Four local women have narrowly avoided death in what is a bizarre and developing story. What antagonist, it might be asked, aroused this macabre scene? None other than death himself. The grim specter of death, to be exact, towering no less than seven feet. A scrag of a man, cloaked in black from skull to phalange.
The women, in advance of his ghastly emergence, were imbibing a fine Pinot Noir from the South of France, tittering lushly, prancing hither and thither in the William Sonoma kitchen. Last week’s PTA board meeting drama stirred the dialogue. The gossips spouted insolent characterizations of others in the town.
On the streets, swarms of young beggars hastened egress to egress, hunting for saccharine bounty. I intended to confabulate with some juveniles who’d said they had stumbled across the apparition early in the evening.
One boy told me the grim specter of death briefly affixed himself to the crowd of children trick or treating. The boy, at first, surmised that the odd fellow was costumed like everyone else. It was only when a foreboding flurry of November breeze disturbed the phantom’s cloak that his ivory temple was revealed. The kids, aghast, yelped cries for assistance to their elders. With a stroke of gaunt fists, the ghoul’s spell cast upon the youngsters. “Silence, nippers. I mean no thing to you. The procession of death has not you on queue.”
The children, cast under the spell of the frightful figure, had not a choice but to shepherd him on their journey down the town’s residential avenue. “From pieces of Reese’s to honey-in-bites, not one earthly candy brings me not delight.” The children were enchanted, in fact, by the spirit of death, his insouciant cavort was itself childlike. They did not fear death, traversing the road hand in carpal with him.
The meekest of the bunch, dressed as a tyrannosaurus, pulled the presence aside. Lightly tugging on his cape’s sleeve, he asked, “why did you take my dearest grandfather?” Death paused and pondered the inquisition. “You are not to grasp this reality tonight, perhaps never you gain that transcendent insight. All I can say: death is a part of life; glory and despair, harmony and strife.”
The boys lastly came to the house of the four boozing matrons. Someone inside stumbled to the door. Her glass traded places on the console with a bowl of sweets. The door was thrown wide and the woman met the children and her fate. She gasped at his stature. The children remained undaunted, agitated instead by the woman’s trembling. “I request entrance into your abode. Some urgent matters must be showed.” The woman’s rejoinder was not necessitated. “To the kids, I bid farewell, upon this earth, relish your dwell.”
In the house, the others queried the unwelcome guest. “One must brandish platinum Amex, another’s teeth shine brightest red. It is a house of sin on which I impinge, I crave no more than one of you dead.” The room, for the first time in this ladies night, was quiet. “Who will it be on this Halloween? I will escort you now to a world unseen.”
All the room’s faces were ashen. Eyes darted the room, past the brazen lavishness of cloth and marble. The women considered each other’s pleading, agitated eyes. In the midst of silence, the grim specter of death shattered a wine bottle and the attention returned to him. “Be it not tonight, still consider this: there is an end to this supposed bliss. Take the time, reflect and think. Some day soon, run dry blood’s ink. Rid your petty complaints; rid fretting what can be bought. What’s needed in life is not a lot.”
So, with this parting wisdom and a whirl of his cloak, the grim specter of death left the dwelling. The women, befuddled, felt wiser too. The women say they can still see death—he’s just out of view, resting somewhere between what’s far and near. He’s dancing, he’s prancing, he’s coming for you.
Categories: grant woods, news, oct. 26, samantha stillman, vol 25