Sincerely, Your Mortician.

Dear Mr Hawkesworth,

Thank you for your visit last Thursday. Although your request was rather unusual, We can confirm your wishes are being carried out. Your wife’s body arrived on Saturday morning as arranged and we immediately set about cleaning her up. The skin under her fingernails was tenacious, I do hope you have your scratches seen to by a physician, I wouldn’t want to see you again in a more formal capacity.

Thank you for the recent photographs, we will more easily be able to reconstruct the damage to her nose and eye socket from them. My assistant will also use them to create a realistic hair piece and make up style relevant to her. The wounds in her neck and chest, although deep, can be repaired and will not be seen when complete, and the bruises can be removed at the point of skinning and tanning. In regard to your query on whether the head wound would affect the final finish, I can confirm the majority of damage was to the top of the skull and will easily be covered by the hair piece.

Your wish to have the organs kept separately in the Egyptian style has been a little more problematic. We had sourced four porcelain jars; unfortunately they are unsuitable, so our quest for replacements continues. The wire frame to hold the final shape of the skin is coming on nicely. As per your request she will be posed sitting in her favourite armchair. We await your final choice of clothing.

Your Sincerely, Mr Empaillage.

Dear Mr Hawkesworth.

Thank you for dropping off the clothes you wish your wife to wear when our process is complete. Are you aware the stockings have holes in them and the jacket has a prominent coffee stain on the lapel? We have taken on board your comments and clarification on the type of pose you wish your wife to be in and will make the appropriate tweaks to the wire frame. As discussed, we find the hand gesture slightly off colour, but we defer to your judgement.

Although we are grateful to you for bringing in the containers for your wife’s organs, we do not feel that Tupperware conveys the right tone, therefore we have commissioned a local potter to design and create the appropriate containers. These will be at no extra cost.

On a personal note, the scratches on your arms and face did not look like they were healing well and I re-iterate my request that you see a doctor before they get worse.

Yours Sincerely Mr Empaillage.

Dear Mr Hawkesworth,

Here is a current update on our progress:

  • We have received the four porcelain jars from our supplier. They are sublime, the lids have been sculpted into busts of your wife and are the perfect containers for her internal organs.
  • The wire frame is complete and we will await your next visit for final approval and sign off when you are discharged from hospital.
  • The skin has been removed and is in the process of tanning. The cuts have been repaired and the bruises are no longer visible.
  • We have had the armchair deep cleaned to remove the blood stain on the seat cushion.

We have recently been in correspondence with your Son. He seemed quite distressed with our arrangement and demanded we put a halt on any further works. As he is not our customer we have made no changes to our agreement. May I suggest you discuss this arrangement with him before out next meeting?

Yours Sincerely Mr Empaillage.

Dear Mr Hawkesworth,

I am sorry to hear you are still in hospital. Septicaemia is a serious condition and it is good to hear you are responding to treatment well. I look forward to hearing of your full recovery and your visit to sign off the final wire frame of your wife. Once we have received this we can continue with our work, as everything now depends on this.

In response to your questions:

  • We will not allow your son to visit our premises to see your wife’s remains. Our contract is with you and you decide who does and does not have access.
  • We can provide you with two additional hairpieces, one in blonde and one in red as required. They will be in the same style and easily interchangeable.
  • We can have our seamstresses add Velcro to the clothes you provided to enable an easier re-dressing process. We will respect your wishes not to wash said clothes.

Your Son has been in contact again. He seems extremely agitated and although polite, was firm in his desire to stop this process. May I again implore you to take this matter in hand? We do not have much security to speak of and should he insist on entering the building by force I don’t believe we would be able to stop him.

Yours Sincerely Mr Empaillage.

Dear Mr Hawkesworth Jnr.

Thank you for your visit last Thursday. It was good to go over the arrangements for your father, again please accept our deepest condolences for your loss. It is hard to lose one parent, but two is a tragedy.

We received your father on Saturday and we are making progress as you outlined in our meeting. As we discussed his black tongue, evidently the result of a high dose of arsenic, can be rectified post mortem without much issue.

We have photographic records of your mother’s original wounds and we will use these as a reference to recreate them on your father. The wire body frame for his skin will have him on the armchair with his hands in a defensive position. We will add a bloodstain to the previously cleaned cushion in a facsimile of the original stain. You will have final sign off of the position at your next visit and we will dispose of his organs in the usual manner.

The original wire frame for your mother will be disposed of and a new one created as per your instructions. To confirm, she will be posed in an aggressive stance, holding the large porcelain cat you provided and will be placed leaning over your father, surrounded by the jars containing her organs.

We await your final choice of clothing.

Your Sincerely Mr Empaillage.

Terrible Minds writing challenge.

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