Creative

Death’s Grin

The eve Death smiled at me I had no choice but to smile back. It was more of an awkward grin of the sort, the kind you might see from a person that could think of nothing else really clever to do… but I wanted to imagine it caught Death off guard — not totally flustered to the brink of unhinged, but at least to the extent that it caused him to break stride and chase the desire to continue looking cool.

“You strike the pose of a very solemn and confident figure, brother Death… if I’m seeing you at all then it is all surely lost for me, don’t you think? Why would you salt my demise with a drastically uncalled-for sinister smile?”

“Because I’m death; I’m inconsiderate and selfish; my gestures torture to the very hilt and reverberate long after you pass. I always get my prey.”

“Really? And what makes you so confident about that?”

“Because I’m a rapist.”

And Death grinned an even bigger toothless grin to which I responded with a spirited laugh and slap of the knee. Death balked at my response and appeared to reveal a rather irritated edge. He had the biggest toothless grin, Death did. I could see by it that death had been dead for a wicked-long time, a time that not even the robustness of enamel and bone could endure.

“Have a heart, brother Death; you’re getting your way here: you drew the long straw and I the short. Your gloating doesn’t become you in the least. I rather find it most unbecoming of an entity of your reputation and character. Grant me a modicum of dignity in my final seconds.”

But Death reared back with folded arms and toothless bouche… “But that I cannot do, for I am inconsiderate and with timing consistently rude!” he bellowed. Death had become annoyed with me, a thing I had not intentionally stoked, though one I met with hope’s glimmer, as Death was presenting himself as a force but flawed.

“Death, my brother, as you stand beguiling, my sad fate here into smiling… feign would I fathom thy nature specific, but I do sense a kink in your mail most terrific!” But oh, how Death did object, and my words in their irreverence yea did dissect. He shuffled and howled and bustled and growled:

“Nonsense!!” he boomed and, projecting a toothless frown, he did fall down and break his crown as nil came tumbling after. Death frowned a most saddened frown at the happiness there to be found, it was mine and mine alone as the angst in Death had grown.

“I’ve lost this one then, that I did; keep vigil next time, I do bid,” and Death sauntered off with head drooped low, he scoffed and snorted and bitched, you know: it’s not the cough that carries you off; it’s the coffin they carry you off in.

And They sang: “He cheated Death of his last breath we rejoice!”

But I urged: “It’s defeat rather than cheat — that I must voice!”

I sliced my ties and ran like the wind,

no glance back at Death’s miss again

Let Death eat cake wallow and cry,

I’ll meet him again in the days by and by

I can’t dwell on the past, the scythe, or the crime,

just hope I can smile again the very next time.

By Almighty God and with honor,

geo sends

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clluelo
clluelo
1 year ago

Geo . This is exactly what I thought when a rounded the corner and saw the Grizzly on hind legs looking at me! Then the my 2 pups said that wasn’t going to happen ! But as always you say it much better l

clluelo
clluelo
1 year ago
Reply to  geo

Oh out on the Dyea flats in Skagway Alaska and went around a curve in and there the twins were . If they weren’t young and the dogs weren’t so wolf like I would have been lunch . And I wasn’t armed ! 😳

clluelo
clluelo
1 year ago
Reply to  geo

It was amazing to see the dogs run out in front and Sydney , she was my Siberian , Mali cross was fierce with Ralph , my chow , Mali cross right beside her all teeth and fluffed up mane . They backed both bears right off and chased them up the mountain .

Joseph Giese
Joseph Giese
1 year ago

Geo,
By the Gods!! Great to see your works on The Freq!! I gotta share this beauty. Take care Brother!!

zdac01
zdac01
1 year ago

Well played George. Well played. It’s great to see you here. The up close and personal encounter befits a man of your experience and wit. I’ve only seen the back of his head as he’s passed me by.
Dave

Mic-Mac
Mic-Mac
1 year ago

geo, that is spectacular writing, deep, dark, but without a doubt, you have grasped a new dimension in your fabulous talented style. I don’t know why, but I kept getting a vision in my mind of Washington Irving’s Headless Horseman as brother Death, and that chilling laugh of his. This was just amazing. Needless to say, if this is from a near death, which I assume it was, sooooo glad you smashed that SOB brother deaths intentions. Hugs.

Mic-Mac
Mic-Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  geo

I never faced death straight on like that though I have been there. Mine was through nearly bleeding out, there was no awareness on my part of death being near. I felt like I was on a cloud floating somewhere in a deep dream and then all of a sudden, there I was with a team of doctors bringing me back. It wasn’t a bad place or a good place, I was just suspended from being. That doesn’t make sense probably, but the only way I can explain.

Susan B
Susan B
1 year ago
Reply to  geo

“then other times the elation is replaced by an immense sadness.” There are times that I, too, have wished to be removed from all encumbrances. Death would be that quiet solution for ending chains of thought. As usual your word arrows go straight for the heart of a matter. Another great insight from you, Geo.

Miche
Miche
1 year ago

Haha, I pictured Death with mirrored sunglasses and a Harley, with that awkward smile that “caused him to break stride and chase the desire to continue looking cool.” I was reminded of Humpty Dumpty, Marie Antoinette, The Charlie Daniel’s Band, and something triumphant and bittersweet about putting off the inevitable. Hopefully until Death can be greeted as an old friend who welcomes you home after a long and meaningful journey.

Miche
Miche
1 year ago
Reply to  geo

geo… from an outsider’s perspective I’d say you stalked Death and he failed to deliver on his menacing reputation, quietly stepping aside when Life sought another chance to ease your suffering the long way. But… I don’t feel that from the inside the way that you do.

Miche
Miche
1 year ago
Reply to  geo

I was fixin’ to post Queen’s Highlander video, “Who Wants to Live Forever?” But truthfully, I kind of do. Death can have mortality (someday), but I’m looking forward to immortality beyond Death’s reach.

STripepi
STripepi
1 year ago

Great anthropomorphism of death, Geo. I suppose one could say you brought Death to life in Death’s Grin.

If I may seize an opportunity to ask you a question… Who is that ‘shadowy figure’ with a pronounced latissimus dorsi in many of your cartoons?

STripepi
STripepi
1 year ago
Reply to  geo

I did spot that one as well. Without blatantly spoiling it for anyone else wishing to ‘play’ “Where’s Cos?”… I would say he was drawn on Guy’s right ‘baby bovine’.

Mason
Mason
1 year ago

Amazing. I felt I was there, while the banter unfolded.

Susan Hannigan
Susan Hannigan
1 year ago

My goodness, George. So glad you kicked Death to the curb. He will lie to you and try and get you to believe that you cannot go on, that there is nothing worth living for, that you cannot win. Never believe him, George, for Death is a liar. Always fight, always live, never surrender to Death. God bless.

Joni Smith
Joni Smith
1 year ago

Awesome narrative about meeting death and side stepping that path at least in the short term. I’ve been close a few times but kicked Death to the curb for it was not my time. Though he wanted to flirt with me, I shunned him away. I know you have laughed at Death, stared him straight in the eyes ready to meet him half way, but alas it was not your time. You still had stories to tell of fodder and mayhem and about Death himself. Stories about brothers and the honor of their memory. And most importantly, children to raise… Read more »

rynosbucket
rynosbucket
1 year ago

The Dr. Seuss of autonomous mortar rings and cheeky grit. 😀

James Williams
1 year ago

Superbe mon frère, la danse avec la mort…

James Williams
1 year ago
Reply to  geo

c’est vrai, le danse macabre est different…

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