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Beautiful Things

for L.C. Schäfer's Challenge to the Death

By lucyjbPublished 3 months ago 3 min read
Top Story - September 2023
Beautiful Things
Photo by Dan Farrell on Unsplash

Written for for L.C. Schäfer's Challenge to the Death-- original story


There is something in a dog’s eyes that is love in its simplest form. The worst person in the world can still be loved so purely by a dog and there is comfort in their company that is like no other.

I think it is that comfort that I strive to give them, and so I dawn paws and tails, muppet noses and ears velvety soft.

I don't know why this form appeals to me so. Maybe I like the idea—that Death is the one who loves the most.

Silvery and desperate, they talk to their loved ones. Sometimes it takes a long time for them to realize that their speaking is not being heard.

All of them hurt; the peaceful ones and the tragic ones and the ones of those who think that death will be better. When they ask, I can't give them an answer because sometimes I don't know myself.

Still, I stand by them all, and when they drop their hands in defeat, I am there. Sometimes they cry, sometimes they scream, but most just have sad eyes; when I stand with them, there is nothing I can say, nothing I can do that will fix everything. It hurts me, to watch them go, to see their devastation and their loose ends that will never be tied up.

They have so many mes. I know every incarnation that they have given me, their Hades and their Anubis and their Hell and Heaven, but I lead them all down the same path. They see it differently, I think according to their beliefs. I hope.

Its not that I like my job, it is painful and haunting and tragic, but things must come to an end, and I suppose it is satisfying to be that end. Still, I wonder what it might be like to come to my own end. I wonder who will reap my own soul. Do I have a soul? I don't know.

I have walked their world so many times, and still it leaves me in awe. They make such beautiful things, and I think there is something about a ticking clock that brings those things to life. In my own attempts, there is nothing of substance to find. Maybe I cannot capture these things as they can.

It was painting I tried first. I walked miles of museums hoping that the genius of the greats would rub off on me. But my paintings were lifeless; it took me so long to realize that there is nothing of life in me to put on a canvas.

Still I tried. Sculpting. From Michaelangelo to Rodin, I fought with the stone until my hands were raw, but it would not submit to my vision, and I moved on quickly.

I tried their writing next, but I think that their words fear me. I suppose you will have to decide for yourself.

When I tried my hand at baking, the results were inedible. I may well be the first to get kicked out of a cooking class.

Dance failed me as well. I don't think it agrees with me. Yet, their songs are magical in a way that, even to me, is ineffable; sometimes I wish that I could fall into them and flow down their river of melodies. I fear that there will be no beauty in my own music. I havent worked up the courage to try it yet.

I am not sure what it is that I search for, I'm not sure why it is that I am searching. I do all that I was made for and the longing for something beyond that, it may be completely out of my reach; still, I hope that I will know when I find it. If I find it.

I think I will try photography next.

What could be better than to capture these beautiful things?

MicrofictionShort Story

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  • AnhKhoa.Arc2 months ago

  • Thavien Yliaster2 months ago

    Ahhh, death trying to grab a hold of hobbies that seem to be filled with so much life, and yet endlessly struggling in that pursuit of trying to find fulfillment outside of one's own duties. I think that Death should take up composting and collecting and growing mushrooms. After death there is decay, but there is much value in death and decay that other forms of life cling to it. By composting death can pave the way for the future of life, mushrooms help to digest what was considered to be inedible and redistribute the nutrients back into the food cycle. Thus, death will still struggle in bringing about life, but it's in a way that aligns with its own purpose. As growing plants and fungi is as much about being hands off as it is hands on. There's only so much control we can have over such factors.

  • Naveed2 months ago

    Congratulations on achieving top story status! 🤦‍♂️👍

  • JBaz2 months ago

    I love the wAy you portray failure in everything attempted and the underlining reason why. This was very emotional Congratulations

  • Walterego2 months ago

    Great tekst

  • great work!!

  • Poppy2 months ago

    Awesome story. I especially loved the opening sentence.

  • Angelina F. Thomas2 months ago

    My neighbor's dog died and it happened to be two dogs. One pit bull named Huck, and a white poodle named Snooki. It has been a while since they had to put the dogs to sleep in regards to their health. My neighbors are still going through heartache and grief over their beautiful dogs. I am sure Huck and Snookie are in heaven looking down and hoping and saying please don't cry. I am no longer in pain please be happy for the doggies. That is what I think Huck and Snookie feel

  • Congratulations on your Top Story🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉

  • Hannah Moore2 months ago

    Oh Death yearns to create. I want to suggest gardening, I think Death's strength may lie in gardening. I'm telling you this because somehow I want it passed on to this character!

  • Alex H Mittelman 3 months ago

    Great work! Fantastic!

  • Celia in Underland3 months ago

    This is utterly captivating. I very much like the thoughtfulness of your personified death. Beautiful 🤍

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