Death knocked on my door. It was a cold night, so I opened it, and welcomed her in.
I offered to take her cloak and the secateurs that replaced the scythe centuries earlier, and was not surprised when she declined. It was a cold night after all, and the coal fire in the hearth threw little enough heat as it was. My thatch roof atop shepherds hut was more hole than thatch.
Death sat, took a dram and salted her porridge. We ate in companionable silence, relishing the warmth of the gruel and whiskey within we pair. Although it would be fair to say the warmth was more evident within me for reasons too obvious for telling.
Much loved, careworn, and most likely marked, all things considered, playing cards appeared within the hand of my companion. She shuffled, cut, shuffled again. Flipping and flicking the painted card rectangles across what appeared to an abundance of knuckles. Their gently pater on the table top soothing me with their sound.
“Stakes?” said she.
“A soul or two perhaps?” Says I.
Cursing, she stood. Her cowl floating around her like weed in the sea. “Sadly you have caught me unaware, and have beaten me without a card played. It is now too late for stakes such as those.”
Her cards evaporated with eldritch undertones.
The chill breeze from beneath the door magically subsided, and a lightness overcame me. It was not unwelcome,
My willow the wisp bones no longer pained me. I stood taller and straighter now than I had done in decades, my shoulders stretched, and I smiled.
And so did she, but then, well, she always smiles.
Click the picture, Joan Jett follows. I was going to add one of my favourite Patti Smith tunes, however, I suspect too many would hear lyric’s that would probably offend, without listening to the same, and realising that they should not. C’est la vie.
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