Hey it’s been a while.
Here’s a writing prompt I thought of. I think I unconsciously stole it from the grim adventures of Billy and Mandy. Whoops.
Right now, Reggie’s life is going great. He has an amazing girlfriend, and things are going better than ever. He’s about to get a promotion in his job, and he even cut carbs out of his diet! He’s hitting all his fitness goals while also getting plenty of sleep!
Only one problem though, Reggie’s roommate. Now Reggie has no problem with his roommate; quite the opposite actually, Reggie loves his roommate. His name is Kyle and he’s fantastic; he always washes the dishes, he never leaves his stuff around the house, and he always pays rent on time. Since moving in six months ago, Reggie has hardly had to talk to him at all, which wasn’t a bad thing. Reggie was more of a introvert anyways.
Reggie was indebted to Kyle. When his previous roommate disappeared suddenly, he found himself panicking to make his mortgage. Reggie was frantically posting ads on craigslist and in the newspaper but no one called. Reggie was approaching desperation when Kyle called. Kyle offered to pay for 3 months rent ahead of time, and had no problem with the house rules or deposit.
All of this sounds great! Right? Well, one catch: Reggie was pretty sure Kyle was death.
Not a figure of speech, literally. Kyle was pale, with black hair and black eyes. Obviously that’s not a judgement, normally Reggie would never look at a pale person and think to himself that the person looks like death incarnate. But Kyle literally looks like a walking corpse. His skin is so pale it’s translucent. When Kyle talks you can actually see the bones in his jaw moving like he’s some sort of terminator puppet.
He’s cold, too. Not emotionally, literally. When he walks into a room the temperature drops dramatically. Reggie thought he was imagining it, but when he found himself wearing his winter coat while the thermostat was set to 80, he couldn’t lie to himself anymore.
Oddly, Kyle was a pleasure to talk to. His eyes were nearly like black holes, so you really felt like he listened, you know? They just sucked you in.
Kyle worked at a hospital tending to the terminally sick. He made them more comfortable as they slipped away. Reggie once complained about his job as he was talking to Kyle. Kyle only squinted as Reggie described the drudges of tax audits and water cooler drama. “Do you ever feel tired or drained at work?” Reggie asked,
“No” Kyle replied brightening, “It’s when I feel the most alive”.
“Doesn’t it depress you seeing people die?” Reggie said dumbfounded.
Now this was the moment that Reggie finally felt that his odd suspicion was founded on something real:
Kyle said softly, “Oh no, they’re going to a sweeter place Reg, trust me.”
The “trust me” wasn’t a friendly profession of Kyle’s faith. This trust me was a fact loaded with challenge. Somehow Reggie knew that Kyle didn’t just have an idea of where these people were going when they died. Kyle knew. Kyle’s been there.
Kyle talked about death like it was a local restaurant he went to frequently that served the best corn-dogs.
Kyle loved corn-dogs.
“Kyle” Reggie asked with bristling curiosity. He couldn’t take it anymore, he had to ask. He had to get it out so he could just move on with his life, there was nothing else to it, “are you like, the grim reaper?”
“Oh, yeah. For sure. Didn’t you read my application?” Said Kyle, with aplomb.
“Your. . Application?” stuttered Reggie.
“Yeah!” Kyle’s hand shimmered, and there appeared a crumpled piece of paper.
Under “occupational history” Reggie read “grief counselor, mortician, grave-digger, obituary writer, manager of the dead, grim reaper, angel of death, god of Hades etc, etc. . .”
Reggie nearly choked as he said, “I don’t think I knew that about you.”
“That’s crazy! And I didn’t know you played racquetball!” Death exclaimed, “we’re learning things about each other all the time!”
“Yeah.” Said Death’s roommate.
Aplomb is a great word.