I wrote this nasty little tale for The Sirens Call ezine, last December. The story had to feature Death (with or without the capital ‘D’). With a tiny tweak, here it is for All Hallows Eve. Enjoy (although I’m not sure that’s the right word)…
At first, he doesn’t believe he’s falling.
It’s only when the black-blue bruise of the sky is rushing away from him that he realises he’s gone over.
He grabs for something, anything, but she’d had more power than he thought possible. He can’t reach anything to stop his fall. How could something so small have such strength?
Forever and no time at all passes. The air is unforgiving as it gashes him with frozen knives. His body twists into shapes it has never made before; an echo of the pointless writhing and squirming she once did to escape. He tries to scream, like her, but his voice is pulled from him in a pathetic squeak. Fear savages his mind. The stars flash with laughter as they watch his final moments.
He evacuates all his waste as he hits the ground with a sickening thud. He doesn’t hear that, or smell the stench of his bodily fluids. He doesn’t feel the blood exiting the back of his head and pooling around his neck. But his mind is still working, in a body beyond repair. He wonders what happens next. Some primal part of him knows he is dead, or dying.
The sky changes from a bruise to a wound, as a red maw opens above him and regurgitates a nightmare.
Etiolated fingers reach for him, ragged lips stretch in a rictus of evil. The thing has his own features, warped into the face that truly lies beneath his own skin. He whimpers as it speaks.
“Come, Steve,” the creature whispers, “It’s just a bit of fun. Don’t tell Mummy, remember? This is our little game…”
His blackened soul yells and screams and begs, but his Death ignores him as it scoops him up and carries him towards the hideous rip in the night sky.
She still stands on the crag, little hands balled into fists at her waist. Smiling as she surveys his broken body below. Grinning at the creature that carries his soul to his ultimate fate. Her lips form words he can’t hear.
Death enlightens him, bringing its hideous mouth close to his ear. A putrid stench caresses his face, stinking of beer and chips and cigarettes. His own breath.
“She says, ‘Happy Halloween, Father’.”