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October 24 2002 at 10:00 PM
Harbinger of Death 

The Harbinger of Death reviewed his work with satisfaction. He glanced up at the enchanted grandfather clock and listened for the final chime, which would serve as the death knell for all lurkers and hangers-on who had not made their presence known to the rest of the population. They, in keeping with the grand scheme of things, had fallen prey to time.

ďItís time to enjoy the season,Ē he said aloud, and with a swoop of his cape he was gone. Nobody ever knew exactly where he went when his work was completed and days of his domain still remained. They only knew that whatever deep, dark impulses he had were worked out during this time alone. They always heard whispers and rumors of terror all over the world, stories that could never be properly substantiated because all witnesses were either dead or gone mad. Was he responsible? They never knew, for who would ever have the courage to ask? What if he answered yes? What would they do then?

No, it was better to let him work these things out alone. He was, after all was said and done, a gentle soul the rest of the time. But we all have our personal demons. Donít we?

Harbinger of Death

[insert colorful swearing here] October 24 2002, 10:23 PM 

"I thought we already talked about this."

"Gobble gobble. What now?"

"KhanMan was supposed to get swallowed up by the arowana. He didn't get whooshed with the others."

"Uh. Oops."

"Sorry to say this, friend, but you're fired. I think we'd all better stick to our own holidays."

"You know, it's almost a relief. This is just too high-pressure."

"So no hard feelings then?"

"None. I need to get my pilgrim staff gathered anyway. I heard they're this far from going on strike."

"What's the problem?"

"Too much starch in the uniforms."

"Some people are never satisfied."

"Tell me about it."


Harbinger put his arm around KhanMan in a buddy-buddy fashion. "So you see, that's the story, and it wasn't meant as an insult or anything, it's just my assistant was a little, well, inexperienced."

"I understand, no problem at all," KM replied. "So, what's the plan, then?"

"You're being really big about this. I'll make it as quick as possible for you."

"Hey, thanks, I appreciate that."

In the blink of an eye, a huge dragon appeared where the Harbinger had stood. "Tell you what," said the dragon, "I'll even get you first next year, so you don't miss anything."

"Thanks again," said KM shakily, looking up at the terrifying creature. It reared up and blasted him with a fire so hot that there was only a tidy pile of ashes remaining, and the last errant Deb, as well as the last of Tom's errors, was finished.
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