This story was written in response to a prompt by L.C. Schäfer in their story "Moonlighting":
I've decided, in tribute, to keep the picture theme food motivated as it seemed to lend itself to what happens to poor Death in my story.
Hope you like it and please comment below as I do love to hear from those of you who read my stuff. I do love you stopping by.
So, here I am, sat in a bloody cage. Me! Death! That's right! DEATH! And I have to tell you that I am mightily pissed off. Not that I can do anything about it. I know! Me! Death! Not being able to do anything about it! It beggars belief!
Bloody stinks in here too. I would say that it stinks of death but self flagellation is not my thing. And besides, generally, I do like to take care of myself even if I am a bag of bones. My robe is of the finest rough cloth and the cowl is the looser fit around the face, the fashion this season. I think it frames my paleness quite nicely. And I have been known to do weights. Usually pushing people off cliffs or similar but it counts as exercise in my book.
Ah, woe is me. All lightheartedness aside, I do find myself in a bit of a pickle and I'm not entirely sure how I'm going to get myself out of it. One thing that it has taught me is to always keep up with your paperwork because if you don't, this is where you could find yourself - languishing, in a dirty filthy dungeon, with rats and faeces for company. Actually, company comes more from the rats than the faeces. There is a lot of shit spoken but generally, it does not speak itself. And before you think I've been conversing with rats, rats don't speak but they do like to approach you. They find there are slim pickings with me.
So, how do I find myself here? Well, I'd like to say that it's a funny story but it's not at all. In fact, I'm almost too embarrassed to share it. You see, it's all about admin.
I've never been very good at admin and one thing that you need to know is that in the death business, there is a lot of change. People are always looking for new ways to top each other but not only that, there are other beings, shall we call them, who want the monopoly on death. My job is very much coveted. It's all about the power and it has ever been the way. And I have a duty to protect people from the indiscriminate killing of them by being a steward of the demise, or, if you want to put a more positive spin on it, a keeper of life.
It really is quite tiring. And repetitive. And never bloody ending.
Trying to find the time to keep up with the latest developments is time I don't have. And now, I'm paying the price for that.
I'd been aware of the burgeoning inbox of directives from those who run the universe - don't ask me because I don't know who they are: I only work for them! Never seen them, have no interest. It's just the way it's always been. These emails (used to be papers littering my desk, before that scrolls rolling under it - but we move with the times) these thousands of emails are sitting there like a stone around my neck. Some of them I'd given a quick skim and acted on them but some of them take more than a cursory read.
The Glamour one, for instance. Many pages long.
And so we come to the tale. I'm not a very sociable chap really. It's difficult to make friends in the death game. Your appearance pretty much gives the game away and I've found that people aren't always very chit-chatty when they know they're going to die. Unless they feel the need to confess, which is entertaining but a bit one-sided. Confessions tend to be more spillage rather than conversation.
But you know it's nice to talk and whilst I'd not been feeling lonely, I had been at a point in my, let's call it life for ease, where I was questioning my purpose and wondering what was it all for? This was unusual in itself. An indicator of outward influence? Maybe.
It was after a particularly moving death of an old couple, both heading for one hundred years on this planet and devoted to each other still. Seeing their souls, it was like a Venn diagram or conjoined twins, neither of which are romantic images - I'm new to the dating game - but you get the general idea. They were still deeply in love. To take one meant taking the other. They were spooning each other in bed when Alf had a heart attack and within ten seconds of his expiration, Betty sighed deeply in her sleep and her heart which had essentially already departed with Alf, gave in. I have to confess, I was moved. If I had tear ducts, I'd have cried. Beautiful.
I wondered what it would be like to have something like that. At the time, I blamed overwork and few hobbies for this mad thinking but that's what prompted it. I was infused with warmth for the first time since...nope, can't remember a time before. So it was a first.
