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A Conversation with Death

by on April 28, 2014

Hadley disliked teleportation. She wasn’t teleporter-phobic, she would use it if she had to, but she much preferred plain old-fashioned skimming about on a shuttlecraft. Shuttlecrafts got you where you needed to be all in one piece. Teleporters, on the other hand, sometimes left bits of you where you shouldn’t be. When one was a sentient shade of mauve, that happened more often than Hadley cared for.

Sure enough, as she materialized on the grey metal floor of a ship’s cargo bay, she felt the distinct unpleasantness of knowing she was missing a bit. Hadley looked irritatedly around. Sure enough, her left arm was flopping about by the far wall, next to a sealed door. Apparently her arm was trying to reach the handle, so it could open the door, escape into the ship proper, and go off on a merry adventure of its own. It couldn’t quite reach that far, however. It fluttered for a moment, magnificent in its struggle, then wilted and lay still.

Hadley sighed. “C’mere, you,” she said. Her arm wriggled pathetically towards her, and with a plop sound Hadley stuck it back on. Photons knit together, and her arm was back to its old self again. The other advantage of being a conscious color shade was that you could stick your arm (and other parts) right back on with minimal fuss.

That problem solved, Hadley looked around to see where she was. She wasn’t on the bunny planet anymore, that much was obvious. Hadley breathed a shuddering sigh of relief. Then she considered. Like everyone else, she had thought the bunnies were gone from the universe, sealed away in the Bunniless Pit. How could they have gotten loose?

“They were let out, of course,” said a grim voice from behind her. Hadley jumped.

“Wha?” she said, somewhat inarticulately.

“Sorry,” said the woman, emerged from a shadowed corner. “I hate scaring people. Comes with the territory, though. I’m Rain. I’m also the incarnation of Death. Nice to meet you.”

Rain stuck out her hand. Hadley didn’t move to take it. “You’re…. you’re Death,” she said. “Um. Oh dear. Does that mean-?”

Rain sighed. “No, it’s not you. You’ll be fine. But with the bunnies loose, I’m going to have a lot more business. Especially if your ship’s captain fires the BFG.”

“The what now?”

The deck suddenly lurched beneath Hadley’s feet, and there was a tremendous WHUMP noise.


Hadley rushed to a porthole in the cargo bay. Below her she could see the planet she had been on, and the bunny horde rising ominously from it. Then the planet blossomed into light. Hadley had better eyesight than most, but even she had to look away for a moment. When she looked back, the planet was gone, and so were most of the bunnies. “Oh, good,” she said. “There’s only two or three left. No problem.”

Rain laughed darkly. “Yeah. Sure. You know how fast bunnies can multiply?”

Hadley didn’t know. The only pet she’d ever had was a small intelligent fox from Ylvisa Five. It had been a delightful companion, and she’d had many long talks with it. She had never inquired about its marital status, however , and it had gone off on its own adventures before she could broach the subject. Now she wished she had. “They reproduce pretty quickly then, do they?”

“Like bunnies do. That’s why they were sealed in the Bunniless Pit. Then some idiot let them out.”

“But… I’ve heard of the Bunniless Pit. The people from Earth built it. It’s only got one key. Their president has it, secret and safe. Hannah Moon, I’ve met her, she’s very nice!”

“Yeah,” Rain said. “But she’s dead now. I met her too. And about a billion people from the planet she was visiting. Seems the Seventeenth Fleet from Earth went and blew up the whole place. Busiest week I’ve had in ages.”

Hadley gaped. “But…there is no Seventeenth Fleet.”


“I”ve been to Earth, met the President, I know. They only have one fleet. Budget cutbacks. They don’t have sixteen more fleets running around, and they certainly don’t go vaporizing planets. It’s civilized now, Earth is. ”

Rain’s fists clenched. “Something stinks here.”

“I should say. I think a tribble used this cargo bay as a lavatory.”

“I was speaking metaphorically. I’ve never seen a tribble.”

“Nobody knows the tribbles I’ve seen….”

Rain glowered at her. As Death, she had a very impressive glower.


This had been another chapter in Hadley’s Story.  Also Rain’s prior adventures can be found here. I apologize for the pun. 🙂  And also I regret I missed last week’s Speakeasy, but I’m back now. Huzzah!

  1. Haha.. your creativity is so entertaining. Love the bit about the teleporting gone wrong and reattaching her arm!

    • I may have been inspired by a poem written by Douglas Adams. 🙂
      “I teleported home last night,
      With Ron and Sid and Meg.
      Ron stole Meggie’s heart away,
      And I got Siddie’s leg.”

  2. alienorajt permalink

    Love it! Most witty and entertaining take on the prompt!

  3. Fun, fun, fun – I enjoyed this one immensely!

  4. Madhura permalink

    So creative and witty! This was an awesomely fun read!

  5. What a fantastic tale! Creativity at its finest. And, as others have stated, quite witty, indeed.



  7. M. L. Sexton permalink

    Way to think outside the box. Great read!

  8. How creative and amusing this was. I loved how teleporting can cause people to lose parts, and then she discovers her arm flopping about by a door. This was just too clever and fun! One of my favorite stories… Very well done!

    God bless you,

  9. Dude, no joke, your stories make me do little seated happy dances when I’m reading them. I was SO excited to see Rain make an appearance (worldmelding!), after I was already snickering about the sad little arm skulking back (sort of like a mixed shout out to Evil Dead 2 and a failed apparition test). Then the BFG made me laugh, and then I laughed harder at Ylvisa Five. My favorite thing about you is that you can write the most ridiculous things with so many awesome nerd references, but it’s still really well written, it doesn’t go campy or kitschy. And Tribbles 😉

    • Worldmelding is a lovely word. And this is just the beginning: I plan to bring in Constance as well, and maybe some other people. It’ll be like the Avengers, but with bunnies instead of Chitauri. 😀

  10. Huzzah indeed! Fabulously creative, as always, Michael! And I love the way you snuck an Ylvis reference in there. Clever as a fox. 😉

  11. Super, Quick-Paced, Clever – Truly a good piece.

  12. another creative and unique use of the prompts. I love the continuity of your story and your sense of humor. I imagine Death does have a rather impressive glower!

  13. I love the way you play with words and phrases to provide amusement. Another great instalment 🙂

  14. Christine permalink

    Oh, the pun just about killed me. 🙂 But then, you had me in stitches pretty much the whole time. I was thrilled to see Rain is back!

  15. This was so much fun! Love the references to Doom’s BFG and Star Trek’s Tribbles. The notion of the arm trying to open the door itself was amusing and phantasmagoric. You had me chuckling throughout. Fantastic creativity here.

  16. Gene Brode, Jr. permalink

    Enjoyed reading this and congrats to you! I’ll have to catch up on the saga, being new around here. Despite that, I don’t think it hampered me from jumping right into the story. Nice job!

  17. That was a crack-up! Such a novel use of the line. You are excused for the pun.

  18. Death’s deadly stare. Diggin it so far!

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