There’s a filmic quality to ‘Last Words’, which is probably apt as Matheson is not only known for writing novels and short stories, but also his scriptwriting and producing. The reason I say this is because of the way the narrator looks at the world he is recalling, even in the very few pages that make up this narrative (it is incredibly short).
The nameless narrator reflects on the last words of the dead. That’s it, that’s the story. And while it’s simple, it is powerful and dark and even disturbing. I enjoyed this tale for those three reasons (I tend to like the twisted in stories). ‘Last Words’ is quick and to the point, with dark humour that allows you to see into the mind and workings of the nameless narrator. You even learn a little of his motivations for his reflections.
Check out ‘A Book of Horrors’ edited by Stephen Jones for this story and others in the same field of horror, as he has attempted to collect tales that bring back what horror really is for audiences.
Also, if you would like to check out some of Matheson's other works in the horror field, look up 'Created By' and 'The Ritual of Illusion'. In terms of films, look up 'Sole Survivor' (based on Dean Koontz's novel, and an author I love by the way), 'Demons' and the web-based project 'Splatter'.