Trifecta: Stygian Shore

The witch finished the incantation and held her breath for a long moment, waiting.  A gust of icy wind swept past the candles ringing her living room, and a hollow voice sounded.  “Who summons me?”  A figure stepped out of the shadows into the circle of flame.

The witch’s eyes widened.  Tall and bony she had been expecting.  Dark flames in the eye sockets, check.  And okay, the grimoire hadn’t actually said there’d be black robes and a scythe, but this…  It was wearing a white wifebeater and a baseball cap — backward. A shiny black button shirt was slung over its shoulder, and the waistband of a pair of striped shorts protruded from the top of the jeans.  She couldn’t keep herself from reading it.  Abercr–  She shook herself.

“You’re kidding me.”

“What?”  It had sounded ominous the first time.  This time, it had all the gravitas of a sullen teenager, and a distinct resort-town accent.

She waved her hands at it, at a loss for words.  There was a weirdly orange cast to the bone.  She craned her head.  “Is that a spray tan?”

The dread figure managed to look embarrassed, hunching its shoulders.  “Tanning beds don’t work for me.  Look, did you summon me or what?”

She couldn’t stop staring.  An atrocious diamond stud had been glued to the side of his skull where the ear would have been.  “Did I?”  She trailed off.  “Are you Death?”  This was not how she’d pictured the afterlife.

The flames in the eye sockets rolled.  “You said the incantation wrong.  I’m the Death of Civilization.”  It twirled a universal remote control in one hand.

“Well.  I suppose I should have known that,” she said, mostly to herself.


“Uh, yeah.  If you could just stand in the center of the circle –”  She hurriedly performed the dismissal, and the apparition vanished.  She stood there for a moment, staring, before turning to blow out the candles.

“I’m canceling my cable,” she muttered.


Welcome to this week’s Trifecta Writing Challenge! This week called for 33 to 333 words on the third definition of the word DEATH (noun):
1a : a permanent cessation of all vital functions : the end of life
b : an instance of dying <a disease causing many deaths>
2a : the cause or occasion of loss of life <drinking was the death of him>
b : a cause of ruin <the slander that was death to my character — Wilkie Collins>
3 capitalized : the destroyer of life represented usually as a skeleton with a scythe

Thanks for reading!

Be Sociable, Share!
  1. Draug says:

    lmao this was great xD He could have had a cellphone too, and answered it in the middle of the conversation. I hate it when customers at my job do that!!

  2. Carrie says:

    Death of Civilization indeed!! Very clever.

  3. Michael says:

    Somehow, that’s exactly how I pictured the Death of Civilization would look. Brilliant. I cracked up. 🙂

  4. kgwaite says:

    Death of civilization – Love it. Love the spray tan, too.

  5. Gina says:

    Loved the spray tan, glued on stud, his attitude AND the humor of this. Very, very clever. I was laughing the whole way through especially with the last line. Death of civilization, for sure. Fantastic!!!

  6. deana says:

    Great post! I really enjoyed this.

  7. Had me laughing so hard. Totally unexpected appearance. Brilliant stuff.

  8. Brian says:

    Ha, there have been some great takes on the prompt this week and this is up there with the best of ’em. Sullen teenager death, spray tan and all. Nice job!

  9. Christine says:

    *hahaha* I love how casual all these conversations with Death have turned out to be! This cracked me up: “…it had all the gravitas of a sullen teenager, and a distinct resort-town accent.” I’m still giggling.

  10. Lumdog says:

    Lol! I love the premise. And the dialogue is perfect. Who knew the Death of Civilization would be pseudo gangsta?

  11. stephanie says:

    So funny! As others have said, nice touch with Death of civilization. I love the gravitas of a sullen teenager and a resort town accent.

  12. Jen says:

    Brilliant and funny!

  13. lexy says:

    that was excellent! spray tanned sullen ‘gangsta’ teenage death of civilization. I have no idea where you came up with that, but it’s brilliant. I bet he watches a lot of Jersey Shore.

  14. This was hilarious. It conjured an image of the cast of Jersey Shore. I think the end of civilization is their domain, right?
    I love the attitude in the flames rolling in their sockets. Great response. Thanks for linking up!

  15. sonya says:

    that was great! Good job lady.

  16. Annabelle says:

    Thanks, all! This was a fun one to write.

  1. There are no trackbacks for this post yet.

Leave a Reply to kgwaite