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Dog Barks at Coffin during Funeral, Suspicious Son Opens It and Finds It Empty – Story of the Day

Ryan gets suspicious when his dog races into the church and starts barking at his father’s coffin. Seeing the dog in an alert position, Ryan opens the casket, only to find his father’s body missing.

Ryan climbed out of the car and stood outside the church, knowing he wasn’t ready to say goodbye to his father. “We couldn’t even give Dad a proper funeral,” he thought. Suddenly, Bella’s sharp bark distracted him.

Ryan turned to his car, where Bella was more agitated than usual.

“Bella!” He gave her a hand signal to lie down, and she obeyed. He patted her head through the open car window. “Now, stay, Bella.”

Ryan then walked away, ignoring Bella’s whine, and entered the church. His father Arnold’s casket was already in place, closed, and the funeral director had discretely cordoned off the immediate area because Arnold had died of an infectious disease.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Ryan sat beside his mother. Arnold would be cremated, not buried, given the circumstances of his death.

Just as the mass ended and mourners rose to sing the final hymn, Bella’s bark echoed through the church. She jumped on the casket, knocking the flower arrangement to the floor, and began barking loudly.

When Bella sat in her alert position on the floor and stared at him, Ryan sensed something was off.

“Open the casket!” he demanded.

A gasp rang out in the gathering. Ryan didn’t care. He walked over to the casket and opened it, only to find it empty.

“Wh-Where’s my brother?” His uncle stared at the funeral director.

Ryan’s mother couldn’t stand what was happening. Her eyes rolled back in her skull, and her knees gave way. Ryan caught her just in time before her head hit the marble floor. He rushed her to the hospital.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

At his mother’s house, Ryan called the police.

“At this point, all we know is that the coroner confirmed the cause of death and released the remains to the funeral home,” Detective Bradshaw told him. “Was your father involved in any activities I should be aware of?”

Ryan hadn’t been involved in his father’s business since he opened his dog training and rehabilitation center. But he knew Arnold would never put his or the company’s reputation at stake.

Since there was no vital lead yet, Detective Bradshaw left, promising to be in touch with updates. But Ryan didn’t want to wait. The hospital was keeping his mom overnight. He left Bella at home and went to the morgue to find answers.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

“The coroner resigned? What about the new coroner?” Ryan was baffled when the nurse at the reception informed him there was no new coroner yet. He asked to see his father’s file, but the nurse refused, saying it was against policies.

Ryan knew how to convince her. He set $1000 on the counter, and she turned a blind eye when he slipped inside the coroner’s office. He started searching the shelves for his father’s file, but it was futile. Arnold’s file was missing.

Ryan was frustrated. Suddenly, his buzzing phone distracted him. It was his father’s lawyer, Mr. Stevens. The older man informed Ryan that he was the new CEO of Arnold’s company and wanted to see him urgently.

As Ryan arrived at his father’s office, he opened Arnold’s Gmail on the office computer, only to find the inbox empty. Someone had deleted the messages.

“Ryan! Good to see you,” Mr. Stevens entered the room and shut the door behind him.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

“Who’s been using this computer?” Ryan asked him.

“Nobody,” Mr. Stevens replied.

“Wait, where are the dancers?” Ryan noticed two figurines were missing from his father’s office.

“Oh, he took them home. Poor Arnold…he could never get the third figurine in the set. Can you believe the man who owns it won’t accept anything less than half a million?” Mr. Stevens said.

Ryan was sure Arnold hadn’t taken them home. He’d been all through his parents’ house since he arrived for the funeral, and he hadn’t seen those dancers anywhere.

“But anyway, we have more important matters to discuss…” Mr. Stevens informed Ryan that they were in severe debt, and several investors were threatening to pull their investments because Arnold had been missing meetings with them for months before his death.

“…and it all started when his new secretary began working here. With all due respect to Arnold and his family, I believe he was having a romantic relationship with her,” Mr. Stevens revealed.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Ryan lost his cool as the thought of his mother’s sad face crossed his mind. He would’ve confronted his father’s secretary if Mr. Stevens hadn’t stopped him—It would only tarnish Arnold’s reputation.

Ryan spent the day sorting out the debt problem and sent gift baskets to the most vital investors. After work, he followed his father’s secretary, Miss Pearson, and saw her pull into the garage of a modest suburban home. She was his only lead until now, so he waited outside her house in his car.

Sometime later, the whirring noise of her garage door awoke him. He saw her head in the direction of the city in her car and wanted to follow her. But then he had a better idea. He leaped from his car and managed to get inside her garage just in time before the door closed. There, he found a doorway leading into her house.

He found the kitchen first, searched the drawers, and found a flashlight. He didn’t want to turn on the lights in case Miss Pearson came home suddenly. His heart sank when he entered her bedroom and saw a framed photo of her kissing Arnold on the nightstand.

Ryan maintained his composure, reminding himself he was here to find a lead that would help him figure out what happened to his father. He searched Miss Pearson’s house but couldn’t find anything. Dejected, he was about to leave when he noticed a slightly open drawer in the coffee table.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

A Manila envelope there interested him. Inside it was Arnold’s life insurance policy for $7 million, and the sole beneficiary was…Miss Pearson! Ryan took the document and drove to the police station.

“This is quite compelling…” Detective Bradshaw said, looking at the document. “Let me see what else I can find out about this Pearson woman.”

Ryan was seated near the front desk when she approached him with a team of officers. Turned out Miss Pearson was booked on a flight to Morocco, which would leave in half an hour.

