Tag Archive: death


When I’m gone let me go, but carve my name upon a stone. 

Such a silly thing to pop into a persons head, especially a healthy person, but there it was. An unshakeable truth that once thought could not be set aside. All of a sudden the graveyard I was passing looked even more beautiful and tranquil. And selfish. And prideful. 

What makes us want to inscribe our name in stone after we pass on to what is next? Could it be our very human desire to be eternal and more than just existed? To be remembered requires no such monuments so the reason must be much more personal and deeply dark.

Are we naive to carve into the very earth our names? If even the names of young lovers inscribed in passion is eventually lost to growth; then surely with time even a name writ in pain will wear away. We are but yelling into a void hoping the echo might be heard by someone… by anyone. 

Oddly the thought made me smile. I want a stone; on a hill, near a tree, overlooking a pond. I want the wind and rain to slowly wash my name away. I want to be lost to time like all those who came before me, but first I want the taste of imortality. So till time has had its way with me let that stone stand as proof I lived and loved. 

For as the deep set lines wear away my need for them shall surely fade.

By Megatruth as seen on DeviantArt


Warned

By the time Andrea made it across the gilded expanse of lobby that Ceasar’s Palace boasted Cassie was trembling.  Andrea made a quick left to right glance.

“Did some creep bother you,” Andrea asked concern lacing every word as she continued to scan the crowd.  Turing back to Cassie she found her still in a state of shock eyes unfocused, jaw clenched, and hands shaking.  “Oh my god…Cassie…Cassandra!”  Finally, the words penetrated and Cassie blinked and shook her head.  “What the hell Cas?” 

“Na…nothing.  It’s, I’m fine.”

“My ass your fine!  What was…that,” Andrea said gesturing toward Cassie.  Defeated she sat down, from her crouched position, on the cold marble floor, and looked up into Cassie’s eyes unaware of the strange looks she was getting.  “What is going on Cas,” she pleaded.

“You won’t believe me,” Cassie said as her head dropped.

“Try me.”

“It’s going to sound like the lamest scary story ever,” Cassie said with a sad half laugh, but Andrea only raised her eyebrows daring her to continue.  “Okay, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

Andrea wrinkled her forehead in confusion but stayed silent.

“Do you see that guy on the stair case?”

Andrea turned and looked none too subtly.  “There are lots of people on the staircase Cassie,” she conceded.

“I meant the one that is staring at me,” Cassie said matter-of-factly.

Andrea could feel the blood drain from her face as she made herself look again.  This time she took her time, assessing each male upon the stairs, but no one was both stopped and looking in their direction.  Without looking back she said, “Cassie,” slow as if to begin a very important question.

“Well, do you?”  Cassie’s question hung in the air like a looming storm cloud.

“No,” Andrea said as she shook her head turning back to Cassie, “I don’t.”  She paused for a second, “Are you kidd…”

“Oh…I do,” Cassie said her eyes never leaving the first landing, “and he said I’m going to die.”

Andrea had to force herself not to look again.  “This is in really poor taste Cas, I thought someone actually hurt you,” she said as placed her hand on Cassie’s knee to help herself up.  However, Cassie grabbed Andrea’s wrist holding her in place and staring deep into her eyes.

“He said they are coming for us…”

“What?”

“and it’s all Paris’ fault.”

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Cassandra Princess of Troy as seen on Wikipedia

The task

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An illustration of an undertaker from Mark Twain's Roughing It

“There is only the task, one single directive, sepelio.  And so I do that which I was born to do, I create order. Nameless and unloved, I am the storm crow. The necessity you refuse to acknowledge. Thankless I continue on, taking only that which is mine and only at the appointed time. Not that that ever stops any of you from raging when you find yourself in my presence. Which let me assure you leaves me unaffected, no human furry could ever dissuade me.”

“Now, Mr…,” the good Dr. Lavine says as he stops his rapt staring and consults his notes, “Diggery. When did you first come to believe that you are ‘the’ Grim Reaper?” His sarcastic air quotes are an audible thing.

