18 February 2010

"Final Contract" #Fridayflash

Author's note: I added 'will be' quite a bit in this piece, simply because I am forever cutting them out or avoiding them altogether. In the interest of pursuing varied writing styles, I provide you with this very short. Can you tell who it is?


Photo credit: Comeilmare from morguefile.com


They all get called—some are waiting for it, others fear it—but when their number is up, I am there. Fast or slow, high or low. Traumatizing—it does not matter. Horrifying? The most energy. I am proud to say that from an early age, everybody knows my name.

I will show early to see it happen, to feel the transfer of fate dealt. I will never be the cause, merely the purveyor of such unfortunate circumstances. I will have no bias against race, creed, or gender. I will take the wealthy as quickly as I snatch one deep from the recess of poverty.

I will also be a gentleman. In return, I will attempt to (as much as possible) offer a final review. Scenes of everyday existence: Favorite moments, or if I’m feeling particularly malevolent, compressed minutes of terror. I will watch what was warm lose the spark. I will watch the animate transform to inanimate, and I will take my leave.

My calling card will be blue or green: mottled, with the sweet hint of impending decay. It will be given, it will command, it will translate to chemical changes within the cooling flesh. One last fire, as Nature insists on closure, and then it is the way, as with all things. Every last soul. I will be your guide—be glad I am here.

This is a lasting promise made. I will meet you eventually, for I exist for one purpose: I exist because of you.

37 comments:

Dan said...

Nice. Is it the Easter Bunny? It's the Easter Bunny. Is it the Easter Bunny?

Laura Eno said...

Ah...beautiful, inevitable lines from him. :)

Cathy Olliffe said...

OK, Carrie. I've read this piece several times and I still don't have a clear guess of who this is. Death? Too obvious. The devil claiming what is rightfully his? Maybe. Mold spores? A blowfly?
A blowfly.
I like that answer.
And that's my final.... let the laughing begin!
(It's so hard when you're the first commenter...or the last commenter ... or any commenter in between. That's probably spelled commentor... oh who cares... your story was cool and made me think.
Stop doing that, Carrie. It hurts!

Cascade Lily said...

Hmmm. A riddle for #fridayflash - I like it!

Not Gaia, because Gaia is Nature.
Not Death, because he's in Laura's story?
So that leaves God. No idea if I'm right, but at least I had a guess!

Jim_Wisneski said...

This "very short" as you call it is really beautiful Carrie. It's deep - it's dark - it's almost poetic like. I think you can take different views from this one.

Great job!

Jim

jakobscarnival said...

Beautiful, morbid and powerful. Love it.

Draco Torre said...

He's a nice guy, real gentleman, but beats my at chess every time.

Clive Martyn said...

Brief but beautiful. I agree with Jim, quite poetic.

Marisa Birns said...

Let's see...is it the guy at the Pearly Gates? Sends soul through if one passes the review. Presses the elevator button for "H" if not.

Terrible guess, I know, but beautiful narrative from you!

Linda said...

Final breath? But then the second stanza doesn't quite work... hmmm... Wonderful poetic riddle. Now I'm going to be puzzling over this all day. And I need to write a grant proposal ;^)

Peace, Linda

mazzz_in_Leeds said...

Nooooo don't make me think on a Friday fternoon - that's just too cruel.

If it isn't Death, then I'm stumped.
Green and blue are going to be bothering me all afternoon now.

Carrie said...

Ha! I reveal! It is












The Grim Reaper. C'mon, you guys knew me. ;) Thanks for humoring me!

mazzz_in_Leeds said...

I feel doubly misdirected now :)

what is the green or blue calling card referring to?

Carrie said...

The blue and green refers to changing colors of bodies. Gross huh. I've been reading this book on Postmortem procedures. I should get a nice knitting habit. Lol.

David Masters said...

Carrie, I think you need to discipline that Dan boy there.

Sounds like death to me. But then I see you have told us.

I hope the grim reaper is a gentleman.

