And I looked, and beheld a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.
The Angel of Death was waiting for me in the grocery section in a Wal-Mart….
When I first entered the store I thought that the level of dread and shame I was feeling was my normal Wal-Mart experience but this felt a little more ominous this time.
I stopped next to the “My Pillow” display at the front of the store by the row of un-manned cashier aisles and did a quick scan of the people jockeying for position at the check-out lines and beating their children.
I didn’t see anything unusual except for one woman actually buying something for her child that it wanted.
What would a kid want with Adult sized Benadryl…..It didn’t look sick?
I made the hard right turn towards the veggie section and wove my way thru the lime green sweat pants and XXXLg hoodie, dodging children, electric scooter carts and “Wet Floor” signs.
I walked thru the aisles grabbing what looked good.
That’s the way I shop…
I was standing there trying to decide between the chicken ramen noodles or the shrimp when I felt someone step up next to me….a little too close for my comfort bubble.
I thought “Clean up on aisle 5 bitches….”
I looked over my left shoulder and there was Death….
He was standing there in a black and silver Oakland Raiders hoodie, Camouflage Army pants and Neon orange Nikes, his scythe tucked under an arm while he examined 2 different types of Mac n’ Cheese with each of his skeletal hands…
He turned his head and looked at me as if though I had surprised him, his skull like face shining from inside his hood, his glowing green eyes fixed on my face.
Holding up one of the boxes of Mac n’ Cheese, he spun it in his bony fingers so that I could read the ingredients and asked me “Can you explain to me what the hell Yellow #5 is?”
“God doesn’t even know that” I said.
I knew that for a fact.
He spun the container back around so that he could re-examine the ingredients. He held it out at arm’s length, then reaching into his hoodie belly pouch he took out a pair of reading glasses and fit them over his eyes.
For a second I wondered how they were staying on his face, but didn’t dwell on it.
Death held the container closer to his “face” and read the list of ingredients to himself, a slight whisper escaping from his toothy mouth as he tried to pronounce some of the words.
He shook his head and replaced the Mac n’ Cheese’s on the shelves, then he looked at me again.
“I can’t compete with this shit” He said. Then he laughed out loud, clapping me on my shoulder.
I looked at him, then at my shoulder, then back at him.
I wasn’t laughing…..
“What do you want asshole?” I said.
Death was still grinning.
He didn’t even act like he had heard my insult.
“You have to come with me” he said “Right now….”
“I can’t” I replied “I’ve got dumplings in the Crock pot at the house and I have to hurry and get back before it scorches”
“I don’t think you understand….” he said, a little more edge to his voice. “It’s your time, it’s time to go….it’s the big adios, the major vamoose, the big zoom zoom for you.”
“I ain’t going” I said, putting the chicken ramen in my cart. I turned my back on him and began pushing my cart back down the aisle.
Bread was next on my list.
He read my mind and mocked me.
“Well, you’re next on MY list” He said, striding up next to me and keeping pace.
“I can’t help that” I said, ignoring his glowing glare “I just washed all my clothes and I got to fold them, I just washed my sheets and made up my bed, I just programmed my Dish Network on my TV and I’ve got Sun tea on the porch.”
I continued, turning into the bread aisle, the front right wheel wobbling like crazy “whacka whacka whacka”
Death reached out and grabbed the cart, bringing it and me to a stop.
He said “God…stop….please, that wobbling wheel is getting on my nerves!”
I looked at him again.
“Look” he said “Death waits on no man, and your time has come….So please don’t give me anymore grief and just come on”
I ignored him and picked up a loaf of wheat bread and put it in the cart.
“I’m busy” I said, starting toward the pickle aisle.
Death just stood there as I pushed past him with my cart.
“What is your problem?” He called to me, as I turned around the end cap of the pickle aisle.
Death backed up some more, looking at my poking finger then back up into my flashing and very serious eyes.
“When I fucking needed you….When I used to fucking PRAY that you would come and take me, you never fucking showed up you sunofabitch”
I was getting pissed now.
Death was trying to grab the offending, poking finger.
I’d snatch it out of his waving attempts and continued to poke.
“And now that I got thru all that past crap and pretty much got my shit together finally, you think you’re gonna come up in here at fucking Wal-Mart and leave my carcass on the floor under security cameras?”
Death was backed up against a cooler door next to the entrée’s.
He had me by the wrist now, the offending, poking finger sticking out between his other bony fingers.
“Don’t….poke….me” He whispered.
I could hear faint screams of agonies mixed inside his voice like an opera of tormented souls.
I leaned closer, my nose 2 inches from his ‘face’….
I said “I ain’t scared of you, and I ain’t asked for you no more Bubba, and if you wanna take me, you best bring some help”
He looked over my shoulder.
I felt a chill slide up my spine.
I turned around and saw legions of Deaths minions coming up thru the aisle floors, and creeping towards me.
“It’s time to go…..Bad Ass” Death spit out the last invective with scorn, shoving me away from him.
I stepped back from him and pulled my shirt off, turning my ball cap around backwards and kicked off my shoes….
I spoke to the Angel of Death one last time, my eyes fixed on his helpers….
“I ain’t scared of you no more and you ain’t got shit on me” I said coolly.
He laughed….His minions screeched…..Their claws scraping along the tiled floor.
I turned and looked at Death, wrapping my belt around one fist….
I said “You had your chances before, but…..”
“Let’s dance bitch !!”
I screamed a Rebel yell at Death and went for his throat, and he for mine!
And when Hell came to breakfast…
I ate me some pale horse.
It tasted like victory…..