In the spirit of Halloween I wanted to share my scary story! This was written for a creative writing class about five years ago. Bahahahahaha!
Just Doing My Job:
His tall frame slowly sauntered into the room casting a dark shadow along the floor. He was thin, as if he could be carried away by the autumn wind. His face was long and stopped abruptly at a beetling chin which was surpassed only by his jutting nose. He stopped at the bar and gave the bar keep a spider grin and hissed for a drink. Bleeding the glass dry with a single swig; he turned to survey his surroundings. If eyes are the door to the soul, his was empty, a dark abyss. The matted hair on his head stood in sticky defiance against his scalp; even the follicle strained to stay far away from this man.
“So, what brings you to our little town?” the bartender asked, his voice rattling with fear. At once he regretted his question- he did not want to know anything about this tall, dark imposing man.
The man turned his ghost white head in a slow calculated manner. His black, nocturnal eyes looked the village bartender up and down as a bug he would like to squash.
“I am looking for someone.”
“Wwwwwoon’t find ‘em hhhere” the bartender stuttered. This dark man seemed to be taking possession of his tongue. “….Good people…won’t find ‘em here!” The bartender continued to nervously polish the same whiskey glass until he could see the reflection of the man before him. Realizing the image in the glass, he gasped and let go of snifter. It fell and shattered unto the hardwood floor piercing the air with a CRASH!!! The patrons of the bar who had resumed their conversation in soft tones suddenly became deathly quiet. A lone cricket, unaware of the danger in the room chirped quietly in the corner.
The dark man leaned in close to the bartender. The foul stench of whiskey and rotting teeth hung on the dark man’s breath. “Perhaps, dear innkeeper, things here aren’t exactly as they seem.” The dark man turned toward the door, grabbed the bottle of whiskey on the bar and swept into the dark pit of the night.
Out in the cold, the dark man pulled his collar around his neck. “I hate my job,” he muttered to himself. He took a long swig of the whiskey and waited for the warm drink to filter down into the cold of his toes. The position of Reaper was really the last one he wanted. He hated dealing with the public. They always took this ‘death’ thing so seriously. The required outfit didn’t help; long black robe, black boots…..that and he needed to get his teeth fixed. Too many years without dental insurance left him with a mouth that would put death to shame. Missing teeth and foul breath didn’t help his image.
He wished he could show up calling these people into the next world wearing Bermuda shorts and an Izod. Tennis racket at his side, brilliant, toothy smile….people would long to come with him! He would be like the Pied Piper! He smiled to himself as he thought of the long line of people clad in cruise wear as he lead them off into the after-life; all of them would be smiling, skipping along as thoughts of white beaches and blue seas would diminish their fears about the ‘unknown’. He made a mental note to talk to marketing about their positioning. They were doing this death thing all wrong….maybe hire focus groups.
Being a Reaper required long hours, lots of travel and being called out in the middle of the night. The Mrs. was constantly cranky because he was never home. A nice desk job would be good. Processing new entries might not be bad, a little admin work….but jobs were tight right now, and looked like he was the Reaper for the time being. He continued down the dark dusty road towards home; his feet throbbing after a long, hard day of work and bad boots. You know, he thought to himself, a company car wouldn’t be bad either.
He walked up to his dark house at the end of Bereavement Ave. He glanced up at the decrepit porch and sighed heavily, it was late. He was tired and he couldn’t find any life in the industry of death. He pushed the heavy door open. The entry way was dark and the dust in the air filtered through the green light emanating from the old Curtis Mathias. Mrs. Reaper sat in a chartreuse chase lounge in the corner, deeply inhaling one Marlboro Red after another, after all, what did she have to fear? Death?
“Where have you been?” she croaked through the noxious air. “You smell like whiskey! You been out drinkin’ with the boys? Why didn’t you call?”
He ignored the inquisition and instead opened the refrigerator door, scanning for his next victim, dinner!
