View Full Version : A Lesson in Life

April 28th, 2017, 11:36 PM
Another story about Graham, sort of. As usual, comments and criticisms welcome. I did some minor editing, but mostly untouched. Enjoy.


The earthquake had been a big one, bigger than any previously recorded. Many buildings crumbled, not able to withstand the violent shaking that had lasted two long minutes. Explosions, from damaged gas pipes, were going off like fireworks, causing more destruction, and making it dangerous for the rescue crews. The constant aftershocks had brought down more buildings, making rescue attempts fraught with danger. An explosion shook the area, sending fragments of concrete bouncing like tennis balls. There was a faint stirring amongst the rubble. A hand, skeletal and bleeding, reached out from under a large slab of brick and cement. It stretched toward the sky, as if grasping for hope. Down on the street, a group of rescue workers scoured the building remains for signs of life. Seeing the hand, a woman called to her fellows. Carefully, the group moved toward the mountain of steel and concrete, to where the hand was sticking out. A sign of life in a sea of destruction.

“Are you okay?” one of the rescuers called out, hoping that this would not be another dead body having a spasm.

“I…I think so,” came a deep reply. When the group started up the concrete debris, it shifted dangerously under their feet. Only the woman would be safe, her light weight not enough to upset the slabs of steel and cement precariously balanced on each other. It would take a crane to move the tonnes of concrete that covered the trapped man. But no one would be able to bring a crane in to the area, not with the aftershocks and explosions still happening.

“Can you move at all?” the woman asked as she scaled the up, carefully positioning herself next to the arm. “Are you in any pain?”

“I don’t think anything’s broken,” the voice replied, “but there’s so much weight on me, I can hardly breathe!” The woman could hear the panic in the weakening voice.

“Hey Rob!” the woman called out, “there’s no way we’re gonna’ move these slabs, they’re too heavy. We’ll have to dig in and under.”

“What about over there Anne?” Rob, who stood surveying the area, pointed about fifty metres to the right. Anne looked where Rob had indicated. She shrugged her shoulders.

“What choice do we have, we can’t just leave him here.”

“Over here,” Rob called out, motioning the others to follow. He directed them to a tiny gap between some bricks and a steel girder. The group carefully inspected the area and, after a quick discussion, gave Anne the thumbs up. They moved a few of the larger pieces of concrete, to make a firmer entrance. Anne watched them all disappear inside.

“What’s happening?” the voice called out.

“Just tryin’ to organise your rescue,” she replied. “What’s your name anyway?” Anne asked. The man coughed a few times before replying.

“I…umm….I can’t remember,” the man answered.

“That’s okay,” Anne said, thinking he probably had a concussion, “but you’ll have to think of something I can call you. You’re more than just a body you know.” The arm moved, trying to find a more comfortable position.

“It’s, umm…umm.…Bo…Bo….” the man muttered, trying to remember his name.

“How about just Bo?” Anne asked.

“Sounds good,” the man replied, his hand gave a weak thumbs up. Anne could hear sounds underneath her. She carefully lay down on the slab, listening to the noises.

“What’s that sound Bo?” she asked, not quite able to hear the noise clearly.

“Nearly got him free Anne,” Robs’ voice came echoing out of the cracks around her.

“You just hang in there Bo, you’ll be out soon.” Just then, an aftershock shook the ground, shifting and moving the mountain of rubble and debris. Bo screamed. Anne screamed, grabbing his arm, scared she would lose another one.

“Bo!” she yelled, “Bo, what’s wrong?” The hand squeezed her own, but there wasn’t much pressure.

“I’m getting crushed,” came his weak and desperate voice from under the rubble. From the cracks came Rob’s strained voice.

“The whole lot’s coming down Anne. We can’t waste any time or we could get done in ourselves. We’re gonna’ have to risk a quick grab!” Anne knew what that meant. She squeezed Bo’s hand.

“Hang in there Bo, you just hang in there.” A squeeze, weaker than before, and a wheezing cough, was the only reply she got.

