Not A Good Way To End The Year

3 Jan

Fiction

The cigarette hung from his fingers of bone inches over the glass table top.  The smoke wisped into where ever smoke wisps too, just kind of up and gone. The hooded figure attached to the cigarette was slumped over slightly. His attire consisted of nothing but a single robe which hung slackly over his skeletal frame. The robe was old and a colorless gray. A heavy sigh was heard from inside the deep black hole where a rosy face should have been.

“Ok,” said a voice out of the left most darken corner in the room. “Let’s start from the beginning.”

The hooded figure sighed again, “How many times are we going to go over this?”

“As many times as it takes for me to get a story I believe.”

The  hand holding the cigarette raised from the table and disappeared into the nothingness of the face hole. Smoke billowed out, looking like some starless part of the galaxy that was on fire.

The voice from the corner spoke again, “Start from the beginning.”

“Of course,” said the robe with a smile. You couldn’t see his smile, but you sure could hear the smile. It was a blood curdling smile. A smile that many, many, people saw as the last thing they ever saw. A smile that stopped the blood flowing in ones veins. “I was making my rounds…”

“On what date was this?”

“It was on December 12th, 12:38 am  to be precise. I was assigned a Mr. Robert Hupert as my next collection. Mr. Hupert lived in the suburbs in a single story house. Nice lawn, well taken care of…I remember that. Anyway, easy stuff. I entered through the south wall and landed in the kitchen. It was a small kitchen. I was surprised as to how small it was…I don’t know why…you know, just compared to what the outside of the house looked like. Anyway, I was thirsty so I helped myself to a glass of water from the built in water dispenser in the door of the refrigerator. As with just about everyone’s refrigerator  in the world, pictures of what I assumed where the Grand-kids hung with those cheap fruit shaped magnets. A little boy was featured in one photograph, and a little girl in the other. The rest of the photos had them both in it, playing, laughing, hugging…it could have been any house in the world really…”

The Robbed Hood paused.

“Go on,” prodded the corner.

“Right. So I had a job to do and about seven others on my list for that evening. I admit I was in a hurry, but I’m pretty good at what I do. I have been doing it forever…literally forever. “

Hood sneezed and a spider shot out from the black hole of his face, hit the table on it’s side. It recovered awkwardly and quickly, and then scampered away.

“Sorry,” he said and wiped his hole with the back of his cigarette holding sleeve. “So I head into Hupert’s bedroom where I expect him to be sleeping with  one of those CPAP machines attached to his face. I see a lot of CPAP machines anymore.”

“We don’t need to know that stuff, just stick to the relevant facts.”

“Hupert wasn’t asleep. He was awake.”

“So?”

“He could see me,” said Hood. “He was looking right at me. I knew he could see me. His face was flush of color and he was shaking. He also pointed at me. His mouth was open and moving, but no sound was coming out. This is a look I’m only used to seeing when the collected are in their last seconds of life. I like to look into their eyes as the last bit of their soul leaves their bodies. The eyes lose their shine slowly, like a fading star until…pop…nothing. The eyes, after  they lose their soul mind you, remind me of rocks you find in a river bed; dull, lifeless, flatten, hard…but regardless…Hupert could definitely see me.

‘What do you want?’ Hupert asked me.

‘I’m here to collect you,’ I responded. ‘How can you see me?’

‘What do you mean?’ Hupert asked.

‘How can you see me?’ I asked again. ‘Normally you can’t see me until you are toting that fine line between this life and the next.’

‘I don’t understand what you just said, but why are you dressed like the Grim Reaper?’

‘Because,’ I said matter-of-factly, which is how I always talk. ‘I am the Grim Reaper.’

Hupert started to whimper, then he started to cry.

‘Why? Why me?’ he said.

It’s what they all say. If I had a nickel for every time I heard that question…

(I don’t know what I would do with it. I have no need for money. It would just be a big pile of nickels, I guess.)

‘Because, you have been ordered to be collected. I am never told why. I just collect.’

‘No, I’m way too young! I’m only 47! There has to be a mistake!’

If I had a quarter for every time I heard that this has to be a mistake…

(Again…just a big pile of wasted quarters.)

Hupert suddenly jumped out the window and ran down the street. I was stunned. That has never happened to me before. I didn’t know what to do. I just stood there for a moment. Then I headed back into the kitchen, got a beer and a slice of turkey from the fridge, and left.”

“You just left?” asked the corner in shock.

“Yeah,” replied the Reaper. “I just left.”

Some papers rustled from the darken unseen corner. “Do you know in the billion years we have been doing this, we have never had someone scheduled for collection just run away?! Not one! We have always collected! Our record, until now, has been 100% collected! What the hell where you thinking?!”

The Reaper sighed.

“I wasn’t,” he replied. “I was still in shock… he could see me.”

“Some special people can see you, like Mediums, Clairvoyants, Bakers, Priests…”

“Bakers?”

