Wednesday, January 17, 2007
New Beginning 194
Death stood on the door step, flanked by two toughs armed with pikes. It was a plague doctor, looking anything but human in his black oilcloth and beaked mask, where the eyes absorbed the light instead of reflecting it and looked cold, bottomless and deadly like the Thames on a winter night; a faceless, heartless angel of doom.
"This is a mistake," Dick said heavily, as if his mouth was full of molasses.
The plague doctor stepped forward. Dick moved aside, from habit or shock, and the creature entered the house. The two guards stayed just outside the door.
"You have a male child who is ill?" the apparition asked. His voice was rough, dry, cutting, and, muffled by the mask, it seemed to come from a great distance.
"No," Dick said.
"I will be the judge of that. Where are your children?"
"Oh, for crying out loud," Dick spat in exasperation. "You still don't have it? Go out and try again."
The plague doctor bowed his head in embarrassment and went back out to the door step. The thugs with pikes looked down at their feet.
"Okay," Dick said. "I'm gonna shut the door now. Get it right this time." It was so hard working with these people.
He heard the knock, and opened the door. This time the unholy trio on his doorstep looked up and shouted in unison, "Trick or treat!"
"That's better," he said, handing out the candy.
Opening: Anonymous.....Continuation: Kate Thornton