First Impressions


This week on Trifecta, the word was

DEATH
1a : a permanent cessation of all vital functions : the end of life
b : an instance of dying disease causing many deaths>
2a : the cause or occasion of loss of life
b : a cause of ruin <the slander that was death to my character — Wilkie Collins
3 capitalized : the destroyer of life represented usually as a skeleton with a scythe

I figured, with a prompt like that, how could I not dust off my imagination, stretch out my fingers and jump back into writing again.  Some of the other responses I’ve read so far are amazing – you should check them out, or submit your own!

This piece of art is called “The Playground Called Life”, and it’s a photomanipulation.  The artist’s name is Michael Vincent Manalo, and he’s from Manila, in the Phillippines.  All his artwork has a great surreal “There’s a cool story behind this” feel to it.  Check him out on DeviantART or at his website.

Nick gazed over his teacher’s shoulder at the dark figure at the front of the bus.

“We should postpone the trip. Looks like rain.”

“Take a seat, Mr. Ryan”

He took a seat next to a preppy-looking blonde, dread twisting his stomach.  I only lasted three days at this school, he thought, sourly.

Shadow shrouded the girl to the point that Nick couldn’t see her.

DID YOU HAVE AN ENJOYABLE THANKSGIVING, NICHOLAS?

Nick glared. The girl narrowed her eyes at him and snapped, “What?”

Why are you doing this?

I BEAR WITNESS FOR THESE OCCASIONS, NICHOLAS, I DO NOT CAUSE THEM. I REGRET THAT YOU ARE HERE TODAY.

Nick laughed bitterly.   His seatmate pressed herself back against the window.

IT IS GOOD TO SEE YOU AGAIN.

“Yeah, well, the feeling isn’t mutual.” The shadowy presence flickered briefly, And Nick found himself glaring at a girl whose presence he’d forgotten. He blushed. Said it aloud. Again. Awesome.

Nick could feel the grains of sand slipping one by one through the hour-glass.

Death stood, its darkness dissipating like smoke.

HOLD ON TIGHT.

Nick cranked his music up louder and wedged his body in between his seat and the next, knuckles white. Despairing, he called out, “Brace yourselves!”

Last time I move somewhere with cliffs, he vowed.

The bus snapped sideways, and existence narrowed to a roar of terror, crumpled metal and short-lived weightlessness.

Nick relaxed his grip on the seat and dropped to the bus roof. He blinked in surprise when a second metallic thud echoed through the silence. he girl took in the bloodied and crumpled forms of her classmates in mute horror.  She couldn’t see Death gently lifting their souls into its embrace.

Nick couldn’t take his eyes off her.

“How are you even alive?” he blurted out.

“Luck? Your timely warning?  How did you know what was going to happen?”

Death runs in the family, that’s how.

Warmth and colour seeped back in as Death departed.

“Women’s intuition?”

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14 Comments

  1. Lance

     /  October 11, 2012

    The picture and the emphasis on certain words were great touches. This was really creative.

  2. lmao This is so cool and grim and funny. DID YOU HAVE AN ENJOYABLE THANKSGIVING, NICHOLAS? Oh man I was rolling. xD

    • hah, thanks. I wrote this, and the entire time, I just heard the Terry Pratchett style Death voice in my head

  3. It’s good. It’s very good.

  4. lol Discworld 😀
    Also, can you imagine dates? That is, if this girls is prospective romantic interest…
    But Death crashing on dates, with Nick the only on to see it is a hilarious idea, especially if Death is only doing it to help things along (I ONLY WOULD LIKE TO SEE THAT I’LL ONE DAY BE ANOTHER GREAT GRANDFATHER SOME DAY)…
    Really amusing 🙂

    • Yep, that’s definitely the tone of death voice I was going for. It does kind of seem like Death has decided that NICHOLAS NEEDS TO MEET A NICE GIRL, SETTLE DOWN. SURVIVING A TRAGEDY WILL GIVE THEM A COMMON INTEREST.

  5. Neat little snapshot into what must be a very strange life. I could see this being a piece of a larger work of YA fiction. Nick has a very authentic voice.

  6. trifectawriting

     /  October 12, 2012

    Ah, I love that picture. Nice stuff. I also really enjoyed your response to the prompt. I love the voice you’ve given the characters. It helps bring your story to life. In spite of the whole death thing. 🙂 Thanks for linking up.

  7. Fantastic post. I love Death personified. Very much a fan of Terry Pratchet’s Death. You write compellingly.

  8. Wonderfully creative piece!

  9. A heart warming holiday story. lol Very good. I enjoyed this one very much.

  10. I hate your short stories, I want a whole story about this!!

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