Tuesday, October 9, 2012

C.D. Tolliver

--C.D. Tolliver
Nicodemus and Zebedee found the pale-green horse in the family plot, eating the day lilies and their grandmother’s prize Rose of Sharon. “I wonder where she came from,” mused Nicodemus. The horse shied away from them as they approached and neighed at them, stomping her iron-shod feet on the grave of their father. Things had changed since the grey man had moved into town with his red-eared snowy-white hounds. “We should just close the gate and call Ma,” said Zebedee seeing the gate was firmly locked. “Yeah … call Ma,” echoed Nicodemus noticing his brother’s stare.

“Ma! There’s a peculiar green horse in the cemetery!” they called upon reaching the house. It was decorated for Halloween with bed-sheet ghosts and macramé spider webs. Kittens were climbing the webs like so many spiders, except spiders don’t usually hiss and get their toes caught in the webs.

“What’s all this ruckus about?” called the twin’s mother. The gray man had come to call once when she was tending the ravens, but departed disappointed. “What’s this about a green horse?” She approached and squinted at cemetery.

“Oh. It’s just her. He must be early,” she said, turning back toward the kitchen.

“Who’s he and why’s he early?” the boys asked in unison.

“He’s the one that came for your father, and that batch of pups the delinquents killed.” Seeing the boys’ incomprehension, she added, “There’s a time for reaping the harvest. The grey man came last month to find the evil doers and now he’s come to collect the chosen few.” She pointed out the window as a black-robed skeletal figure jumped from the gate house and crossed over to the locked gate.

“Death is usually unexpected, but he appears to have been summoned early.” Their mother raised her hands and a flock of ravens joined Death as he mounted the pale horse. “It’s not our business tonight, boys,” she said, as Death’s scythe caught the last ray of sunlight and the first terrors of night.


  1. I think I'm growing attached to the humor in your stories. You give even a story about Death some lightheartedness. :)

  2. I like the way the brothers go running to Ma. I can hear my own kids whining, "hey mom"...

  3. Ooooo. I love your writing--smart but funny. We're lucky to have you. Thanks for linking up.

  4. "Death’s scythe caught the last ray of sunlight and the first terrors of night." I love how nonchalant the mother is about death, too. You are an excellent writer!!

  5. Thanks for your comments.

  6. I am very fond of your use of "perculiar" here. Your economy of description is to be commended.