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Death Moves On - a Flash Fiction Story

Timothy is a writer and artist who enjoys writing poetry, stories and articles. Timothy earned his BS in psychology from Albright College

A Sequel Sort Of...

Death Moves On, is a sort of sequel to the first story featuring the character of Death. The story is a sequel of sorts which picks up where the last story left off. This story is a stand alone story dealing with Deaths next assignment.

Death knew the little girl and her mother would get quite a shock when they went to their doctor‘s appointment. Death also knew he was going to get a tongue lashing from the boss when he got back to work. In Death’s line of business there were always consequences for letting someone live past their expiration date

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Death picked up his briefcase to move on. He turned to find a girl standing there in a long black trench coat. She had long black hair draped across her shoulders.

“You’re getting soft.”

“What are you doing here Dee?”

She flipped her hair back.”I was in the neighborhood.” She looked across the street to the restaurant. “Why did you not take the little girl? She was on your list.” She looked back at Death.

Death stood there for a few moments. He pondered her question. Truth was he had no idea why he healed the little girl. Something about her touched him. In his line of work it did not pay to let your emotions get the best of you.

“So are you going to answer me...why did you not lead the girl to her new home?”

Death looked her in the eyes. “I don’t really know. It just seemed the right thing to do at the time.”

“You’re getting soft.”

“You said that already.”

“I figured you needed to be reminded.” She set her hands on her hips.

“Don’t give me that look. I did what I did. It is done now I’m moving on. Now if you’ll excuse me I have a soul to reap.”

Death turned to walk away.

“The boss is not happy with your decision making lately. He is watching so be careful.”

Death turned to look at her. “Why are you so concerned about me? You’ve always wanted my job.”

“Yes I want your job but I want it because you retire not because you get booted from your job.”

Death just stood there. He turned to go. “Dee, tell the boss I am aware of his concerns. However, he gave me leeway in this job to do what i deemed best. Therefore I have not acted out for my own behalf. I seek to do His will in all,my decision.”

Dee laughed. “I will tell him. I hope you do well.” She faded out. Death shook his head and moved on. His next case was at a local nursing home. He looked at the paper in his hand.

He moved along until he came to an entrance to the nursing home. The sign said Welcome to Shady Pines - A place to rest until the final rest. Death laughed and then walked up the driveway

He walked through the main entrance and past the receptionist. She seemed not to even notice his presence, which was of course because she couldn’t see him. He didn’t want her to know he was there. He walked down the hall and cut left at the corridor. He watched the room numbers roll by unit he came to room 604. He looked down at the card in his hand. The name on the card was Nancy Bloomberg. It matched the name on the door. He stepped through the door and into the room.

In a chair sat a grey haired woman around 80 years of age. Her eyes stared intently at Price is Right which rolled across the screen.

“You’re late.” She said.

Death didn’t even see her lips move.

“I’ve been expecting you for days. Well truthfully for years...ever since my Harold died.”

Death faded into the room.

“Oh there you are. Do you have a name?”

“My name is Death.”

“Of course you are Death, but do have a name?”

“No, I do not. But if you want to call me anything...call me Ben.”

“Well Death...or Ben, how long do I have.?”

Death just stood there. Even though it was his job he didn’t like this part. Those who were near their death could see him. Nobody else unless he wanted others to see his presence.. He’d assumed others present at the time of death would think they’re dearly almost departed was just rambling.

“Aren’t you going to say anything?”

Death looked at Nancy.

“I don’t normally converse with the nearly deceased until the time comes.”

“Then, did you arrive early.”

Death had never been early before. He’d almost missed his time once or twice. In those cases the person lived a little longer. But he’d never arrived early. Something was different this time.

“We’ll sit down.”

“I do not require rest.”

“Humor an old woman who is almost at her time.”

Death figured it couldn’t hurt. He sat down on a chair.

Nancy looked at him. “I always wondered, when the time came, what death would be like. However I didn’t know it would be an actual...wait what are you.”

“I am an Angel assigned to death duty. I am here to help ease the death process..make sure you do not fear going to your eternal home.”

“Huh, I just thought I’d close my eyes and then open them in Heaven.”

“You will...Like I said I’m merely here to comfort you.”

Death sat there and watched the woman. She seemed so calm, even when she knew her years on the earth were done. He’d had some who pleaded with him for a little time. Others who tried to offer him money to get that time. This woman approached death with grace.

“You know when my husband died a few years ago. I was so lonely. I cried for days. Then I started to pray for this day to come so I could be back with my Harold. Sure I’m ready to go but my family. I’m worried about my family.”

Death sat and listened.

“I mean they don’t come and visit as often as they used to but I know they still love me. They do call now and then to check up on me.”

Death felt saddened. These humans claimed to love their family but they stick them in places like this to await their departure Instead of taking them into their homesteads.

Nancy looked Death in the eye. “Still, they will miss me when I’m gone.”

Death thought the woman didn’t sound so sure about being missed.

“So, when is my time up? I’m getting a little impatient. I want to see my Harold.”

“My name is Elizel in your human tongue.”

“What?” Said Nancy.

“I said my name is not Ben. It is Elizel.”

“It is a very good name.”

“It was given to me on the day of my creation, many, many millennia ago.”

Nancy looked at Death. “Thank you for telling me.”

“I don’t usually but it has been a most unusual day.”

A knock on the door interrupted their conversation. Death faded out. Only Nancy could see him standing next to her.

“Come in.” Nancy said.

The door opened and an orderly walked in. Nancy turned her head. Death whispered, “It is time.”

Nancy’s head slumped forward. Death took her spirit and moved on.

© 2020 Timothy Whitt