“Be careful Rob,” Anne thought to herself. She released his arm and, like a large spider, moved back down the mountain, never taking her eyes off the arm during her descent. For two minutes, she stood at ground level, watching the motionless arm. Then, in a blink, it was gone. Anne moved around to the small entrance into the concrete mountain, and waited. The grouped emerged slowly, carrying an old man. His body looked under-nourished, almost corpse-like. Another aftershock a few moments later brought the entire mountain of rubble down in a thunderous roar, filling the air, as well as eyes and throats, with dust and dirt. It took five minutes for the dust to finally settle, allowing the group to examine the man they had rescued. As they checked his numerous wounds, a smile slowly formed on his old, wise looking face.

“What are you smiling about?” Anne asked him curiously. He reached up and grabbed her hand, squeezing gently.

“I am sorry for what I did,” Bo said to her, his smile fading. Anne looked puzzled. She had no idea what he was talking about?

“Such a painful lesson,” he added. Anne was just about to ask what he meant when Bo arched upwards in a crippling spasm for a few seconds, then it was gone, and so was he. Anne started to weep silently, unable to comprehend after all they had done to rescue him, he still died. She looked at his face, so calm now, all the wrinkles of tension and age had vanished. Rob was about to try CPR, but Anne stopped him.

“I think he deserves some peace.” was all she said. She stood up slowly, wiping the tears from her eyes. She turned and headed back out to the road, ready to continue the search for survivors.

“Found another one!” someone called out. The group scrambled, leaving a few behind to cover the body, marking the area so others knew where to collect another victim of this horrible disaster.


On a seat made of cold black stone sat a hooded figure holding a scythe in his bony right hand, his face covered by a black cowl. A smaller figure knelt before the seat, his skull bowed in a sign of respect for his master. The young skeleton stared at the floor, knowing how wrong he'd been.
“Did you learn your lesson Bozekial?” boomed the figure on the throne.
“Yes my master, I did,” Bozekial answered. The figure on the seat grinned.
“Good. Will you continue as before?” the figure asked, leaning forward in his seat.
“No Master. I shall only harvest the souls of the dead, not the souls of the almost dead.”
“Excellent! You must wait till they have ceased living before their soul is collected. The mortal form you held, though old and sickly, could still persevere through much pain and suffering. Even when the mortal body was being crushed, it held onto to life. It fought. I know it fought, for I could feel it, as I feel them all.”
“Why are they so strong, when they appear so weak?”
“It is a mystery, Bozekial, even to me. Just remember you cannot take everything on how it appears. Take the mortal female, Anne. To her, you were on old man, a stranger. She knew you only for a short time, yet even now she weeps silently for you, as though you were a loved one. When her companions wished to revive you, she stopped them, wanting only to give you peace from your suffering. She did not know you well, but she treated you as one of her family. Mortals are such strange and wonderful beings. They are capable of amazing miracles that surprise even their own kind.” The figure on the seat stood up, pulling back his hood, revealing a clean, shiny skull.
“Should they ever learn their true potential, we would all be out of a job,” Death said, indicating the massive room and beyond.
“But I digress,” he added, motioning for the young skeleton to rise, “the question is whether or not you learnt your lesson in life?”
“I most surely have Master,” Bozekial nodded. Death stepped down next to Bozekial, his eight foot frame towering over the young skeleton. Death held his boney hand to his nose cavity.
“Off to the acid bath with you, the stink of flesh still surrounds you! And remember what you have learned.”
“Yes my lord, I will.” Bozekial bowed to his master, then left. Death looked out through his window at the beautiful black horizon. Yes indeed, mortals were truly remarkable. He would be glad when they finally reached their true potential, in about a thousand years, as he felt he was well overdue for a holiday.

Gold Bearer
April 29th, 2017, 12:43 AM
I'm really liking these Death stories. Not as awesome as the last one but still really good though. Got any more? :)

April 29th, 2017, 01:47 AM
The start of one, but I didn't flesh it in to a Death story. Already posted a story for today. Will wait until tomorrow for the next one.
Editing other stories is fair game though. :)

Raleigh Daniels Jr
May 8th, 2017, 02:12 AM
I really love this story! More please?

May 8th, 2017, 07:41 AM
Have you read this one yet RDJr?