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Egretta Jones

Death comes for everyone

By E MPublished 2 years ago Updated 2 years ago 4 min read

“The cabin in the woods had been abandoned for years, but one night, a candle burned in the window…. My dear Egretta, this night, the candle burns enduringly for you”.

A whisper in her ear. The voice deep and croaky, not used to speaking, she thought. Her innocent dream turned from walking in a summer meadow to black - the whisper and the darkness - and a tiny flicker of light.

Death roamed everywhere, across time and space throughout eternity. As natural as Life, he could be patient and kind or fast and cruel. Travelling through the dreamlike state of near-death, he would visit his quarry, often amidst fever and delirium, taking their souls and leading them through the transition. He did not question what he did. His fate was sealed within his destiny, like all of us.

When he communicated, he appeared to speak and think in metaphors and riddles. His mouth narrating that which was in his mind. It was not strange to him, but to his target, it could be unnerving. He was after all, a being of the underworld, not used to earthly ways.

This night, he saw her in her dreams. Egretta Jones. He was called to her, to take her soul while she slept. It was her time. Waltzing in as handsome as he was, draped in a black cloak and a top hat. He always dressed for the occasion. Her dream was vivid and she tossed and turned. Death, appearing to her, not handsome at all, but as a skeleton in a black top hat, every inch of his skull and bones visible to her as he danced around her dream world. She was scared of him but knew he was real. She accepted, as we all will eventually, to go with him that night, but Death did not take her in his usual way.

Out of character for him, he stopped his waltzing and dancing and stood and stared at her. Immense beauty, cherry lips and eyes of azure blue. A healthy figure and golden hair, more like an angel than a human. The shrivelled heart within his ribcage jolted alive. With each pump, a longing and yearning drove him to want to touch her, but not with the long, icy-cold fingers rattling with sickness and demise, but with the warm and loving touch of new life and brilliant existence.

“The cabin in the woods had been abandoned for years, but one night, a candle burned in the window…my dear Egretta, this night, the candle burns enduringly for you. Oh how I long to hold you. You have ignited such passion in me. My rib cage is said woods, my heart the abandoned cabin and the burning candle appearing after an eternity of darkness, the first spark of…love”.

She listened to the deep whisper and watched, in her dream state, as his skeletal finger slowly reached out to touch her. Closing her eyes in fear of what would happen next, would everything go black? Would she cease to exist or would there be an afterlife? She kept her eyelids closed tightly, and alas, the icy touch of death did indeed come. Bitter and stony to her, but to Death himself, his plump fleshed finger felt the warmth of her skin and for the first time in his existence he felt fervour. He could not hand over her soul. She could not die while he lived!

But that is not how Death works. When he comes, he cannot be pushed back. He will not make a deal with you for your soul. He has a job to do. He is a soul collecter and Egretta Jones’s soul had expired.

And so he reached out to her again, his slender bones grasping her around her waist. She tightened her body in fear. She felt rigid as he lifted her towards his chest and pulled his black cloak aside. To him, he was exposing his newly warmed, fleshy heart full of love for her, but to her, his bony ribcage shone pearly. Pieces of twig and leaf seemed to poke out from the smooth, rounded bones. As she got closer she could see it resembled a wood. He pushed her towards his heart and she felt her feet touch the ground. She was in the woods within his bony structure. An abandoned cabin stood before her with a single candle burning in the window. Her new home, for eternity. He was obsessed. Like any man on the earthly plane, his love for her consumed him. For the first time ever he did not surrender her soul as he should. He did not do his job as he should. As long as Egretta Jones lived within his heart, Death could continue to feel love.

But this is not the way of the world. The Great Creator was owed a soul he did not get and so he punished Death. Poor Egretta, dead to her family and friends, body buried and farewelled on Earth. Her soul, trapped within Death. The Great Creator made sure she suffered long and slow. Her image became wafer thin and transparent. Her youthful good looks and good natured ways were sucked from her as she resided within the cabin in the woods of Death’s ribcage. She soon appeared shrivelled and wrinkled, an old woman with no redeeming features. She was no longer in death what she had been in life.

Many years had passed when the Great Creator whispered in her ear again, he told her she shall take the place of Death. She will become the bony skeleton in the black top hat for eternity. And so she did. She had a job to do. She blew the candle in the window out and Death felt his heart combust. She emerged from the cabin, climbed through the woods and parted the black cloak. She stood before him, he, not recognising the being she had become. Her flesh had melted from her bones and she danced in front of him as she collected his soul. His pearly skeleton burst apart and his bones lay before her in a pile. The Great Creator was happy. Death was once again doing it’s job.

All souls collected - he must reap.


About the Creator


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  • Suzanne 2 years ago

    Winner #2, my friend. You hook your reader from the beginning and won’t let go. Thank goodness for that, I am addicted.

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