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By Donald Denoon

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Extra resources for Afterlife: A Divine Comedy

Sample text

When we were introduced again (they’d forgotten the first) I could barely say my name. ), I’d blame Althea and Winifred. With that defence, every red-blooded male would acquit me. Once I’d met the Anglicans, and the Jolliffe girls especially, it was plainly impossible to take my classmates seriously. Most of the girls wouldn’t have afterLIFE 49 given the time of day to a bookworm anyway. Two agonising and wastefully chaste years dragged by before I attempted a conversation with a Jolliffe. I’d been at uni in Brisbane for weeks before I saw a familiar profile through the window of a poncy coffee house.

So they must not move the body. On the other hand, they could hardly leave the corpse in the loo for several hours, nor could they haul it out without electrifying the rest of business class. No doubt the purser apologised discreetly to people in nearby seats and topped up their single malts. Next problem: whose laws govern the writing of my death certificate — those of the country of the deceased, or the country of destination? This was preposterous: wherever I was now, it was too late for regulatory riddles.

In the year before most of my class quit, one of the teachers staged the prescribed text for that year, Julius Caesar. It was hard to see how a story of togas and high politics would illuminate the lives of apprentice mechanics and temporary hair-dressers. Still, acting it did deliver something surprising. Garth was a natural Mark Antony and the teacher thought I was a natural Brutus. Perhaps he was right. In rehearsal I learned the words to express my dislike, my distrust — and my envy — of the charmed life of the charming Garth.

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