David Masters said...

Easter bunnies? Easter bunnies?!?

John Wiswell said...

I knew it was Death from the first sentence! Perhaps cheating since I wrote a prologue along this fashion for a version of Grimm's Godfather Death. But maybe I'm just morbid and evil. At least I'm in good company.

elizabethditty said...

I love the mix of threat and comfort, and you turn some excellent phrases in this one (as in all of your work). Great job!

(Also, @Dan, what is wrong with you? Lol!)

Eric J. Krause said...

Very poetic. Great language throughout, and a great concept for #fridayflash. I'm usually terrible at riddles, but I did guess Death/Grim Reaper--guess that speaks volumes about me and where my mind goes, eh? (I did like the guesses of the Easter Bunny--that would make a great story in itself).

Scott King said...

Oh it's death? I was thinking an IRS Auditor.

Dana said...

Loved the language here! We Friday flashers sure like writing about Death!

jodicleghorn said...

I'm joining the game late... so I know the answer...

But my thought processes when something like this:

Death
Fate
Death
Soul
Death

I've recently read 'The Book Thief' narrated from the Death's point of view, which inspired me originally to pick Death as your character.

I like the green and blue calling card. But most of all... and this is the one which stopped me in my tracks... the final line:

"I exist because of you."

thebokchoy said...

No, Carrie, you were wrong. It's a butcher.

Michelle said...

I've read it a couple of times - still not sure...
but great piece... intriguing

~Tim said...

You make the reaper sound far less grim.

Anne Tyler Lord said...

Carrie, excellent poetic prose. And, that was a very clever riddle. I was clueless, kept thinking of physical stuff that might kill.

I agree with jodi c. that is a "killer" last line!!!

Chris Chartrand said...

I guessed Death but only because you wrote it. :) You have to make every word count when you write a short piece like this and you did just that.
Stop being so awesome, your giving the rest of us a complex.

Kathryn Magendie said...

Laughing at Dan's comment!!!

I'd have to guess death's come calling, but he's not like regular ole death, he's the part "In Between" - right between the living and the dying - he or she or it arrives and in that nanosecond between life and death, that's where he does his best work!

Sulci Collective said...

There is something about the language of this which reaches beyond the human scale and resonates with a much larger power. That is a fantastic thing to have pulled off. The mottled green and blue just conjured up a swarm of green & bluebottles emerging from the maggots on a corpse. This was just so fantastically rich, I think it's my favourite this week.

Thanks

marc nash

billdowis said...

This is good. I like your style.

Others have ventured guesses... while I was reading it I kept telling myself it is the Grim Reaper... Death... but that seems too obvious.

It may seem weird, but I think the voice of this narrative is slightly different that what Death's voice would be.

So maybe it is something other than Death?

The Block House said...

I would have been *so* disappointed if it wasn't death. But that says way too much about me. I really enjoyed reading this, thank you.

Mark Kerstetter said...

The last two paragraphs are great. I was thinking this was Fortuna, or Chance, a close relative to Death and the Grim Reaper.

openid said...

Something about the picture and your first few lines told me it was death, but for some reason I thought of the tooth fairy. Huh??? I kept trying to make the tooth fairy fit into the story. Go figure.

In the end, it doesn't matter who it was because the writing was beautiful and the tone fit perfectly. ~ Olivia

pegjet said...

I guessed the Grim Reaper immediately, but then again, I was a huge fan of "Dead Like Me."

Carrie, the eloquence of the phrases carries this story more than the subject matter.

ERIN COLE said...

Excellent descriptions. I thought it might have been an archetype figure, maybe Justice or Death.
I wonder what GR thinks of lifesupport-I bet that pisses him the f*%K off.

Pamila Payne said...

Damn. That was good. The word craft comes to mind when I read your stuff, it's really well constructed.

Jen Brubacher said...

I got to cheat and read who it was right away... but it's still a great read. Very poetic, beautifully revealed.