“What’s for dinner?” He called to his wife.
“Chicken”, she answered, “but that was hours ago. It’s cold now. Where have you been??” his wife asked from the smoky living room.
“I ‘ost one” Reaper replied with his mouth full of chicken.
“You ‘ost one??”
“Lost one” he said after he took a swallow. “I can’t find Matty McGillicutty. Boss requested that he be sent up tonight. I went to the same bar he’s been going to everyday for 30 years and he’s not there. I’m gonna catch hell for this. He was supposed to be dead hours ago and I can’t find him.
“You’ll find him” his wife replied giving him a tender kiss on the cheek. “You always do.”
The Reaper tossed and turned all night. So much for being able to sleep like the dead. When he awoke, the bags under his eyes were even more pronounced. Matty McGillicutty had been missing for ten hours. If corporate got a hold of this, he would never hear the end of it. He got up early, dressed quietly in his dark robe and hulking boots, grabbed a quick cup of coffee and headed out the door.
He made a sharp turn onto Debilitated Dr. The local hospital stood at the end the end of the street. Reaper smiled devilishly. Hhhhmmmmm, the hospital…. He picked up his gait a bit.
Reaper stepped authoritatively through the electric doors at the entrance. The smell of rubbing alcohol and sick filled the air. He whisked through the waiting room, driven by intuition. He ran up the stairs to the 3rd floor; glanced left, then right and smiled an evil smile; McGillicutty, room 355. He ignored the nurses request to stop and ran down the sterile white hall. The door was slightly ajar and Reaper could see a small, frail man sitting on his bed looking out the window.
The man turned slowly as if he knew the Reaper was there. His face lit up as soon as he saw the large, dark foreboding man in the doorway. “THERE you are!” he said to the Reaper. “I’ve been waiting for you. What took you so long? Please, please, come in! Come in!” Matty McGillicutty waved the Reaper in.
The Reaper was confused. He was used to screams, fits, hysteria, (rightfully so) when he showed up unannounced. He dawdled at the door with a sheepish grin, looking at his feet like a little boy.
“Please” Matty said, “Come in, I’d like to have a look at you. Oh my, you are a fright, aren’t you? Do you dress like this on purpose? You DO look horrid! Why, if I wasn’t expecting you and you just came out of the blue to surprise me…..well I don’t know what I would do, but it wouldn’t be pretty! Ugh, why does death have to dress so bad? And those teeth!!!!” With that, Matty opened his mouth, pulled on each jaw, and handed the Reaper his false teeth. “Here take these. There is no reason, whatsoever, why you should have to go around scaring everyone like that. This next step is scary enough without dirty robes and bad teeth!”
The Reaper didn’t know what to say. He stared at the floor. “Thank you?” he looked up at Matty sheepishly.
“Don’t thank me!” Matty said “Let’s get down to business; three years, 2 months and 28 days ago you visited my sweet wife, Corrinne. She was sick and it was her time. But now I’m sick, I miss her and it’s my time. I would have been at the bar last night but I took a fall and my daughter insisted on bringing me here…..overnight for observation. Well, I’ve been observed, poked prodded, bled, tapped and wired and I miss my wife.” Matty got a sly little grin on his face. “Let’s go see my sweet Corrinne.”
Reaper took his hand, led him out the room, through the corridor and out of the hospital. He led Matty down Debilitated Dr. and they kept walking until they found themselves in a golden field with grasses licking their fingertips and the rays of the sun kissing their face. Matty looked around for his wife. He suddenly gave a little skip in the air and raced through the field towards a woman watching him wearing a wide-brimmed hat and giggling like a school girl. His Corinne….
Reaper looked at the couple and gave a slight grin. My work here is done.
He took out Matty’s false teeth and fit them into his mouth and gave a big toothy grin……hmmmmm, not a bad fit.
1 thought on “Happy Halloween!”
great story! I love the ending.