“Since the US has no extradition treaty with the Moroccan government, it’s vital we bring her in for questioning before she boards the plane!”

Ryan wanted to accompany the officers, but Detective Bradshaw refused because he was a civilian. Ryan didn’t listen to her and followed her.

“Police!” Detective Bradshaw yelled as she and her team approached a boarding gate. “Let us through!”

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Ryan slipped past the airport security officers by blending with the group, and they proceeded to the boarding area. The cops immediately spread out and started checking the passengers.

“You there! The dark-haired woman in the white shirt! Step out of the line and raise your hands in the air,” Detective Bradshaw yelled.

Ryan was relieved they’d caught Miss Pearson, but his smile faded when the woman turned around. She was not Miss Pearson. The cops continued the search for hours, but Miss Pearson was gone.

Ryan was back to square one. But somewhere in his heart, he knew Arnold was alive. Ryan knew the figurines weren’t at his mother’s house. Wherever his father was, he must’ve taken the figurines with him. Ryan looked up the collector who had the third figurine online and visited him.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

“So…how much will you take for it?” he asked, pointing to the figurine.

“$750,000,” the collector, Mr. Frederick, replied.

“That’s far above the market value for the artist’s work, sir.”

“Then don’t buy it. The price is non-negotiable, young man!”

Ryan had to have it, so he requested time to arrange the money. He returned to his car, dialed Mr. Stevens, and said he wanted to sell $750,000 worth of his shares in the company.

“But then you won’t have a controlling stake in the company, Ryan!” Mr. Stevens said.

“I’m aware, Mr. Stevens, but this is urgent,” Ryan explained. “I need the cash immediately, but if I’m right, I should be able to buy back those shares within the week.”

“Ryan,” Mr. Stevens eventually replied in a measured tone, “as a major stakeholder and legal advisor for the company, I get the feeling it would behoove me not to ask questions about why you need such a large amount of money at such short notice.”

“As a longtime family friend, however,” Mr. Stevens continued, “I must know if this is related to the suspicion I shared with you about Miss Pearson.”

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

“In a manner of speaking, yes,” Ryan replied.

Mr. Stevens sighed. “She’s also disappeared, you know…didn’t turn up for work today, and her phone number no longer exists. I’ll get you the money…best you not ask me the details…and wire it to you ASAP.”

When Ryan received the message that the money was in his account, he rushed inside to speak to Mr. Frederick. The older man muttered something about how the figurine was worth more than his asking price since it was the only available piece of the set, but Ryan cut him off.

“You asked for $750 000, sir, and that’s what I’m giving you, effective immediately. Are you not a man of your word, Mr. Frederick?”

Mr. Frederick finally agreed to sell the figurine. Ryan was now ready for the next step. He called a few people from his car and made a quick stop before returning to his mother’s house.

“Where on earth have you been, Ryan?” his mother asked. “I return from the hospital to find the house empty, and poor Bella bored out of her mind. Your dog misses you; I really can’t keep her busy enough, and I’ve barely seen you since the funeral…”

“I’m sorry, Mom,” he muttered. “Please just trust that what I’ve been doing is very important. It will also be over very soon.”

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

Ryan stood behind a pillar near the back of the auction house’s main bidding area and studied the crowd. The figurine he’d bought was the next lot up for bid. He glanced toward the podium as it was brought to the front.

As the price climbed, the number of participants whittled down to just two. One was an overweight man with a prominent nose, and the other was a tall, white-haired man in a navy suit. Neither of them was his father.

Ryan had insisted on anonymity and personally paid for several adverts to ensure his father, wherever he might be, would know that the figurine was on auction today.

“$600,000 going once,” the auctioneer declared.

Ryan’s heart sank. He feared that not only would he lose his bait and miss the chance to find his father, but he would also make a huge loss on the figurine.

“…going twice…”

“$1 million!”

Ryan got goosebumps at the sound of his father’s voice. He stared in shock as Arnold rose from a seat near the back of the auction room and removed his wide-brimmed hat.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

“$1 million going once…going twice…sold to the man in the beige coat!” The auctioneer banged his gavel.

Immediately, Arnold put his hat back on and headed for the door. Ryan rushed around the edge of the room and blocked his path. Then Detective Bradshaw stepped forward and handcuffed Arnold.

“Ryan?” Arnold frowned at Ryan. “You tricked me! This was a trap!”

“Don’t act like I’ve committed some terrible betrayal, Dad! You’re the one who had an affair and faked your own death so you could run off with your mistress! How could you?”

Arnold hung his head as he confessed that he was tired of his old life and wanted to start a new one with his new love, Miss Pearson.

“So you took out a huge amount in life insurance for your new life, bribed the coroner to falsify your death certificate and cause of death, and had all of us gather around an empty casket to mourn you!” Ryan hissed.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

“‘A man should do what is right, not follow his own selfish interests.’ You taught me that, Dad. I’m sorry you couldn’t follow your own principles, but I hope you realize that your failure to do so led to your downfall.”

Detective Bradshaw assured Ryan that Miss Pearson would be caught soon, too. Then Arnold was taken away to the police car.

Tell us what you think about this story, and share it with your friends. It might inspire them and brighten their day.

If you enjoyed this story, then you might like this one about a man who returns home after taking his mother to a nursing home and discovers his suitcases on the doorstep and another family moving in.

This piece is inspired by stories from the everyday lives of our readers and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone’s life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to [email protected].

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