Monday, February 16, 2015

Peshawar, A Thaw, and the South Carolinian Miners

“Who are you?” The kid practically shouted at her, his words laced with desperation and panic.

“My name is Catherine.”

"Why are you here?”

“Because this is the end. And no one is alone in the end. You are joining the true majority.”

“But why? I'm not even 18 yet!”

“My child, you are a part of something so much larger than yourself. You are a part of the plan. You are a part of something that transcends the limits of human comprehension. Death is but another stage in the long journey of life. No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. A wise man once said, ‘Death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.’ Take comfort in these words.”

“At least 20 people were brutally killed in an attack on a Shia mosque in Peshawar, Pakistan today. Women and children are openly grieving in the streets as officials help to remove the bodies.”

“Goddam.” Catherine needed a drink. Children, especially the ones who were old enough to know what was coming, were always the hardest to deal with.

“Lenny will can my ass for this,” she muttered as she walked into the stuffy common room of O’Harley’s bar, conscious that she was currently skipping her own shift at Joe's. 

Brand loyalty is a dying art.

Catherine strategically positioned herself two stools over from the only other man at the bar. Of course Death knew him on sight, but Catherine was more inclined to acknowledge the man's good looks and calming smile and less inclined to think about The Plan and the gruesome end this man would day meet.

“Warmer weather is headed our way folks! Looks like things will begin to thaw out a bit as the high climbs into the low fifties!”

“Hey let me get that for you.” The human part of Catherine felt as buoyant as a leaf upon the wind as the man offered to buy her drink for her. “Not too many women come in here and order three fingers of straight gin. That stuff can kill.”

Catherine did her best to embody the charismatic man with the white horse as she flashed her biggest smile: “Believe me, I know. And I am definitely not ‘most girls.’”

“Believe me, I can see that.” The man flashed a grin right back. “Name’s Maxwell.”

“In a stunning turn of events, authorities managed to rescue all of the miners trapped in South Carolina after the mine collapsed last Thursday.”

Catherine felt sorry for dragging Maxwell away from his evening, but duty calls. Catherine felt the call of The Plan.

It was unusual for Catherine to share such an intimate moment with another human being: that intimate moment when a life floats away from its earthly confines. The shadows masked the weight of the world upon her face as she bode farewell to the man in blue taking flight in the evening sky.

Catherine reflected on the whole experience on her way back into her apartment.

“Hey lady! You hear about the guy who jumped off the asylum?”

A moment of annoyance. Of course I heard about it. I was there.

“Some freaky shit! You know, you look a lot better than the last time I saw you. You want to grab some coffee sometime?”

“Or not," she muttered.

“What was that?”


Nothing at all.

A break from the drama. 

So to speak.


  1. Sorry, I just noticed that my comment didn't go through. I did actually include you in my blog. Sorry

  2. Catherine is present whenever death strikes. Death, darkness, and changes in temperature seem to be present throughout all of the blogs. She is motivated by her role in what she refers to as The Plan. She accompanies people in the last moments of their life and helps them transition to death, but she is conflicted by her role in The Plan. She has a duty to fulfill this role but is impeded by her involvement with the "humans" in her life. Catherine struggles to keep her humanity in check.

    1. I think it would be interesting if Catherine did something to sabotage The Plan. I liked the way that you refer to "the human part" of Catherine. Does Catherine wish she could just live a normal life?