Mar. 12th, 2015


Mar. 12th, 2015 05:15 pm
The man stood, looking out across the desert. He took his hat off for a second, then replaced it, tugging the brim back down to shade his eyes. He wasn't entirely certain where he was, but he had his suspicions. He realised there was a bag slung over his shoulder, so he rummaged in it, more for form than out of any genuine hope that it might contain an answer. A crumpled piece of paper came to light. He smoothed it out.


He screwed it up again. It didn't seem to fit any more. More rummaging produced a bottle of pills with a rather dessicated-looking frog on the label, a child's picture book, a battered hat with "WIZZARD" emblazoned on it in sequins. There didn't seem to be even a million to one chance that any of it might be of use, so he put everything back in the bag and looked round for somewhere to leave it.

This was when he noticed the shadow next to him. It was roughly man shaped, if that were a particularly thin man - one might even say emaciated. Indeed, the phrase skin and bone might have been thought of specifically for this figure, particularly if one missed out the bit about the skin. The figure was enveloped entirely in robes and standing quite motionless,gazing down at him.

He gazed back up, his beard jutting pugnaciously.

"Well? What happens now?"

The figure continued to gaze silently. It was a silence that one might feel should be expressed in block capitals, were such a thing possible.

The man's expression softened. He reached up to pat where a shoulder might have been expected to be. Something rattled faintly under the robes.

"Here," he said, handing over the bag. "Look after it all. I've put a lot of work into it." He turned and stumped away across the desert.

Death stood holding the bag and watched him go. Normally on these occasions, he could find something to say, but this was different. Something had changed and the words weren't there any more. Finally, as the man dwindled into a speck in the heat haze, he found the right words to say. Really, the only words.

"THANK YOU." He hoped the man could hear.

The rest was silence.

RIP Pterry.


James Brough

August 2017

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