Death stood by Harlan Jacobs’ bed.
Not many merited a personal visit from the Spector. The astringent scent of disinfectant and urine clung to the small hospital room. Family members came and went as Harlan gasped his final words to each.
“Lock up the dog.”
“Don’t drink the water.”
“Mention my name at the Lucky Duck.”
Unremarkable non-sequiturs. Only Death knew they weren’t. Before him lay the world’s only true prophet.
Death leaned in, waiting for his own fortune.
Harlan’s sunken cheeks puffed out, his dry lips parted and he grasped the skeletal hand. “Don’t step on the manhole cover.” Then wheezed his final breath.
Death pondered these words as he hooked the softly glowing soul from the cooling body. Manhole cover? He stared at the soul with black pitiless sockets.
Realizing Harlan was too important to send into the void, he turned toward the nursery. To a new beginning.
Gab is short for Gabriella—yes, her parents were cruel cold-hearted people who took out their name frustrations on their only daughter. Gab grew up loving scifi: Asimov, Bradbury, Clarke, etc…then found fantasy and became a serious fan of Tolkien, Zimmer Bradley, Pratchett, Gaiman, etc. Her current novel is set in the near future, semi-dystopian with a strong female MC. Gab is an unapologetic feminist. All hail the hive queen.