And because it was a first, that's how I know that I must have been manipulated in some way. I just don't get the feels. Ever. But here I was, feeling and questioning and envying. Something was being worked on me and really I should have known then and acted. But I didn't.
So Alf and Betty's departures were still resonating in my head a bit when I saw her.
I should probably explain a little about glamours for those of you not in the know. It is a spell essentially, that people cast on themselves, which causes them to become incredibly attractive to the point that others are inextricably drawn to them and held in their thrall.
Yep, a powerful tool indeed. I have knowledge of glamours, although I've never used one myself, but not only have I seen what they can do, I've also had people try them on me. But to no effect. Read the directive, you see and escaped as a result. But there must have been an update because, well, this was different.
I tell you, I have never felt anything like it. The desire I felt? Wowee! It was all consuming. Not a lot of people died that day, I can tell you. I was lost, distracted, absorbed.
It wasn't just the way she looked though. It was everything. She was sat on a bench, eating a tuna baguette. I know. It's not a greatly romantic start but there was something about the way she brought that baguette to her lips, getting her teeth round it and tearing at it that was so beguiling, I had to approach her.
She was golden, shining with an aura of purity and joy, emanating warmth and sex too, all at the same time. I was powerless to resist, which of course is the point. She was just dabbing her mouth with a tissue when I followed the compulsion to approach her and sat down next to her on the bench. She reached into her bag and produced an apple with a bruise. She took a bite that circled the bruise, held the brownish chunk between her teeth and spat it on the floor.
Again, I know what you're thinking - the signs were there. But I was bewitched. This all seemed so attractive at the time - still does in my memory of it. The grace with which she spat that apple out stirred something inside me, the sinking of her teeth into its flesh made me quiver.
Even the hairy brown wart on her face was a draw, its prominent hairs begging to be stroked...
I know. It's weird. And the sad thing is I know it's weird. That's a glamour for you.
"Want a bite?" she asked, proffering her fruit to me for a nibble. The white innards of the apple were still tinged with brown and I could smell the taint of fruit on the verge of rotting, that earthiness as mould takes hold.
"Of what?" I asked, and smiled my most alluring and suggestive smile, which is actually pretty much how I look most of the time. Having a skull for a face means there is not much movement of expression.
She smiled and her yellow teeth stretched before me, pristine in their filth.
"Whatever you like," she replied and took another bite of the apple, crunching its flesh with such ferocity that small pieces spewed out onto my robe.
I didn't care. I was enchanted.
"Shall we go somewhere more private?" I suggested, clichés smoothing the way to possible intimacy.
"Let me just take a piss and I'll be with you, lover," she said and took her purse out of her bag, at the same time, dropping her sandwich wrapper on the floor. As she bent to pick the wrapper up - I love a woman who's litter conscious - she asked, "Get a coin out of that purse for me, can you, so I can pay for the bog?"
And it was this that was really my undoing and if there was enough room in this cage, I'd kick myself. Because I had read the directive about getting trapped by taking money from an enchanted purse but in the fuddle created by desire, I'd forgot. Simple as that.
Bony hand reached in with thoughts of debauchery on my mind and that was that. Trapped. In a cage. By a witch with ambition. With no idea how to get out.
She hasn't shared with me what she wants with me but I suspect it will involve using me for that which I have essentially been created - death. Wanton destruction. Assassination. Annihilation. Decimation. Whatever you want to call it.
I can't imagine it will be for good.
I can only hope that I will be rescued soon. I mean, can you imagine what a world without death would be like and I've been here for days now. It will be chaos either way - me imprisoned or me let loose.
Oh well, time will tell. I'd better get some sleep as I have a feeling that I have busy days ahead.
Keep in touch, won't you? Telling you all about it has been better than speaking to the rats.
Think I might be going a bit mad....
About the Creator
Mum, blogger, crafter, reviewer, writer, traveller: I love to write and I am not limited by form. Here, you will find stories, articles, opinion pieces, poems, all of which reflect me: who I am, what I love, what I feel, how I view things.
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