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Jealousy: Killith thee Zealously

Because I could not stop for Death,

He kindly stopped for me;

The carriage held but just ourselves

And Immortality

The day was slowly passing it's noontime when Susie Skith stepped out on the porchstep to take a breath of fresh air. The day was a beautiful one--a cool spring day, and the breeze blew Susie's long hair gently, slowly bringing it down in a slow flicker. But Susie had no time for trivials--there was work to be done! She quickly rushed into the house and began to quickly make presents and write fan letters to her hero and favorite author, of whom wishes to (Ahem!) remain anonymous. Suddenly a knock came at the door. "Doggone it! Can't I get any work down around here?" She ignored the rapping. The door slowly opened and he walked in. He was a short man, not to well looking, but yet, well, a slight glow around his eyes made him somehow elegant. "Good Afternoon, Miss. I'm very busy, but I noticed your sign outside your door, The Home of the Fifty-third T. G. Taft Fan Club? Well, I too am a great fan of that excellent writer, and I was wondering if you and I could talk." She quickly glanced up at him, and noticed he was an intelligent man. "Why, yes! Please sit down!" "My name is Joseph Death, and I am a visitor in your town. What do you do here for fun?" "Well, we usually write fan letters. Would you like to help me?" As he looked at the typewriter carriage, he read the words she had typed, "Ourselves and Immortality."

We slowly drove, he knew no haste,

And I had put away

My labor, and my leisure too,

For his civility

As they wrote the letter, she sat back and let him type. She usually dictated, but, on occasion, he changed a word or two, such as "Your labors are greatly appreciated," to "Your sweat and toil is savored by all," "Surely you have no leisure time," to "Your great progress in the field of writing shows many your great self-denial," and "please write back," to "give us just a touch of your civility."

We passed the school where children played

At wrestling in a ring;

We passed the fields of gazing grain,

We passed the setting sun.

As they approached the end of their letter, they knew that there was some secret force, some magic, some compelling between them. He offered to go on a walk with her, and she gingerly agreed. They walked for a long time, but to her the hours flew by, faster than they ever had before. As they passed an old school, A young boy darted out in front of them and tripped. He wore a small ring and, as he stumbled, it fell off. He was too stunned to notice, and ran off crying to his Mommy. As Susie picked up the ring, she noticed the inscription; it was the name of his school: The Smivilin Wrestlers. "Smivilin! I don't live in Smivilin! I live in Peaceville! What am I doing here! The man looked at her and smirked. "Why, don't you recognize me?" he asked. She let out a silent yelp, but they continued walking, down past the grain fields, almost into the setting sun.

We paused before a house that seemed

A swelling of the ground;

The roof was scarcely visible,

The cornice but a mound.

They came to a great house, a house so large that the roof seemed to extend past the sky itself. "No, please, don't," whimpered Susie. But he pushed her in, and followed close behind her. In the house was an empty room, and beside that another one. Or so it seemed. Actually there were three empty rooms with no walls between them. Or so it seemed. Some claim that the rooms were not even empty, but that they were merely nothing in them. Well, whatever wasn't there, he pushed Susie against it and brought out a large paring knife. "Ah Ha Ha Ha Ha Haaaaaaaa!"

Since then 'tis centuries; but each

Feels shorter than the day

I first surmised the horses' heads

Were toward eternity

--Emily Dickinson


"Oh my gosh! Thank goodness you have come!"

"Heh heh. The Sworshk will take care of him, ma'am. I hope you have not been inconvenienced any."

"Oh no! But I am stunned. I am actually talking to you. Slosh Gorshkin the III. Are you really him?"

"Yes ma'am. You know, I almost wish T. G. would have made us more popular. When people aren't trying to kill me, I am quite a nice person. And I just love doing favors for people, such as saving them from these jealous authors. Such a pain. You just have to deal with them--ah, but here is my ride, and so I must leave. Really."

"Let me go with you--Please?"

"Very well. Let us go."

"Oh: Sir, may I ask one last question? What did that last verse of "Because I could not .stop for Death" have to do with this ending?!/

"Heh. Nothing whatsever. It's just there so that, well, you do know how Mr. Taft is."

"Yes, so you are right."

"Off, Sworshk! On to make a report to Mr. Taft: One more down! Enad the Great became jealous just once to often: Even for him.

 © 1984, 

T. G. Taft

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