“I never said I was a Reaper.”

The mater of fact tone in the man’s voice causes the doctor to pause slightly before explaining himself. “Mr. Diggery, sir, have you not just used the phrase to take only what is yours and described your life goal as sepelio or to bury if my Latin is still up to snuff? What else am I to think?”

“Not that, never that! I am something else all together. I’m a Diggery.”

“Yes, Mr. A. Diggery, I have that here in my notes, but let’s focus shall we,” Lavine says as he rubs his eyes beneath his spectacles. “If we have not been discussing your, how shall I put this…your mistaken identity what on earth have we been talking about?”

Opposing looks of anger and disappointment flit through the man’s eyes before he lets his shoulder’s sag and gently rests his head in his large calloused hands. “I knew this was a long shot, but when I saw your name on the list I had to try.”

Dr. Lavine cocks his head to the side as if trying to determine if he heard the man correctly, “List?”

“I mean if I’m ever going to be able to enjoy my work again I have to get past this right? I have to let go of this anger.”

“Excuse me, but what list?”

“So no one knows who I am. Or what I do. Or that without me it would all fall apart. So what,” the man exclaims as his head snaps forward, “I know!” “That’s it isn’t it Doc? I know and that has to be enough.”

“Now, Mr. Diggery I really must insist that you explain yourself immediately,” Lavine says nearly jumping from his chair he put so much force into his words.

The man glances at the door for a second then nods his head. “Yeah, I guess I better since we’re almost out of time. I’ll keep it real simple Doc. Reapers and Diggerys work in this unbalanced partnership. We do all the leg work, logistics really, prepare, sort, and deliver, but they collect. So they get the glory. That’s where I was getting tripped up. All the work, time, and energy I put into this, every time, and you don’t even know my name or why I’m here. Well, I’m good at what I do, I know it, and he couldn’t do his job without me,” he said proudly motioning over the good doctor’s left shoulder.

The shadowy figure was cloaked, its face hidden in the dark recesses of an oversized hood, and stood with hunched shoulders as if the room were to small. Slowly it raised an arm and inclined its head suggesting that Dr. Lavine should join him, but all he did was pale.

“What list Mr. Diggery, what list am I on,” Lavine asked panic rising in his voice.

“The only one that matters Doc, I’ll be in touch. Thanks for listening.”

To Die a Natural Death

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I know what kills me. 

Strange isn’t it.

Have you ever thought of how it is that deaths are considered natural.  I mean if anyone over the age of let’s say 75 is found to have expired in the night there are no sirens or even questions really.  They are dead and if its a surprise its not shocking, but natural. 

Well I am much younger than 75 and I can hear my sirens coming.  If only they could ask their questions to me.

As it stands they will not be able to, but you, you, can know the story of me.

Let me start with the basics I am 23, a college graduate with all the bright promise of a future extending before me in all directions, and I have always fancied myself as fearless.  Now I don’t mean that you couldn’t scare me, because I very easily startle, I mean that I go for things other girls I grew up with wouldn’t.  I left to go to school, out of state, I am not yet married with children, and I live alone.  Now I’m brave not stupid.  I lock my doors, use my security system, and sleep with Sweetums, my Irish Wolfhound.  So some of my fearlessness is born of others, but still for a 5’8″ transplant from the Midwest I think I’m doing pretty good here in Philly.

So in case you need a better visual reference I am one of those girls you would walk past.  Though I am tallish I consider myself rather plain.  As a matter of fact -ish might be the best description of me I could give.  For instance at 5’8″ I’m tallish, my shoulder length hair is brownish, meaning that I would never pass for a true blonde or brunette, and I have hazel eyes which tend toward being greenish.  I have a moderately athletic body type which I give credit to Sweetums for, as I must run to keep up with him and use my upper body strength to keep him from the food vendor’s wares.

Well there you have it nothing special about me so, why the death? Good question.