“I don’t know why, but yes, bakers,” boomed the corner as more papers were shuffled. “You’re fired.”

The Grim Reaper didn’t say anything. He had never been fired before, but of course this had been his one and only job ever.

“What about the quota?” asked the Grim Reaper.

The man from the darken corner stepped out of the shadows. He was wearing a white robe and had a long beard. In one hand he held a stack of official looking papers, in the other he stroked his beard. “We will just have to have a run on of ‘natural disasters’, the Midwest is due for a tornado, Japan needs another tsunami soon anyway. We will figure it out until we hire a suitable replacement. Not your concern.”

“Just don’t get Eligos. I hate that guy.”

“Not your concern.”

The Grim Reaper got up and grabbed his sickle…

“Leave the sickle,” said the Other.

The Grim Reaper got up, leaving his sickle, and walked out the door. Maybe he would go visit the tropics for awhile, have a vacation before deciding what to do with the rest of his eternity…maybe he would check out that restaurant on the fourth level of Hell that’s been getting all the rave reviews…

Maybe he would just seek out Hupert and kill him.

Do the job right.

Get his position back.

Maybe he would buy a puppy instead.

So many possibilities…

The Grim Reaper sighed to himself.

To be continued?

About these ads

33 Responses to “Not A Good Way To End The Year”

  1. El Guapo January 3, 2014 at 8:50 AM #

    Bet he’d wish he had those piles of quarters and nickels if he buys a puppy.
    Those ain’t cheap.

  2. David Stewart January 3, 2014 at 8:52 AM #

    That was great. Sounds like a New Year’s miracle for poor Hupert, although I guess he can’t run forever.

    • Christopher De Voss January 3, 2014 at 8:53 AM #

      The blog world can not hold a huge story, but I’m thinking an epic battle between Hupert and the former Grim.

      • herdthinner January 5, 2014 at 12:12 AM #

        Of course it can hold huge stories. I’ve got huge stories going on in all of my blogs that… people aren’t reading. You know, never mind. You might be right.

        Your Reaper reminds me of the Reaper on Family Guy, if you happen to like that show and don’t mind the comparison. They have similar attitudes.

      • Christopher De Voss January 5, 2014 at 12:18 AM #

        Not a fan, but I don’t mind the comparison!

  3. whiteladyinthehood January 3, 2014 at 9:07 AM #

    That was great, Christopher! Just the right amount of humor mixed with horror! (loved when he sneezed a spider! eeew!!)

    • Christopher De Voss January 3, 2014 at 9:08 AM #

      Thank you. This one sat in the drafts forever. I was unsure about it.

  4. silkpurseproductions January 3, 2014 at 10:28 AM #

    Intriguing. I hope there will be more.

  5. ksbeth January 3, 2014 at 11:28 AM #

    wow very darkly funny

  6. floridaborne January 3, 2014 at 5:21 PM #

    An out of work grim reaper turned serial killer. Hmmm… Not much of a job change. :-)

  7. Maddie Cochere January 3, 2014 at 6:27 PM #

    “Hood sneezed and a spider shot out from the black hole of his face, hit the table on it’s side. It recovered awkwardly and quickly, and then scampered away.” :-) That’s some pretty creative stuff right there.

    It better be continued!

  8. Ned's Blog January 3, 2014 at 8:01 PM #

    Very cinematic, Chris. I could see everything, like watching a movie — the smoke tendrils, the voice from the darkened corner. But I couldn’t see the Grim Reaper, I SWEAR!

    Well done

    • Christopher De Voss January 3, 2014 at 9:27 PM #

      Thank you sir! I appreciate that, especially from published pros like yourself.

  9. gingerfightback January 4, 2014 at 3:11 AM #

    Run Roger Run!

  10. Southern Sea Muse January 4, 2014 at 6:10 PM #

    Yes…more, please. Just don’t send him to my beach, okay? On the other hand, maybe he’d like to learn a new hobby like us, like spearing and cooking up sting rays.

    Great story! Naughty, keeping it in draft for so long – this was a treasure. What else ya got stashed in your drafts folder?

  11. night owl January 5, 2014 at 8:04 AM #

    I like everything you write. This piece, however, is superb. It is one I will carry around in my head.

    I, too, want to know what this particular Reaper has ‘up his sleeve’. :-)

  12. Trent Lewin January 15, 2014 at 10:36 PM #

    Man, that’s dark and funny, and I think it should be totally continued. Have you ever read Piers Anthony’s Incarnations of Immortality? I think the first one personified death like this, except the person the reaper was coming for shoots death dead (ironic) and then has to become death… but sucks at it. Anyway, totally reminded me of that, except yours was both creepier and funnier.

    • Christopher De Voss January 16, 2014 at 12:02 AM #

      Thanks! I never read Piers Anthony but that sounds like a cool premise.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,553 other followers

%d bloggers like this: