The CDR left yesterday, and the Grim Reaper moved in.
He swept into the deep, dark rec room of my brain with hood draped menacingly over his eyes, then settled into his hellfire red La-Z-Boy and picked up the remote. He turned on the television with a careless flick of his spindly, calloused finger and leaned back to watch the show.
First on the screen was a harrowing drama about a Coast Guard icebreaker struggling to stay afloat in the Bering Sea, tossed like a toy from wave to wave in the raging storm. Moments later, the ship cracked in half and sank like the Titanic, killing the entire crew (including its strong and stalwart XO).
Bored already and looking for some amusement, the Reaper clicked to another channel. This show played like a sitcom to its viewer, but a tragedy to its players. A mother tried desperately to scrabble up the wall of a vastly black and bottomless pit, while her two young children stood helplessly at the edge, crying and calling her name.
After a few quiet chuckles at the poor woman's helpless plight, the Reaper clicked again. He smiled as a large tractor-trailer crossed the highway divider and slammed into the side of a tan minivan, sending it and its three passengers hurtling across several lanes of traffic and flipping over at the highway's edge.
Suddenly, the door opened and light spilled into the dark room, startling the Reaper and blinding his view.
"Go to hell," I told him.
The smoke from the accident scene seemed to float right through the television screen and into the room, cloaking the Reaper in gray plumes. Gasping for breath, he jumped from his recliner and quickly swept past me with a hateful glare, then darted out the door.
"And don't come back," I whispered. "Don't you ever come back."