Filed Under (Microfiction) by Tansy on 27-08-2013

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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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