My fairly small group of friends consists of my two former college roommates, Ashley and Maria, the four other interns who I share the “bull pin” with, Greg, Tracy, Raj, and Lynn, their significant others, and finally Mark.  Mark is my version of an ideal boyfriend, he has classic good looks, dark blue eyes and sandy blond hair, he likes my friends, and takes me serious though he can be a complete goofball.  We met by chance on one of the SEPTA buses, I was on it to get to the airport and he was on it to get to work.  I was reading, one of my favorite past times, and crying as one of the main characters had just died.  He offered me a klenex and asked if I was okay.  When I explained the tears while suffering from both a drippy nose and an extreme blush he laughed, a lot and loudly.  By the time we reached his stop I had his number.

Over the next three months we talked and met up casually for drinks or coffee then Mark asked me on an actual date of dinner, a movie, and dessert.  That was all she wrote, from that point on I was hooked.

So you must be asking yourself, simple life, small group of friends, no red flags right other than living by myself in a city such as Philadelphia.  You’d be right too.

Everything had been going great I had a job, friends, and a guy in my life.  Only hiccup was that Mark was next in line for a promotion at work which would result in his relocation to Boston.  So I had become the sad depressing friend who brings everyone down; alternating between teary silences and angry outbursts.  Mark hated that I was so upset but with the upcoming move he had more on his plate than a sad girlfriend, so my friends picked up his slack.  I was invited to girls nights, movie marathons, and any other event they could scrounge up.  Surprisingly Greg and Laura were my biggest champions in any moment of emptiness I could call them up and never feel like a third wheel.

Mark left, I was proud and happy for him.  We had decided to stay together, he wold have to come back to Philly at least once a month and there was no time like the present to visit more of the Northeast, in my opinion, specifically Massachusetts.  It would be hard, but it would work.  So after a tearful goodbye I took the SEPTA back home.  Everyone had wanted to meet up for drinks, but I bowed out as gracefully as I could promising next weekend would be better.  Instead I opted for a long hot shower, where tears could fall freely without judgement or notice, and the unopened bottle of moscato wine.  I’m not proud of myself, drinking alone while watching t.v. in the dark was not a very mature way of dealing.

Sometime after I had finished the bottle and started watching bad reruns my doorbell rang.  It was Greg, a very upset Greg at that.  I opened the door immediately.  He told me about some trouble he and Laura were having and that she had given him his walking papers.  I told him there was no way this would hold up they were great together she would calm down just wait it out and see.  He shook his head so violently my head ached in sympathy.

“No we’re done.”

“How can you think that, Greg?  You love each other.”

“Not for a long time now.  I’ve just been waiting for the right moment to tell her.”  He looked right at me then my mouth hanging open in my haze of wine and surprise.  “I love someone else.”

“That’s some low shit Greg,” I said sitting next to him on my couch, “How could you do that to Laura?”

“But now I can be with the person I love, and you can be with me.”

The sentence didn’t even register until he had jumped on me pinning me against the couch, kissing me hard, hands everywhere.  I bit his lip and slapped his face.  “What the hell Greg?” I was now standing and backing away from the living room.

He stood and looked out the window as he gingerly touched his bleeding lip.  “I’ve waited for you, was always there for you…”

“As a friend,” I interrupted frantically.

“You are mine now, screw Mark and Laura they could never hold a candle to us.”

He jumped forward slamming my head back into the door frame, pulled me up the stairs to my bedroom, and threw me on the bed.  As he pushed Sweetums out the door I tried to make it to my window.  It over looked the street and a very large oak tree I was quasi sure I could shimmy down.  I never made it to the window though Greg was on me in an instant.  I fought with every ounce of strength I had cursing the wine and my need to lick my wounds alone, and praying that Sweetums could get past the locked door somehow.  He was still trying to make some kind of move on me because when I lashed out to hurt him he just tore at my pajamas or tried to force my mouth to his.  In our awkward battle we lost balance and he came crashing down on me, smashing the back of my head against the edge of my antique foot board.  I fell as if my strings had been cut. 

