Death Goes To Hell
Death Goes To Hell
Lovely. So how did it happen?
Lightning announced my approach—as if Death needs announcing. Sweeping up the cottage hill, I smiled.
There is no way he was going to get out of this one: bubonic plague saturating the roof, killer bees humming at the back door, a man-size amoeba covering the only window, anthrax powdering the outer walls, scorpions hedging a circle around the building, and me, scythe ready, standing at the door. No way.
“You are not surprised?” I asked.
“Heard you coming.”
My fist balled around my scythe. “May I come in?”
“You’re going to anyway.”
I entered. “You mean, you heard the creatures surrounding your habitation and assumed I had come for you?”
“Heard you.” He corrected. “You’re dang noisy dragging that scythe around.”
Straightened to my full ten-foot-four, I bumped into the ceiling.
“Dang noisy.” He repeated.
“Yah, figgered as much.” He scratched his beard, studying me.
“Are you ready to come, quietly?”
I stared at him. He stared back.
I cleared my throat. “Fighting is usele–”
He grabbed the scythe and slashed my throat.
“Hell, it can’t!”
“I am… immortal!”
“Immortal, my fuzzy rear, pale-face.”
“I…will…not…” And I collapsed to the floor, lifeless.
I’d thrown everything at him—fires, psychopath killers, subzero temperatures, Bird flu, mad cow disease… He just kept chugging. With approximately 107 deaths per minute, it’s not like I had time to chase after one agitating soul!
I clambered down the pile of inductees (a mountain to rival Everest) and slipped down the forever-tall mound of apathetic souls, bowling into a second mound where I stopped dumping them yesterday.
Trapped and crowded.
I brushed one off my back.
He stood, in the flesh at death’s gateway! I fumbled forward.
He pulled back his—my hood and called, “Dianna?”
A teen near the door turned, eyes bulging in recognition.
My tormentor seized her wrist and exited the prison. I hurdled through the last of the souls and caught her pant leg.
The prison faded as I clung. My face skidded out of a phone booth onto an isolated roadside. Waves slapped a dike between me and a lake.
The girl stopped her rescuer. “What are you doing, Tom?”
“I said I would rescue you, even from death.”
She scoffed a nasal whine. “Ya, like fifteen years ago. You’re like an old man now.”
He searched for a comeback. “But I slew Death for you!”
“That’s sweet. You also accidentally pushed me off a cliff.”
He let her go. “I tried to stop you-”
“Well, you did a great job at that.”
“I have more admirers in that pit than I ever could hope for here. I’m going back.”
“Goodbye, Tom.” She patted his cheek. “You were my favorite boyfriend until you killed me.” And she snatched his-my keys, stepping back through the phone booth.
He stood, befuddled.
Rising to my full height, I grabbed my keys.
“I’ve seen worse.” I tried.
I reached for my scythe. “How did you pull it off, by the way—staying alive?”
“Tell you that, and I’d have to kill you.” His grip tightened.
“You already have.”
“Oh.” He remembered, hold loosening. “One condition.”
“You won’t reap me.”
I snatched at the weapon, missing.
He leaped to his feet. “Don’t think so, Grim.”
“I’m not Grim. I’m Death.”
Author’s note: This is a Flash Fiction version of DEATH GOES TO HELL, taken from a compilation of short stories including such titles as DEATH WRITES A ROMANCE; DEATH STEALS THE BATMOBILE, DEATH GET’S FIRED, and more.