down. “Expert marketing,” she said with a smile, “and nothing more.” “Bad enough that you faked […]

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February 18th 2017

“Prep times on Delmer and Common?” the director asked him. “Delmer is ready whenever. Common … ready at 5pm today.” Thomas hung up, and went into the kitchen to finish his lunch. He thought about Leslie Common, the way her hope had failed (leading to a decision that would take her body with it), and […]

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February 16th 2017

At the gravesite, they salted the earth and marked the gravestone with an extra coffin nail to show they’d applied precautions. Frank looked away and was comforted by Dot’s sister, cousin, and two friends from work. “I’m fine,” he told them. “I understand that it wouldn’t be my Dot that came back. I’m okay.” Late […]

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February 10th 2017

“You okay?” one of the angels asked him. “I never know what to say to kids,” Death answered, hugging his coffee cup in the break room, his empty gaze pointed far, far away. “This morning, I was asked to personally guarantee that the afterlife wasn’t stupid.” “What?!?” the angel responded, shocked. “Based on a working […]

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February 6th 2017

They opened the first bottle of champagne and prepared to toast. “I have to ask; forgive me,” Russell interjected and they all smiled. “You DID follow the burial instructions to the letter, yes? Down to the very last detail?” He looked at Emily, who sighed. “I’m sure the funeral director thought I was completely insane […]

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January 31st 2017

She gave him a mug of tea (matte black, inside and out). He looked carefully around the room trying not to stare; there were blackout curtains on all of the windows; low-finished woodgrain flooring had been recently installed over what he could only assume was vinyl (given the age of the house and its kitchen); […]

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December 17th 2016

“In life,” the executor read aloud, “I paid you to care. I did it willingly; I understood the arrangement.” Charles shifted uncomfortably in his seat. “I was pleased to offer you an education. I felt it was my distinct obligation to provide bail money. And, as far as lessons repeatedly learned, I thought I should […]

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