Short Story Sunday

Buen día Interwebbers.

A prompt I was given to write a short story: You are taking the job of Death as he travels on vacation. You can take the form of anything, travel through time, and take any human life (but no other kind of life).

Here is what I produced—->

Having worked at a morgue, funeral home, and nursing home I had the best resume to temporarily take his place. He was going on vacation. A thousand year vacation after 13.8 billion years is overdue. Death gave me the details and answered some of my questions about the busiest times of his job; world wars, Holocaust, the Mogols, etc. Death informed me I could take any human life, take any form, and travel throughout time. "Here is the Chrono-Synclastic Infundibulum, how you'll travel throughout spacetime," said Death. Vonnegut hit the nail on the head. Death told me he loved Vonnegut and the Chrono-Synclastic Infundibulum was once simply named the Spacetime Ship. He thought that was a boring name so in 1959 he renamed it after reading Sirens of Titan.

The first place I traveled was to see Led Zeppelin live in '69. Why? It has always been my answer to the "If you could travel back in time…" question. Next I went to when the pyramids were being built in Egypt to find out how they did it. Many believe they were constructed by aliens but I can tell you they were not. They were constructed in the same way many great things have been: exploitation of lower-class citizens. It is amazing what people can achieve without Internet and endless amounts of beer.

Traveling spacetime was fun but soon turned monotonous. I wondered about what my purpose was as New-Death. I did not want to take human life. At rapid pace, humans were already doing a great job of that by themselves. The numbers of deaths happening was too fast to read the names coming in. If it weren't for being able to be multiple places at once, this job would be constant, never-ending work. Since I could be everywhere at once and was tired of traveling, I essentially had two choices: I could rummage through the history of humans, seeing whose life it would be advantageous to take, or I could take the form of anything. Don't ask me why I can take the form of anything but cannot take any life but human life, I don't make up the rules in world of death.

I decided I would spend my time as New Death trying to improve humanity. The more I could improve life, science, and technology the less work I will have to do.

I took the form of millions of aliens and invaded Earth. At first, Earthlings were terrified and had no clue what to do. Soon, they formed a cohesive unit against the aliens and killed all 13,021,976 forms of me. The plan worked! I brought world peace to Earth by uniting them against a unit bigger than themselves. A unit they saw as different and threatening. Based on human history, it was a sure way to unite them.

The peace on Earth lasted for almost a century until the peace wore off. Earthlings went back to their "Hey! Those people look different than me" ways. I could not get another attempt at fixing it before Original Death came back from vacation. He was impressed at my attempt to lighten the load of work and serve the Earthlings. I was surprised he had not heard of a win-win situation. He enjoyed my ambitions so much that he asked the Official Death Panel of the 7th Solar System of Earth if the planet could have two representatives in the Department of Death. I am now serving a spacetime sentence as Death Dos En Tierra, and loving every moment of the challenge.

Thanks for taking the time to read what I write. Have you heard of Sarahah? I would like to use it for constructive criticism for pieces I write. Please submit any comments you may have here.

This has been Drew, dropping in to drop off some droppings. Over and out.


Memoir Monday

I wrote a short memoir about an adventure I had in Croatia after leaving Krka National Park. Critiques are welcomed. And for the love of all things holy, visit Croatia. Enjoy:

Sleeping naked in a tent by this Croatian-highway is not something many people can tick off a list. I’m in the midst of placing myself in this sparse group.

Do I want to sleep on the rocks or exert energy to hand-mow this gigantic grass? Croatians are clearly not allocating enough money to highway maintenance.

I assemble my tent and lay it against the tall grass. Climbing inside I lay down to flatten the grass with my body weight. I unravel my cylinder of packed clothes like a red carpet runway. This royal-runway-carpet o’ clothes is what I will sleep on for seven hours. I am traveling with clothes, a tent, Kindle, and a jar of peanut butter; the clothes are the best option for optimal, comfortable sleep. I take off the clothes I am wearing and wrap them around my Kindle and the jar of PB to make a pillow; I feel like MacGyver in his prime.

Hours ago I walked a few miles from Krka National Park to here to hitchhike to Zagreb; I’d hoped to sleep in someone’s car. Alas, no one was willing to pick up a stranger as the July sun made the mountain its grave.

My skin is as sticky as a fly trap ribbon. If I roll off of these clothes in the middle of the night, I risk waking up glued to my plastic tent.

Cicadas singing to the melody of 18-wheelers. “THIS is living,” I say, “THIS is vacation.” Sarcasm is my method of defense for this situation. I struggle to keep in mind that this will be hilarious in hindsight.

How humorous it would be to be awakened by Croatian cops unzipping a tent to see a guy only wearing an eye mask and ear plugs. Or if a vehicle veers off the road, crushing the tent and its contents. The news article tomorrow will be “Naked nomad crushed near highway.” – Except it will be in Croat. Some of my friends back home would not be surprised by the headline, which brings a smile to my face.

For proof of my situation I get out of my tent and take a 22 second video of my surroundings: vehicles zooming by at 120 kph, highway lights, and chirps of hidden cicadas.

I ventured on this journey to get outside of my comfort zone. Mission accomplished, Drew. You’ve 41 days to expand the zone further.

I am going to sleep now. Croatia is beautiful, but tomorrow I need to get the hell out of here.

Well there it is, Reader. And here is a photo of how happy I was in the park before this incident occurred: