The Grim Reaper










A meeting with the Grim Reaper






by Mark Smith




























Characters


Grim Reaper

Charming, menacing and well spoken


Mark

A 52 year old man who has been through a lot recently

And little stressed and is heading for a mid life crisis
























THE Scene

Mark has invited the Grim Reaper to come to his home and hear about some issues and answer some questions he has things don’t go as Mark would like



The setting


Picture the last supper a long table covered in food, all the food are Marks favourites and a few toys and articles from Marks past. The Grim Reaper sits at the middle of the table but symbolically the opposite side from where Jesus would have been seated. Mark is sitting at on end of the table





MARK

I am not sure what to say really.Now you are here I should have made a list of questions shouldn't I?




GRIM REAPER

Nods his head slowly and deliberately



MARK

Well I’m pleased to see you made it, after all you must be a very busy man naturally.


MARK and GRIM REAPER (A little time passes nerves fill the air with no one talking)


GRIM REAPER


They say silence is golden..but is it? In that short moment of silence we just had what did we gain? Or loose? Or did I just steal some precious moment from your life.




MARK

Stolen


GRIM REAPER

(Smiles)


GRIM REAPER

I wouldn’t be here, If I didn’t think this little meeting was important We don’t have all day. Well You may have but others may not




GRIM REAPER

May we commence


MARK

I would like to have a discussion about the day I die?

Do I go quietly?

Do I go violently?

When do I die?

How do I die?

Is it cancer… a heart attack …. Do I lose my marbles and just dribble myself to death!?

And my family I don’t want them to suffer in life any more and especially in death they have all been through enough.


GRIM REAPER

(Raise his right hand this time the palm of his hand pointing towards Mark)


I can see your father’s health and working at the funeral directors has brought us together not to mention the death of your son now what twenty years ago.


MARK

(Couldn’t but help notice his old fishing tackle box from when he was fifteen was sitting on the table)




GRIM REAPER

(Seeing that Mark was looking at his old fishing tackle box reaches over unclips the lid and opens it up)

(then takes out the following items a packet of twenty Rothman cigarettes, taking one out and lighting it)


GRIM REAPER

Terrible habit ( Said with a sarcastic smile) These things (taking a puff and exhaling) kept me so busy in the past


(Takes another lug and exhales)


GRIM REAPER

You finally packed it in when Natasha was born. A wise decision I must say, Because you really struggled to kick the habit before then.


GRIM REAPER

And what do we have here?


MARK

(Looks on as the following two items are produce from his old fishing tackle box two porno mags One being a Mayfair the other being a Knave)


GRIM REAPER

I remember your Mother finding your stash she smoke your fags and these (pointing to the mags) found the bin.


MARK

I was fifteen, it was a warm day, I had just got back from school. As soon as I got home I went upstairs for a crafty fag. It was then I realised I had passed my mum puffing away in the living room.I don’t know what pissed me off the most losing my fags or my porn stash.


GRIM REAPER

Your mother interesting creature she loves to flirt with me over the years...but to tell you the truth I am not interested, not for the time being anyway


And as for your father a slight sniff of the C word and he throws himself at my feet.


Not to mention your sister now if I was a betting man that is where I would place my money……….not that I know anything of course.




MARK

Me and my dad are both cowards where hospital and illness are concerned. I like to think I am not as bad as my dad.


GRIM REAPER

I am amazed you haven’t asked me about your son Josh




MARK

What can I say it was the saddest most painful not to mention darkest moment of my life where i slowly but surely learn to move on


GRIM REAPER

Why?..Why Josh...Why me? (he shrugs his shoulders)


MARK

Like I said I have already dealt with it. Can we move on?


GRIM REAPER

fine with me, but you did suffer as a result


Mark

I was in agony when we lost Josh you are right there. It was both a physical and mental pain, sometimes I would try and find the exit hole or the stab wound in my body it was hard to believe to be in so much pain and not have the physical evidence.






GRIM REAPER

I seem to remember it all got a bit too much for you on the M11 coming home from work one night you looked like you were about to put your car into the crash barrier at speed, I can remember thinking at the time one volunteer is better than ten pressed men. Then you suddenly change your mind why.


MARK

I took what was meant to be one last look in my rear view mirror where i saw another car behind me realising that driver would witness or at worst become part of my suicide attempt I suddenly felt incredibly selfish not scared but very selfish, then the images of my wife and child flashed before me that was enough to make me pull out and keep me on the road that night


GRIM REAPER

And there was me sitting in the back at the time cheering you on saying Go Mark Go Mark Go Mark (laughing)


GRIM REAPER

You don’t want to talk about Charlie then either?


MARK

(looking down at the table takes a deep breath) Charlie never made it into the world but I know he was everything that a baby should or could of been he had arms, hands, little fingers and legs. He just didn’t last the course . Me, Yoriko and Natasha decided out of respect to name him Charlie


MARK

And that is that really. Well at least you didn’t get your hands on Lucy your tried but failed thank God. that would have killed us.


GRIM REAPER

Sorry to hear, life can be cruel”

You know Mark, it's like your family came looking for me. I just ignore them. Some people are so impatient. Relax live a little that’s what i say!!(grinning)


(All of Marks favourite foods and sweet are on the table from sausage and batter and chips to Chicken Katsu curry and rice, Also his favourite drinks Bottles of Merlot, Rioja, pints of beer and Lagers more cigarettes (Dunhill), Cigars( Hamlets and some very sweet tasting cigarillos )


(GRIM REAPER helps himself to a glass of wine and cigar then waves his hands over the table)


GRIM REAPER

Go on help yourself enjoy


(MARK takes a pint of beer and drinks with a nervous thirst)


(GRIM REAPER pushes the Katsu chicken towards MARK)


GRIM REAPER

You better eat this or your wife might kill you! (He laughs then take a long lug on the cigar puffing out smoke rings)


GRIM REAPER

Do you have SKY?


MARK

No to expensive and hardly had time to watch it. Why do you ask?


GRIM REAPER

O just wondered because I have my own version and you will never guess what it is called, go on guess


MARK

What you have your own satellite entertainments service


GRIM REAPER

You could say that it is complete with 7.6 billion channels and I also get a box set for every channel One DVD for every ten years of an Individual life. So if they live a hundred years that’s ten DVDs . It’s great I can go back to any time in their life and watch it any time at all. Go on guess



MARK

I don’t know G.R.T.V.!


GRIM REAPER

(Now tucking into Toad in the hole while washing it down with a pint of lager)


GRIM REAPER

No far more simple instead of SKY I call it DIE TV (Laughter) get it (More laughter as he sparks up a Dunhill)


GRIM REAPER

hard to believe that you could buy twenty Dunhill for 99p in your time. How things Change


(A sixty inch plasma screen and has appears on the wall complete with what looks like a SKY box with the words DIE instead)


(GRIM REAPER is now busy flicking through channels of people lifes while puffing away on a large cigar while drinking from a glass of Rioja)


GRIM REAPER


So many great channels such as DIE living are not my personal favourite but then there DIE comedy and you can’t beat DIE Sports then there is DIE News like they say no news is good news!


GRIM REAPER

Where were we?...I know we were talking about people throwing themself at my feet given the slightest excuse. Then there are others….You know you mortals are so stubborn and unpredictable … let’s go to Channel and Box set Neil Hargette for example it was supposed to be a simple heart attack game over and did it work out Like that... fuck it did!!. I had Neil in the palm of my hand(Mr GR held out his hand and folded it to a fist.)





GRIM REAPER

Where on earth that ambulance came from. I will never know

I mean what are the chances of an ambulance being on your doorstep? When you have a heart attack!!


GRIM REAPER

So my thinking was I’ll get him at the hospital.


GRIM REAPER

I had it all under control. I knew they would have to fit a stent. There he was laying on the operating table. All hell broke loose when Neil flat lines. There’s yours truly standing by the doors of the operating theatre waiting with open arms. Neil is standing there in front of me looking back at himself dying on the operating table. And do you know what happens next?....do you?


MARK

I know he survives and has not looked back since. If anything he is as active as ever. Where some may have been knocked by the whole experience and became fragile Neil became very strong.


GRIM REAPER

Exactly he stood there in his boots and operating gown, holding his shorts in one hand. He didn’t look at all happy standing there observing himself being stabbed with syringes, tubes flying everywhere and getting fried. It was then he turned around to me, yes his new best friend in waiting and gave me the middle finger. The rest is on the DVD or history as we might say


GRIM REAPER

You know what the killer is for me?


MARK

What one got away







GRIM REAPER

NO!.... The bloody paperwork. I need to fill in DTH1 if all goes well. But God help me if it all goes pear shape and sometimes he does depending on his schedule…. God that is. Then you got DTH2 a STLLVG1 a NRMIS2….THE1GTAWAY2 And it all has to be done in triplicate and sent to the right department...I tell you it’s enough to make you want to curl up and die!(Big Laugh)


GRIM REAPER

(Pours himself a large Gin, then goes on to spark up another cigar, leaning his head back puffing a nuclear cloud)


GRIM REAPER

Have you tried these puddings? We have treacle pudding, tiramisu, Hot chocolate fudge cake and not forgetting your wedding cake made of mars bars and twixes


GRIM REAPER

(Pushes them toward MARK) Go on be a devil (Grin followed by a loud laugh)


GRIM REAPER

Do you think I am in control who dies and who lives


MARK

Well kind of(said with a mouth full of wedding cake). Because when you show up. It normally means someone is about to die


GRIM REAPER

Now that is where you are wrong


GRIM REAPER

Here let’s have a pint and discuss this further


(GRIM REAPER pours himself and MARK a pint)


GRIM REAPER

Have you tried this spag bol? It’s excellent that your wife is such a good cook. (He sucks up individual strands of spaghetti with an amazing amount of noise)


MARK

Er your answer the discussion




GRIM REAPER

Well you see my job is to collect the overseer of death process if you like


(GRIM REAPER is now puffing away on his cigar)


GRIM REAPER

Am I in control not really, It is a natural process. I appear as natural as the wind or the rain, what happens next is not up to me.


MARK

So it’s down to me?


GRIM REAPER

Like i said I am the overseer of death that moment when one goes from one world to the next


GRIM REAPER

Now I suggest you take a look over your shoulders where you will see a line of trees with a wood that looks like it has been illuminated from behind.


MARK


Reminds me of Frogs hill on Stanta battle area near Thetford in Suffolk






GRIM REAPER


The night where you saw thirty five ghosts that looked like Monks during your reservist days if I remember



MARK

How did you know that?


GRIM REAPER

How do I know,what is important is this do you stay here chatting with yours truly or do you walk of into those trees and into the light behind following those Monks foot steps what happens next is more important than life and death it self and it is all up to you


MARK Looks to and fro at the wood scene and back again at the GRIM REAPER


GRIM REAPER

You have always felt at peace around trees..think about it.


Mark

You knew all the time didn’t you?



MARK

slowly stands up and walks towards the illuminated trees



(GRIM REAPER leans back into his chair with the remote in one hand a glass of wine in the other)


GRIM REAPER

Channel Mark Smith, let’s see what went on there, the time you and Phil Stannard tried to burn down his father’s garage with a molotov cocktail during the Brixton riots



The End


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