Tansy Undercrypt
Author, Illustrator, Purveyor of Doom & Whimsy


August 27th 2013 in Microfiction

When Death arrived, Sebastian Leed was waiting – propped up carefully on his Asian divan. “And here you are!” he said warmly. “Such a great look for you, but … it could be so much greater.” Leed gestured shakily to a costume form nearby. “It’s you, Sugar.” A robe created in rich black brocade hung there, slightly fitted through the chest and waist with tiny covered buttons; the pleatwork dripped with black Swarovski crystals; the hood was full; the sleeves fell along the flared lower half while a generous cut opened the armpit for full movement (with scythe); brilliant emerald piping trimmed every edge yet was just a hint of the hand-embroidered lining so dazzling it nearly glowed. Death gasped – a sound like wind trying to form words into a keyhole. “I’ve been a Broadway costume designer for over 40 years, Doll; I needed a fitting way to go out. Indulge me.” “I know your work,” Death whispered, “but this … is a true masterpiece.” Leed’s coughing fit spoiled the mood and Death moved forward. “And now,” the specter said gently, “it’s time for a bit of theater all my own.” Leed looked up, smiling but confused, then started when he felt a rosy blush rise in his pallid cheeks. “Shall we leave a beautiful corpse?” There was no robe when they found Sebastian the next morning and, although the illness had been relentless and unkind, he looked relaxed, happy, and not a day over 29.

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He laid there in the cool dark, willing the headache to go away. He had probably aggravated it when he’d crushed the pager with his mind, but the damn thing kept going off. “It’s like no one else has a freaking brain,” he whispered to the blackness. He needed sleep. He needed an honest-to-God vacation. […]

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