Tansy Undercrypt
Author, Illustrator, Purveyor of Doom & Whimsy

Extraordinary

September 20th 2017

“I cannot tell you what I know,” the letter began, “but I can share what you do not.” The old paper was soft and so delicate that some feared the act of reading would tear it. “Death is a minor inconvenience and that about sums it up. The world is all about checks and balances, […]

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Supervision

September 6th 2017

“Okay, so … no,” the supervisor said. “I understand how this seemed like a good idea in terms of using technology to form a bridge, gain familiarity, yada yada, but … no.” Death set its jaw firmly and didn’t move. “There’s a certain amount of privacy and mystery that’s a part of this job; protecting […]

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Shots

July 26th 2017

When Death arrived, he found Herb Fitzroy sitting up in front of a lap tray of Jell-O shots. “Haven’t felt good all day; wondered if you were gonna stop by,” Herb said with a smile. “Almost set out the tequila, but I been workin’ on these for poker night and it seems a shame to […]

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Freedom

June 16th 2017

Harriet sat very quietly at the bedside, holding Gwendolyn’s hand. “Gwen,” she whispered. “Do it,” came the faint reply. Harriet slipped a rock under Gwen’s tongue and patted her face. “Out with it,” Harriet said. “Breathe out all of your regrets, all of your secrets, all of the harm you know you’ve done. Do it.” […]

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Details

May 18th 2017

“We’re close now,” the attending physician had said. Quietly, Marilyn opened her purse and lifted out a Ziploc bag containing a tube of lipstick, some theatrical adhesive, and a large flower. Leaning carefully over the bed, Marilyn skillfully applied the dark peach lipstick to her mother’s mouth. “This is her all-time favorite color: Georgia Summer,” […]

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Busy

April 26th 2017

“You’ve been busy this month,” Olive whispered, reaching for his hand. “Sometimes, I think I work too much,” he whispered in return. “But you do an excellent job; your boss must appreciate it,” she continued, patting the bed beside her. He sat down. “Yes,” he said, tired, “but, sometimes, even that …” “Doesn’t feel like […]

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Departure

March 1st 2017

“You’re a long way from Denmark,” the gentleman on the doorstep said, showing his badge. She sighed and gestured for him enter. “Rumored to be the happiest place on earth,” he continued, moving into the living room and sitting down. “Expert marketing,” she said with a smile, “and nothing more.” “Bad enough that you faked […]

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Thread

February 18th 2017

“Prep times on Delmer and Common?” the director asked him. “Delmer is ready whenever. Common … ready at 5pm today.” Thomas hung up, and went into the kitchen to finish his lunch. He thought about Leslie Common, the way her hope had failed (leading to a decision that would take her body with it), and […]

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Rendezvous

February 16th 2017

At the gravesite, they salted the earth and marked the gravestone with an extra coffin nail to show they’d applied precautions. Frank looked away and was comforted by Dot’s sister, cousin, and two friends from work. “I’m fine,” he told them. “I understand that it wouldn’t be my Dot that came back. I’m okay.” Late […]

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Quality

February 10th 2017

“You okay?” one of the angels asked him. “I never know what to say to kids,” Death answered, hugging his coffee cup in the break room, his empty gaze pointed far, far away. “This morning, I was asked to personally guarantee that the afterlife wasn’t stupid.” “What?!?” the angel responded, shocked. “Based on a working […]

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