Life in Writing
Once each week I browse through the R-writing prompts on Reddit and write a quick flash fiction based off of the most interesting one I see. Then each Friday I post them here for each of you to enjoy. This week's prompt:
[WP] The instant before you die, time freezes for everyone else and will only resume when you return to your 'death position'.
“This is important…” I gasped between dying breaths. “You’ll need to…”
I didn’t finish my sentence.
Death has a certain way of cutting you off when you have important things to say. It’s fine though, it’s not like the fate of the world depended on that sentence; except it did. I was about to tell Jenny how to defuse the bomb Dr. Death-Monger had aimed at Washington. It was fairly vital stuff.
I mean seriously, was I riddled with bullets? Sure.
Should I have died sooner than I actually did?
But my body couldn’t have held out for ten seconds longer so I could say, “Cut the red wire?”
God and I would be having some words once I got up there.
But how exactly was I supposed to get there? There wasn’t some long tunnel with a heavenly light at the end, nor was there an infernal pit that reeked of brimstone. I was in the same room I’d died in, staring at Jenny sobbing over my corpse. Something was off about that though. Not that she’d be sobbing over my death; that was only natural. Not to be vain or anything, but even riddled with holes and, you know, dead and stuff, my body still looked fantastic. Those bullets hadn’t even touched my perfect hair. Why wouldn’t Jenny be crying over that loss?
No, what was odd was that she wasn’t moving. Nothing was.
Then something stirred. Just a shadow at first, but it quickly formed into a tall, robed figure.
The grim reaper. The skull headed, scythe wielding son of a gun was actually real.
“Hello,” Death said to me. “If you are satisfied with your life, then return to the position of your death and I’ll send you to the judgment bar.”
That, and a whole lot of other creepy sentences were exchanged during my conversation with Death, but they can all be summed up by my one big take-away discovery. Time would stay frozen until I decided to face judgment. That meant I could find a way to tell Jenny which wire to cut.
Death stood by watching me, tapping his scythe impatiently as I searched the room for a means of communication. At least I think he was watching me; his lack of eyeballs made it difficult to tell.
Anyway, I came up dry on options since I couldn’t physically touch anything, but then it hit me. Death was tapping his scythe, which meant it could touch things, and as an added bonus, it was sharp. I didn’t have to tell Jenny anything, I’d just cut the wire myself.
I made a daring leap and snatched Death’s scythe, sprinting forward and slicing the red wire on the bomb.
Satisfied with my work, I returned to my lifeless-yet-still-handsome body to face judgment. The anticipated heavenly light appeared above me and drew me upwards.
“Nice trick stealing my scythe,” Death growled as I floated away. “Too bad you were supposed to cut the blue wire.”
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Daniel M. Quilter is the author of A Soul Divided. On this blog he'll interview other authors, review books, share nerd wisdom from popular sci-fi and fantasy, and occasionally share his insights on writing. See a list of his works or see what he's working on.
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