Death Games – A (very) short story

Jim Jones picked himself up off the tarmac and dusted himself down.
“Wow… didn’t expect to survive going through the car windscreen like that.”
INDEED
“I mean, normally that’s game over, right?”
IT IS
“Bollocks.”
QUITE
Jim turned around and looked at the figure behind him.
“A bit on the nose, isn’t it? The whole Grim Reaper get up?”
IT IS SIMPLY A FORM YOU ARE COMFORTABLE WITH
“Well, I do read a lot of Pratchett.”
AH YES
HE WAS SURPRISED BY IT TOO.
“So… do I get to play you for my life or something?”
IF YOU WISH
“Probably a waste of time. I kind of suck at chess.”
OTHER GAMES CAN BE PLAYED
“What, any game?”
YES
“Well now…”
Jim fished a cigarette packet out of his pocket and lit one up. He was halfway through the first drag before he realised what he’d done.
“Hey! Cigarettes!”
YOU RETAIN YOUR POSSESSIONS UNTIL YOU MOVE ON TO YOUR FINAL DESTINATION
“No cigarettes in the afterlife, eh?”
NO
WHAT IS THE HUMAN PHRASE
SMOKE ‘EM WHILE YOU’VE GOT ‘EM
“Close enough. So, about this game… it’s a fair contest, right? We play until someone wins… no cheating, no defaulting, nothing like that.”
IT IS FAIR
“Jolly good. Noughts and crosses then, please.”
WHAT
“Noughts and crosses… tic-tac-toe… you know, where you’re trying to get three in a row?”
I AM AWARE OF IT
“Good. I assume you’ve got paper and pencils?”
LOTS OF THEM
“Then let’s get started.”

“Another draw. Fancy that.”
I DO NOT UNDERSTAND YOUR PURPOSE
“Purpose for what? Oooooh, drew again.”
IN DRAWING THIS OUT
YOU CANNOT WIN
“Neither can you. Two competent players will always draw at this game.”
EVENTUALLY YOU WILL GET TIRED
EVENTUALLY YOU WILL RUN OUT OF CIGARETTES
EVENTUALLY YOU WILL MAKE A MISTAKE
“Oh, I don’t think it will take that long. Draw. You see, I figure one of two things will happen.”
DO TELL
“Well… firstly, you’re hanging here with me and not getting on with your job. That’s bound to have some repercussions.”
HA
HA HA
HA HA HA HA
I AM DEATH
I AM EVERYWHERE
THE WORLD IS STILL TURNING
“Yeah, I thought that might be the case. In which case, I’m banking on the second thing…”
GO ON
“I think that paramedic’s about to revive me.”
Death turned momentarily to see a paramedic pumping wildly on Jim’s chest. He turned back to the, now empty, chair across from him.
BOLLOCKS

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