He was on me having his way never noticing the blood.

After, as my eyes were starting to go blank and my body continued to go numb all he said was “You should have loved me.”

He was gone, I heard the alarm tweet distress as he left, felt Sweetums lay beside me and worry my face with kisses, distantly I thought I heard sirens, then velvety darkness.

At 23 they would never call my death natural, my murder, but it was love that killed me and what could be more natural than love.

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Working on Cadaver Alley was many things, intriguing, almost always, entertaining, more than you might think, but never fun.  As an assistant M.E. Phil prided himself on on being un-shockable he had no queasy feelings when they rolled in, anymore, or shaky knees during autopsy.  Perhaps that was because Phil worked the third shift, to thoes in the know this shift was often reffered to as the graveyard shift, and as apropos as that seemed it fell a little short in his mind.  Phil had chosen third for three specific reasons; firstly he was a night owl always had been and he found that working at night relaxed him, secondly his sleep wake schedule gave him a built in reason to miss any family event he chose, and finally though most relevent was that crime happened at night.  What this most commonly meant was that said person would die at night, be found in the morning, catalouged by day shift, then processed by swing shift, and mearly watched by graveyard.  He often joked that he was a highly qualified baby sitter.

But that was before today.

Today at exactly 12 noon Esmerelda J. Wakefield had been struck by lightning from a clear sky and pronounced dead at the scene.  She had been catalouged by swing and now awaited processing.  Due to his so often avoiding processing it took Phil quite a while to A) remember what needed to be done, B) find the necessary tools for the task, and C) actually proccess poor Miss Wakefield.  However, by his first break he had finished prelim and was now well versed in who Esmerelda was from a statistics and measurement standpoint.

With her file in hand he walked out to the break room to warm his hands around a hot chocolate or coffee sludge which ever appeared fresher.  Sitting down on the threadbare couch he tapped off the t.v., a curiously uncharistic motion from Phil, and began going through it aloud.  Having read it cover to cover he was nothing if not confused.  “How does one go and get electrocuted to death by lightening without a storm, huh Esme,” he asked glancing over his shoulder towards the glass wall which separated the morgue from the break room.

His cup slipped from nerveless fingers as Phil shot into the air, “What the …”  Running to the employee entrance he continued to shake his head and swear, but when his hand reached for the key pad just inches from the panic/emergency button everything went still.  He took a deep breath, “What are you going to tell them, when they get here?  She was watching me!  Who the hell is going to believe that?  Just go in there man you probably set the block wrong.”  Three minutes later and with arms in a defensive position Phil entered the morgue once more.

Esmerelda would have been described as having piercing eyes he thought to himself as he once again meet her stare with eyes so deep set and dark green.  A shudder ran through Phil forcing him to step towards her table.  Sure enough her head had slipped.  So after a moment of silent thanks Phil went back to work.  Now Esme rested beneath a crisp white sheet, “You have no secrets from me now my dear,” he said as he walked to the faucet.  Phil knew it was silly and unnecessary but he still warmed the water against his wrist.  Satisfied with the temperature he turned back to Esmerelda in time to see her hand fall gracefully from under the sheet and seemingly point to the floor.  “Not…possible,” he yelled as he moved to garb her arm with one hand and to pull back the sheet with the other unawear that he came to rest where she pointed.

“Not out of secrets,” Esmerelda whispered as the sheet fell away and she grabbed Phil’s arm.

                                                                             ***

Beth screamed bloody murder as Mike grabbed her wrist.  Laughing he let go to protect himself from the barrage of blows Beth was attempting to land on his head.  He stopped laughing and held his hands up in surrender, “Fine, fine I deserve that…but I got you so good,” Mike said still smiling.

“You ass,” Beth said shooting Mike a withering look.  As they both quieted down the night sounds came back locust in the trees, bull frogs on the lake, and the crackel of logs in the fire. 

Then from the cloudless night sky a bolt of lightening.

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