1344. The Grim Reaper

Ramona and Wynton Clifford had a rather nice house with a rather long driveway. Ramona’s sister and husband, Fiona and Michael Croft, were staying for a few days. One early evening, suddenly, Ramona called out. “Quick! Everyone! Look out the window!” They gathered around Ramona.

Walking up the driveway towards the house was the Grim Reaper; complete with a skull face and scythe.

“It doesn’t look like a fancy dress,” said Fiona.

“It’s not,” said Wynton.

“It’s the real thing,” said Michael.

“Who’s it coming to get?” said Ramona. “Which one of us four?”

All four were healthy and fit; not a doctor’s prescribed pill needed be taken between them.

The Grim Reaper came closer up the driveway.

“I’m feeling fine,” said Michael.

“Me too,” said Wynton.

“It’s clear he’s coming to get one of us,” said Ramona.

The Grim Reaper neared the front entrance, pausing briefly to peer through the window.

“Oh God!” shrieked Fiona. “Who? Who?”

There was a knock at the door.

1343. Very much alive

I have received a complaint that too many characters in my stories die. It is therefore with considerable pleasure that I now post the following by way of counteraction:

OMG! Everyone in this photo is still alive!

OMG! Everyone in this photo is still alive!

OMG! Everyone in this photo is still alive!
Have a very-much-alive day!

Poem 88: The stream that flows near my house

The stream that flows near my house
comes from goodness knows where
and goes to goodness knows where.

I never visit it with dull skies,
but some days when sparkles shake the water
the dog takes a bath.

Has the stream perhaps scampered passed death;
a wild pig’s corpse
or maybe a tatty rotting bird?

Has it greeted fish of every sort;
eels and trout,
and cockerbullies* cowering in caverns?

Have the rough, rocky tumbles
bestowed both cheer and fear
on this joyful jolly journeyman jongleur?

Today I see it hubbubs happily on,
forgiving its past
and singing only of tomorrow’s adventures.

* Small New Zealand freshwater fish.

1342. Lost trust

Every day after school Biddy would go down to the lake to feed the fish. A good dozen trout used to wait for her, and then dart around excitedly when she appeared. They knew her and Biddy knew them. She even had names for some of them: Spot, Rainbow, Shadow, Speedy…

One day her mother said, “Why don’t you catch one for dinner? There’s plenty there, and one less fish won’t matter.”

So Biddy did that. She got a little fishing line, and fortunately caught one of the trout that didn’t have a name.

But none of the fish ever came back to see Biddy again. They disappeared into the depths of the lake. She had lost their trust.

1341. Waiter!

Waiter! Take this steak away. You know I always have it rare and this is overcooked. You might as well have served up a piece of charcoal.

Waiter! I like my carrots a little crisp. Take them away and bring some vegetables properly cooked, not something that’s had the living daylights boiled out of it.

Waiter! Were these eggs cooked yesterday? They’re as cold and hard as a rock. Take them away and bring me eggs done the way I like them.

Waiter! You expecting a tip? The service here is appalling. You won’t be getting a dime from me.

So why do you always eat here?

Because this is the only restaurant in town that does things the way I like it.

1340. Such is the expanse

It’s fascinating to think, said Theodore to his theologically-minded friend, Nelson, that when I’m grinding these coffee beans for breakfast there’s probably twenty million other intelligent beings on other inhabited planets doing the identical thing. Such is the expanse of the universe! Such is its enormity!

Don’t be silly, said Nelson. You’re so closed-minded. Why do you always limit the infinite? In all the trillions of inhabited planets in this universe alone, there’s not a single planet that’s the same. And there’s not a single intelligent being doing the same thing as you. God is not that boring.