Is it really too late.

Time was late, the day was cold  the doors of the coffee shop suddenly flew apart and the sight from the street was enough to stop your heart.

the four horse men

Slowly silently making their way along the street four horsemen approached. We had no knowledge but centuries since, this was the place they had assigned to meet.

As this strange apparition  it’s progress did make, it left fights and hunger and  deathly illness in it’s wake. Where once was the  normal order of life was suddenly killing and gorging and sickness and death. Once happy people now full of strife.

Stopping their horses and dismounting as one they found a spare lamp post their magnificent animals to leash upon. One of their number scanned the street “No parking meters . Sweet!”

They entered the coffee shop and two fights broke out and terrible hunger and thirst spread about. Terrified customers died in the rush for the door and people started to sicken with rashes and pustules and what’s more there was blood and guts all over the floor.

Phantom Horses

Death motioned the others to get a table then approached the strangely thin, sick looking lad at the bar and ordered four Americanos and a bagel! The boy felt so weak and fear gripped his throat as he looked in to the eyes of Death the rest of his staff were in the same boat lost and helpless’ bereft of hope!

Setting down the tray and handing Famine his food , “I wanted expresso “griped War in a mood. Death raised his scythe and told him to mind his place. For he had the last  word and was in charge of this space!

Finally with the local humans all dead they sipped quietly on their coffee, just for now doing what their leader had said.

Empty coffee cups

After a short while Conquest / Pestilence looked up asked “is this coffee fair trade” as he finished his cup. Famine smirked at the joke his brother had made.  “I need another , where is the barista ”  Death answered ” He died”…… “Okay” Famine sighed

Coffee over, decisions needed to be  made  how to deal with this world’s problem. Plans had to be laid. “I think I should simply traverse this world and make them their missiles unfurl,” said War before adding “then with you  Death in my wake , how long would total annihilation  take?”

“No “chipped in Pestilence I can spread  my cloak and make them all suffer. you can then step in Death, as they cough and coke.” War banged the table ready to fight  but Death then stepped in knowing his way was right .

“Looking around brothers do you not agree they are doing an excellent job of destroying themselves without any help from you or me.”  He saw they were not happy with his intervention  so he enlightened them all with ghastly intentions . “We need to just hover on the sidelines and leave them to fester. It will all end soon, this planet cannot sustain forever these hopeless jesters!

They thought for a while while Death entertained them, he fiddle like Nero back when Rome was burning. but not such  giggle.

Deadly notes

The decision was made and they all agreed they would just make thing worse for all those in need , they would feed the wars and starve the medical fractions, of knowledge and money. They would disease the corn the milk and the honey. Death would stalk the world in his usual way clearing up the mess and dead at the end of the day.

They then  left the scene of their destroying powers and rode off together into the west leaving death and destruction and lots of wilting flowers .

The News papers and TV got the story the very same day. Police want to question four hoodies on horse back  they say.There is  a witness a child who manage to hide and lived to tell what they had seen. Apparently strange horses , one white,one red , one black and one pale green?

The headlines over well maybe one more then it is back to Famine in Africa and a new Plague from the States and now they started yet another War! The Greenies are screaming we must save Mother Earth unknowing that she already dancing  a dirge with a worn out and tired Death.

Death sat in a corner and polished his scythe and pondered the meeting that morning , well he had at least tried to buy these humans ( for whom he actually cared) some time . But even holding off his brothers,  of hope there still was no sign.

He was tired of all the work he had to do, exhausted in fact, and his brothers were too. The task set before them was too great for them to solve .. Hopefully God will intervene and those irritating humans will evolve  !

Tired old Death

29 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. zumpoems
    Oct 04, 2011 @ 12:58:19

    Wow! There is so, so much going on here! A good story, lots of humor, and your willowdot21 prositry!

    One line you may wish to revise: “Coffee over they now had to talk the state of this world made even them baulk.” as it seems a bit artificial — punctuation would help (“coffee over, they now had to talk, the state of this world…”) but the issue is more with how it seems the words have been forced to fit the meter.

    Compare this to your excellent opening line: “Time was late, the day was cold. The doors of the coffee shop suddenly flew apart and the sight from the street was enough to stop your heart.” This is very natural prose (added in a period after cold) and rhymes without bringing attention to the rhyme and the meter works nicely with the strong forceful opening (strong, weak, strong, weak, strong, weak, strong) and the irregularity of the second sentence.


    • willowdot21
      Oct 04, 2011 @ 13:09:52

      Thanks , as I say I am still working on the poem! It is a shame you do not like ( Coffee over they now had to talk the state of this world made even them baulk.” ) that was one of my easy lines but I will revise it .I really appreciate criticism, without it how can we improve ? Thanks again


    • willowdot21
      Oct 04, 2011 @ 13:22:12

      Thanks again for pointing out the typo in the title ..I nee to concentrate my mind is skimming all over the place today!!


