Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Conversation With Death

Trifecta had a fun prompt this week:

This week's word is:

1a : a permanent cessation of all vital functions : the end of life
  b : an instance of dying <a disease causing many deaths>
2a : the cause or occasion of loss of life <drinking was the death of him>
  b : a cause of ruin <the slander that was death to my character — Wilkie Collins>
3 capitalized : the destroyer of life represented usually as a skeleton with a scythe

Mwahahaha.  Have fun.

Please remember:
  • Your response must be between 33 and 333 words.
  • You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post.
  • The word itself needs to be included in your response.
  • You may not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above. 
  • Only one entry per writer.

The first part of this story started with a response to a Write on Edge prompt that can be found here.

Please enjoy!

Jonathan blinked and found himself standing in a bizarre cave.  The walls seemed to shift and bend in ways he couldn’t quite follow.  The longer he stared at them the worse it got. 

“So.  You’re the next lucky contestant,” a bass voice echoed out of the darkness.

“Who’s there?” Jonathan spun around several times.

“You need to pay back your sins, right?  The Grim Reaper sent you here?” the rock grinding voice came from a different direction.

“How do you know what’s going on?  I’m crazy, I know it.”

“No.  You’re dead.  I should know.”


A sigh sounding more like a gentle earthquake filled the M.C. Escher-esque cavern, “I hate repeating myself.  You’re dead.  I know this because I’m Death.  I decide who lives and dies and when.”

“Isn’t that the Grim Reaper’s job?” Jonathan scratched his head.

“No.  Common misconception.  He harvests souls.  I deal in lives.”

Jonathan whimpered.

“He sent you to me to give you one chance to fix your wrongs, right?”

“I guess,” Jonathan’s voice quavered a little on the second word.

“Well, then.  Back you go.  You have thirty-three years to fix your screw-ups.  If you don’t, I have to come get you again.  But, remember.  You’re not really alive again.  And if you try to tell anyone about what’s going on, they won’t believe you.”

“No kidding,” Jonathan mumbled under his breath before answering aloud, “How do I fix my screw-ups?”

“Do I look like your counselor?  I’m not, just in case you missed it.”

The cave filled with black mist.  The walls began to move and twist even more.  As his consciousness faded 

Jonathan heard one last thing from the voice calling itself Death.

“This outcome determines whether you make it into paradise or not.  Remember that as well,” then softer, “I hate it when the Grim Reaper does this to me.  I go through the effort to kill someone and he turns around and undoes it on me the minute my back is turned.”


  1. I love how you personify these spirits. Great twist with the Grim Reaper saving the guy's life, so to speak. Nice job!

    1. Thanks! I wanted to play around with the idea after writing the first part so when Trifecta gave this prompt, I couldn't resist!

  2. LOVE this line: “Do I look like your counselor? I’m not, just in case you missed it.”



    1. The more humorous part to me was that I really am a counselor! Although, there are days I wish I could that line.

  3. This is how it is at work sometimes, isn't it? The faster you accomplish something, the quicker someone else undoes it. Very nice!

    1. No kidding! I hate days like that.

  4. I like that "death" and the grim reaper are two different entities. I'd love to see what Jonathan does with his extra time.

    1. Thank you. I didn't initially intend that to happen, but it popped in my head (you know, one of those strange random thoughts totally unrelated to anything you're doing/thinking at that moment) and I went with it.

  5. I've never thought of death and the reaper as two separate entities, so this was a cool twist!

    1. Thanks. I wanted it to be a bit different so I'm glad to hear this idea works!

  6. "He harvests souls." That's great stuff, right there. I enjoyed your take on the prompt. You definitely added your own twist to own the story. Thanks for linking up.

    1. You're welcome and thanks for stopping by! This was one of those ideas that I wanted to have fun with rather than take seriously.

  7. This was just pure genius! I loved the idea of Death and the Grim Reaper being rivals of a sort.

    1. Thanks. I don't know about genius - but it was fun!