Short Story #169: John Mortonson's Funeral by Ambrose Bierce

Title:  John Mortonson's Funeral

Author:  Ambrose Bierce


Book cover: Complete Short Stories of Ambrose BierceJohn Mortonson sits in his casket with his family members weeping about him.  Soon, friends come to visit.  The minister arrives and delivers a eulogy.  As the ceremony is wrapping up, the mother runs to the casket and throws herself upon it and opens it to see her son one last time.  His physical appearance causes the audience to be repulsed and one man knocks over a support for the casket.  The coffin calls and breaks open, wherein Mortonson's cat walks out from within the casket.  


This story was never published but found among Bierce's writings after his death.  It was a short story without much punch besides asking the obvious question of how did the cat get in there in the first place.  

Short Story #169 out of 365
Rating:  (out of 5 stars)
Date Read:  6/16/2014
Source:  The Complete Short Stories of Ambrose Bierce, compiled by Ernest Jerome Hopkins.  Bison Books, 1984.  The full works of Ambrose Bierce, including this story can be found here on

For a full listing of all the short stories in this series, check out the category 365 Short Stories a year.

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