    • willowdot21
      Oct 04, 2011 @ 13:38:45

      I have made a change , I think it works. I need to go out now and clear my head!! Be well and happy , I shall be back later!


  2. penpusherpen
    Oct 04, 2011 @ 13:06:26

    the message came through loud and clear Willow, and I loved this… the humour and the deadly purpose of the four hoodies, ( I shall never look at hoodies the same way again 😉 ) … I also echo Deaths ending thought, “Hopefully God will intervene and those irritating humans will evolve !” Amen…Hugs to you… xPenx


  3. willowdot21
    Oct 04, 2011 @ 13:24:26

    Thanks Pen so glad you got the humour and the meaning I am still working on it though! Mind you, I can write all I want but can I change anything??


  4. zumpoems
    Oct 04, 2011 @ 14:45:22

    “Coffee over, decisions needed to be made how to deal with this world’s problem. Plans had to be laid.”

    This is better. Great that you are re-working this post. This has great creative force and value — you don’t lack inspiration — never hesitate to embrace perspiration! I listened to an interview with a Pulitzer Price winner in Poetry and he sometimes does over 200 drafts for a given poem. (


  5. willowdot21
    Oct 04, 2011 @ 15:45:26

    I do tend to rework and rework so someone reading one of my poems early in it’s conception my find it unrecognisable if they see it later on it its life! I listened to the radio interview and it was very interesting . My 36yr old middle son is dyslexic and I know the trouble and grief we had getting him through school and educated . It was agony and taxing from start to finish. The teachers and authorities were not only unhelpful they were down right obstructive!! Our lad still has difficulties to this day but he he is a hard working member of society. Thankfully schools are much better at catching dyslexia but in this country, at least, it is a post code lottery as to how much help you get.
    I am pleased you like my new verse!


  6. burnthepoets
    Oct 04, 2011 @ 18:19:56

    Bravo willow, a lovely little narrative, and I adore the humour! Thanks for the smile.


  7. willowdot21
    Oct 04, 2011 @ 18:43:38

    My pleasure I hope you got the serious message too!


  8. fallenelegy
    Oct 09, 2011 @ 03:57:21

    wonderful wonderful truly wonderful.
    i loved it all. there is sarcasm, strange humor and sympathy all combined in this story. lovely story with a message in the end. we really should think where are we headed as humans.
    “I need another , where is the barista “ Death answered ” He died”…… “Okay” Famine sighed << i laughed hard at this, almost to choking levels. i would love to picture the face of famine when he got the answer.


  9. willowdot21
    Oct 10, 2011 @ 16:45:53

    Thank you Fallenelegy I was hoping to get my message over through humour a very dark humour . Famine would of been very peeved maybe he looked like this d+__*b but thinner!!


  10. Trackback: willowdot21 (An insight to a heart mind and soul) « choiceposts
  11. eof737
    Sep 28, 2012 @ 23:54:43

    fascinating… it is never too late I suppose. 😉


  12. Trackback: Another cup of coffee « willowdot21
  13. WordsFallFromMyEyes
    Dec 10, 2012 @ 20:13:09


    Truly, you take me back. When I was in the orphanage we had little wooden blocks different colours which symbolised different numbers/sizes. Crimson was my FAVOURITE wee block.

    As for this tale – you have me smiling. Just perfect because I’m about to head off to work. This is so well written, Willow. You’ve totally grown as a writer, I reckon.


    • willowdot21
      Dec 10, 2012 @ 20:31:04

      Hi there so glad you like the , crimsom I think of it as a purply pink. Anyway I am so glad you like this story I used humour to get over a harsh message ! I am so pleased that you smiled before going to work! Have a good day be happy!! xxxxx


  14. Michael
    Jul 29, 2017 @ 09:55:48

    I enjoyed the lyrical nature of this willow. It provides me with the sense that even though there is an important message being conveyed there is also a light feel about it all which I like as I see humanity taking life and God etc far more seriously than those deities might take themselves.


    • willowdot21
      Jul 29, 2017 @ 10:33:17

      I am glad you see the humour, I have written quite a few along these lines. I have a soft spot for death, shitty job, no one is ever pleased to see him. Restricted uniform and everything he eats or drinks goes straight through him and he gets such a bad press. Seriously though I agree with you.


  15. Ritu
    Jul 30, 2017 @ 12:23:55

    Love this Sis! You need to write more stories!


  16. Trackback: Death’s Book Is Missing | willowdot21
  17. Trackback: Scary October 6 | willowdot21
  18. robbiesinspiration
    Mar 20, 2019 @ 16:05:27

    This is really good, Willow. A great short story.


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