Dear Grim Reaper,
Remember that time you came for a visit and I disappointed you? “Not today,” I said. “I’m busy living life and stuff. Mom’s fixing lasagne for dinner and I can’t miss that! Why don’t you come back when she’s fixing tuna casserole and then I’ll have a good excuse to leave the table. Buh-Bye!”
“I’ll be back!” you grumbled, and shuffled dejectedly out the door.
— 3 years ago —
“Al, you IDIOT! She was almost impaled! Oh my God…” Mom covered her face with her hands and began to sob. Dad stood in shock, staring at nothing and everything. Meanwhile I lay splayed on the floor like a starfish, stunned at my ability to dodge death. Clumps of dirt surrounded me. A shattered ceramic pot and uprooted plant sat on my left. The smell of lasagne drifted from the kitchen. I slowly pushed myself off the ground and rose unsteadily to my feet.
Abby the tabby cat cowered at us with wild bright eyes behind the TV console, her ears flattened against her skull. Her striped tail flit nervously about.
It all happened in a matter of seconds. Mom stood by the TV thinking about what to watch. The fireplace was situated next to the TV on a slightly raised brick platform a few inches off the floor. We never used the fireplace but the brick platform was a place for storage – a basket of magazines, some potted plants, and a small stand with a sharp fireplace poker.
Dad has a loud voice and a heavy step. Sometimes he likes to mess with the cat. At the moment I chose to walk into the living room, heading straight for Mom to see what she was up to, Dad had come stomping upstairs from the basement. He saw the cat near the living room entrance and bellowed, “Abby…the crabby tabby!” and chased after her for a bit. I had nearly reached the fireplace. Mom turned and frowned at the commotion. After Dad made a sharp turn to catch the little furball, she changed course and sped in my direction.
It all fell into place…I tripped over the cat and flew toward the brick platform housing the fireplace. I noticed my head rapidly descending upon the fireplace poker. Yes, if everything went as it should have, I would have been speared through the brain. Instead I flailed my arms about and knocked the stand out of the way with one arm just in time. My other arm tried to catch my fall but instead knocked one of the plants off of its stand, causing the pot to break and dirt to explode everywhere. Luckily I didn’t land on top of the cactus. Half of me got a taste of the brick, though.
It looked like a war zone. “Whoops,” Dad said, brushing one hand through his hair and gazing at me guiltily. I started to laugh. Mom glared at him and snuffled back more tears. “You NEED to stop messing with the cat all the time!” she cried. “You’re going to get someone killed!”
“All this nearly dying business worked up my appetite – when is dinner?” I asked.