A Question of Mourning

“Will you mourn them when they are all gone?”
“I do not mourn.”
“There will be nothing left for you to do.”
“There will always be death.”
“You are the death of humans. Not of rats or pigs or what will come after the humans are gone.”
Death’s response was to tug his cloak into place with a thin hand. He could not feel the cold, but he knew it was there.
“You will mourn.”
The man standing beside Death tapped the contents of his pipe out into the dirt then felt in the pocket of his red waistcoat for a pouch of tobacco. For as long as Death had known him this man had smoked a pipe. Sometimes he smoked thin cigarettes. “For a change.” the man would say and then laugh his high, thin laugh.
“Why should I mourn? To mourn is human and I am not human.” Continue reading “A Question of Mourning”


Broken Daffodil

The walk across the dusty library felt a little longer today, just as it had the day before. Her feet shuffling on the thick carpet, stirring up yet more dust. The way it settled each night was of more concern to her housekeeper than it was to her. She liked the way it danced in sunlight and moonlight. The soft feel of it on bookshelves that had remained undisturbed for months or years. On the frames of paintings crammed into every inch of wall not covered by shelves. Continue reading “Broken Daffodil”


There was a ring in his teacup. Being a reserved and sensible man, he complained politely, but became distressed when the waiter would not take the ring. The manager had to be brought forth to question all of the staff. No one would admit to being the owner of the ring.

“Take it home,” suggested the manager. “It might be worth something.”

Tarnished silver with a delicate twist to the band. He didn’t believe it had a worth beyond sentimentality and it was certainly not his sentiment. Still, a polite man, he took it without comment or argument.

Had he not also been a lonely man he may have thought it fortunate. A pretty trinket to offer a girlfriend. A wife. He had neither, though he knew men who had both. Ginger, his cat, might enjoy it for a moment by chasing it round the floor. Then it would be knocked under the dresser and gone to dwell with dust bunnies and ticket stubs.

The ring wound up sitting in the little bowl where he dropped his keys and loose change. For months it sat there, largely unnoticed except when he would absently wonder if he should put it somewhere else. He never did.

A rushing policeman knocked the bowl over and the ring rolled along the hall. It bumped against the arm of the man who had found it in his teacup. He did not pick it up.


I wrote this some months ago. A cross between flash fiction and a vignette. It has it’s own meanings to me, but I would like to know, what does it mean to you?