A promise made

A while ago I asked if you would be interested in reading snippets that aren’t part of a particular work in progress, but might be part of the world I’m working in. And here it is. I hope you like it.

A visit from Death

Randy and Cujo sat in one of the plush armchairs in front of the fireplace, while Death relaxed in the matching one on the other side of a small table. Sitting there was a steaming pot of tea, a sugar bowl with lumps perfect for picking up with the tongs and spoons to stir with. The steam wafted up toward the ceiling and then mingled with the smoke from the fire before leaving via the chimney.

“This is rather pleasant.” Death blew across his cup, preparatory to taking a sip. “I’ve been Death for so many years,” He heaved a small sigh. “I’ve forgotten what it felt like to visit with someone. Without having to collect them. Nice.”

Randy nodded. “I’m alone too. Not like you, obviously, but since Mama died, well, I really have nobody.” Cujo rolled over on his back, tongue lolling out of his mouth in pure terrier ecstasy, head tilted to the side, the fireplace his favorite spot in the room.

He shrugged. “I thought I had it all. Beautiful girl, loving dog, money to spend. You know, every man’s dream.” He sighed, a great bellow of unfulfilled dreams. “Then Lisa left me, my doctor patted me on my shoulder, and I was alone again.”

Picking Cujo up, ignoring the glare he got in return, he held him close to his cheek, nuzzling the wiry fur. “Except for Cujo, that is. And now you.”

Death nodded. “It can happen like that. Being alone, I mean. That’s what most souls complain about when I come to collect them. They don’t want to die alone.”

Randy cuddled Cujo closer. “I don’t either.”

copyright Desiree McCracken

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