It is time

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It is time

October 2 2006 at 1:14 PM
Harbinger Of Death  

In the late evening, everyone at the university heard a “swoosh” at their mail slots. They found a very fancy envelope bearing a red wax seal that was instantly recognized. Upon opening the envelopes and reading the invitations, silver embossed on black, they realized that the event was going to begin in exactly one hour. Some were giddy; some were anxious; some were just curious. Whatever their reactions, the bottom-heavy hourglass on the front made the message clear: Time’s up.


At the appointed hour, well after the sun had gone down, the students gathered outside where the blood-red “X” on the invitation’s map had indicated they should wait. In the chill of the evening, they huddled together; mostly for warmth, but a little bit for security. There was a vast, wide open space, far more than was needed to fit all the students and staff. Their anticipation hung in the air as they watched and waited, although nobody knew exactly what they were looking for.

Finally the wind picked up and howled in their ears. There was a brief cheer, a few squeals, a few nervous giggles. There was a burst of light—or rather a burst of dark. It was a sensual paradox, like a silence that threatens to pop your eardrums. The absence of light nearly blinded them. When the blue-black spots cleared from their eyes, they saw the Harbinger of Death.

He stood before them on a platform, a bundle of letters in his hands. He stepped forward, and the Debs listened intently. “Good evening and welcome to October,” he said. “Let’s get right down to business. I have here some correspondence relating to our holiday activities. Some of you wrote to say how much you enjoyed the last few years of our arrangement. I thank you for your support.” He bowed his head slightly. “Some of you have said you wish you had more control over your destiny at this time of year. Many of you have asked for special provisions and/or exceptions. A few have asked to revisit some themes from years gone by. Some of you have offered your services as assistants or other supplementary staff. Other suggestions and ideas abound.” He held up the letters, and began to stride back and forth across the platform. “Your feedback is appreciated. I therefore have devised a new process, for this year only, in which you shall become masters---" There were a few very loud “a-HEM”s and staff-thumpings. “and mistresses— of your fate.” With the wave of a skeletal hand, the group was surrounded by a score of stations that shimmered into view.

As the Debs surveyed their surroundings, they saw that each station represented a different method of death. The attendants all looked at the crowd, eager to help someone draw their last breath. They rubbed their hands together eagerly, or bounced up and down on their toes; some chipper folks waved at the Debs with a wide smile.

Then they heard the Harbinger say, in a booming voice so loud and deep that it reverberated through their insides, “CHOOSE YOUR END.”

And then, in his normal voice, he said, “And after, we’ll have snacks, and movies from past years in the party house.” With a swoosh of his cloak, he was gone.


I believe you folks would like to have a hand at doing my job, so to speak, so that’s why I’ve set up a DeathFest out here. Here’s how it works: You get to choose the method of your death, and then write it. Respond under the post that fits the death you want.

Need help choosing the method that’s right for you?
 How Will You Die??

In addition to writing your own death, I invite you to share your farewell note and/or last will and testament with us.

And here, you can write your epitaph to share with us, on a variety of tombstone designs.

Tombstone Generator / (note from ed. invalid url)
Tombstone Gravestone Image Generator 2006

Here are some quizzes that should tickle your fancy.

What Horrible Edward Gorey Death Will Be Yours?

How Much of a Murderer Are You?

--After you’re dead, come on over to the FFW forum, and I’ll have a little film festival showing some scenes from bygone seasons. I’ve selected a few choice segments, and soon a votelet will be set up so you can vote for your favorite. Have fun, and Happy Halloween.

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