Grim Reaper

Old Bob peeled himself from his recliner. Cable news droned in the background as he shuffled to the door. He peered out the side window, opening the curtain just enough for him to see out, but not enough for those outside to notice. There were three costumed children at his door – a superhero with his cape dangling dangerously close to the lit jack-o-lantern, some kind of homemade wild animal, and a very short grim reaper with a realistic looking scythe. He looked in his bowl–only two pieces of candy left. He grimaced and grabbed and apple from the table, then opened the door.

“Trick or treat,” the children sang out.

Old Bob looked them over, then gave candy to the superhero and the animal, then dropped the apple into the bag of the grim reaper. Fascinating costume, he thought of the grim reaper as he turned back to the news. That one deserves some kind of award.

Just as he had settled in to his recliner, the door sounded again. Shoot! Forgot to turn off the light. He shuffled back to the window and peeked out. There were four kids this time, and the grim reaper was back. He opened the door.

“Sorry kids, just ran out of candy,” he explained. Dismal groans ensued. He turned off the porch light as they walked away. The grim reaper stayed on the sidewalk, watching him. He scowled. Damn ungrateful kids, he thought.

He returned to his recliner. As the news droned on, he started to doze.

He awoke to a thwack! He was suddenly wide awake. Thwack! Thwack! 

He pulled himself once again out of his recliner and headed toward the door. He yanked it open just as an egg went sailing past his head and landed on the wall behind him, yolk oozing down. His temper flared. “You damn kids better get out of here,” he yelled into the darkness.

Thwack! Another egg landed on the doorjamb above his hand, splattering him with eggy goo.

“That’s it,” he cried. “I’m calling the police.” Let them deal with the little hooligans.

He turned to reach for his phone, but was surprised to see the short grim reaper in his foyer. The figure stood still, not even seeming to breathe. Old Bob didn’t know much about kids, but this seemed odd, even to him. All the kids he’d ever seen were somewhere on the fidgety scale, but not this one.

“What are you doing in here?” he demanded. “How did you get in my house?”

The reaper just stood there.

Thwack! Thwack!

“I’ll let the police deal with you, too,” Old Bob said, reaching for his phone. The small reaper slowly pulled out an hourglass. Bob looked at the sand that had almost run out.

“Funny,” he said, but he had started feeling very heavy all of a sudden. As he dialed, his breath caught in his chest. He brought his hand up, panicking. He stared at the reaper, who was slowly walking toward him. He went down on his knees. He looked into the hood of the reaper. “Can’t…breathe…” he managed to say before crumpling to the floor.

“911…What’s your emergency?”

The last thing Old Bob saw was an incredibly lifelike skull and the metallic glint of a raised scythe.

The news droned on in the background as the police investigated the scene.

“Looks like the old guy died of a heart attack,” the paramedic said, then paused. “But I just don’t understand this strange cut on his chest.”

Luminis Kanto / / CC BY-NC-SA

Taking liberties with the prompt this morning. Happy Halloween!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Trick or Trick.” Let’s imagine it’s Halloween, and you just ran out of candy. If the neighborhood kids (or anyone else, really) were to truly scare you, what trick would they have to subject you to?

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