"Funeral Games," by Hal Bodner, in Avenging Angelenos, edited by Sarah M. Chen, Wrona Gall and Pamela Samuels Young, Down and Out Books, 2021.
This is a very silly story. That is not an insult.
Southern California's funeral industry is viciously competitive when it comes to celebrity funerals. People measure a memorial park's cachet by how many stars are buried on-site. Needless to say, the plots and crypts are priced accordingly. It never fails to astonish me how many people will pay top dollar to spend their eternal rest within spitting distance of a rock star when in life, they'd have been outraged by the loud parties next door and called the police on the groupies throwing up on their lawn.
Mickey owns one such memorial park. His nemesis and ex-lover is the wonderfully named Julia Shrike. They will do anything to steal top-of-their-fame dead rockers or even over-the-hill movie stars from each other. Bribery, lies, and even grave-robbing are not off the menu.
As the tit-for-tat escalates it is anyone's guess who will wind up on top. Great fun.