Thursday, March 4, 2010
Surf's Up - #FridayFlash
Chronos flopped down on his sofa, grateful to be back home after the strain of holding time in neutral for twelve hours straight. Suddenly, 'Surfing USA' assaulted his ears as Death plunked his bony frame down next to him, the earphones from his iPod reverberating the music much like a pinball machine would bounce a ball.
"Would you please turn that down," Chronos asked without opening his eyes. "Your bones don't do much to contain the noise and I have a massive headache."
"Sorry. I heard about that black hole tearing through the space-time continuum. Pretty bad, huh?"
"It's fixed now, but I'm knackered." Chronos heard a plink-plop, like pebbles striking glass. He opened his eyes in time to find Death tossing peanuts in the air and having them hit a pair of sunglasses that he wore over his eye sockets. The peanuts pinged around the room like small missiles.
"Why are you wearing sunglasses?"
"Oh, I forgot I had them on. I thought my game was a bit off." Death removed them and caught the next volley. "Much better."
"You could catch them in your mouth like normal people do," Chronos suggested.
"No challenge in that." Death unhinged his jaw so wide he looked like a cobra. "Mouth's too big."
Blinking back tears at the glare in the room, Chronos finally noticed the source. Death wasn't wearing his usual black robe and cowl.
"What are you wearing? It's searing my eyes."
"Isn't it cool? Lachesis wove it for me. It's called a tropical shirt. That's why I came over. I want to go surfing and I thought you'd like to come with me. It'll be fun." He turned his Beach Boys music back up.
Chronos waved his hands in surrender. "I'll go if you promise me no more music."
Death slipped his sunglasses back on and smiled. "Let's boogie, old man."
The sun and sand were pleasant, Chronos admitted to himself. He stripped off his sandals and relaxed, watching Death skim along the tops of the waves without benefit of a board.
When he came back to shore a crowd of young people gathered around, wanting to know how he'd done that. While Death entertained them, Chronos noticed something amiss and went over to stand by his friend.
"Hold still a minute. You have a loose thread here." Chronos tugged and snapped it off. One of the young surfers dropped dead at his feet.
"Oops… I forgot that Lachesis wove this. She must have used life threads to make it."
"Quick! Give me the thread." Death knotted it back onto the shirt, but missed the original placement.
"Whoa, that was unreal." The young man got to his feet, a bit unsteady. He looked around at his companions. "Why am I hanging out here, wasting my time? My father wants me to become a doctor."
He turned and walked away without a backward glance, leaving the others puzzled. Death shrugged.
"It wasn't his original weave but, hey, he's still walking. Maybe I should retire this shirt. Wouldn't do to snag it and change someone else's life – or start a war." He looked down at the material. "I wonder how many lives I'm wearing right now?"
He took off his sunglasses and linked arms with Chronos. "Did you get enough fun in the sun, my friend?"
Chronos laughed. "Plenty. I think it's time to go home. Play that surf song again though, will you?"
©2010 Laura Eno