Microfiction challenge #20: Isle of the Dead


Image: Arnold Böcklin

The sentinels stood on the rocky outcrops watching the endless arrival of ships carrying the latest batch of the dead. Their own lives were in a state of stasis and inside they wondered where all these souls were going to fit. But they had come to realise, that for the dead, space was not an issue.

The processing centre was working overtime, the clerks already bags of bones were working frantically, the dead for reasons unknown, are not in possession of a lot of patience and the clerks were down the nubs of their already worn down fingers. Everyone had a destination whether to the upper levels or to the lower levels where they were given a shovel and told to dig.

Those deemed for the upper levels were given a napkin to keep their chins dry as the dead had an unfortunate habit of drooling. Death we were reminded wasn’t a bed of roses for anyone and to get used to whatever destination you were assigned to because it was for eternity and as Adam and Eve had since discovered it was a heck of a long time.

It was possible to move from level to level. Not every one of the lower levels was about shovelling shit. In some levels things got interesting if you call an eternity of folding paper into macramé shapes pleasant after a while. The powers that be did try to change it up from time to time but with so much complaining and unhappiness they knew their designation scheme was working because as they emblazoned on every wall you got what you deserved in the end and that karma was more than just a wish on the lips of those who had it in for you.

And so the ships rolled in everyday laden with the wide eyed and the ever willing schemers who thought they could bluff and intimidate in this world as they had in their previous one.

Those were the ones whose initiation was a shovel and pair of gum boots.


Written for: https://janedougherty.wordpress.com/2016/10/28/microfiction-challenge-20-isle-of-the-dead/

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13 Responses to Microfiction challenge #20: Isle of the Dead

  1. A good one, Michael. I always like to think the schemers get theirs in the end. Gum boots and a shovel. Perfect.

  2. Oh yeah, what goes around comes around. Neat!

  3. Lynn Love says:

    Ah, yes, here’s wishing. All those dictators or torturers or killer who escaped justice – I’d love to think there was some kind of comeuppance somewhere. Nicely imagined, Michael

  4. Bernadette says:

    Karmaticly gruesome! Good one.

  5. Sounds like a fun sort of a place 🙂

  6. Pingback: Microfiction challenge Isle of the Dead: the entries – Jane Dougherty Writes

  7. merrildsmith says:

    Good story! I love the ending. 🙂

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