Friday, November 13, 2020

Conversations with Death part 2

Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

My words are: masked, singer, popcorn, whatchamacallit, and snow owls

They were submitted by:


Death sits in the middle of the floor surrounded by cats. He always sits on the floor. He says it fits more cats. One time, he actually patted the floor and said I CAN FIT SO MANY CATS IN THIS INFANT. It took me a minute to realize he was referencing a meme, should have said BABY not INFANT, and wasn't, in fact, talking about feeding cats to kids.

Listen, it's not the weirdest shit he's ever said since I started explaining internet culture to him. But he's trying.

Anyway, he sits in the floor and he is absolutely covered in cats and cat hair and a dog too who either loves him like they do or is thinking mightily about stealing a femur. I select an episode of The Masked Singer at his request and push play. We have coffee. We have snack packs and a couple whatchamacallits and popcorn. We're good.

He even brought a pair of snow owls shakers full of his special curry spice blend. Curry is his favorite. And curry popcorn ain't bad. Don't knock it til you try it.

"So tell me why again you wanted to watch this show?"


A giant seahorse had taken the stage doing a version of Ocean Man by Ween. I mean, odd choice for this show, but ok. Why not WAH? Wet Ass Horsey? I didn't say this out loud, however, because I had a hard enough time explaining Ben Shapiro memes. I can't handle doing that whole song with him.

He bobbed a little to the tune and dare I say hummed? a little. I mean I have never heard him as much as I thought him. That doesn't make sense but literally none of this does. Basically, his part of the conversation just appears in my head like I've heard it but he didn't actually say it out loud. So there were some vibrations that I would think are humming, but who knows.

"Are you familiar with this song then?"

The vibrations stopped. He shrugged a little.


I mean, he's right, but I literally cross my fingers hoping he won't ask about what it means because I played Sturgill Simpson's Turtles All the Way Down thinking he'd appreciate it...but instead I spent like 2 hours afterwards explaining drugs before I gave up, and I don't have that in me today.

He turns back to the tv. Commercials are on. I can't fast forward because I'm broke and have basic hulu, but these days I'm kinda glad I can't. These might be his favorite part of watching anything. Maybe they make him feel less...alone? I didn't realize the levels of absurdity we'd gone to. Capitalist fever dreams. So when I can't explain why a vampire at a therapist is a great way to sell auto insurance, I get a sense that he's kind of relieved that we are both left haunted by the inescapable Lovecraftian horrors of modern advertising.

The show continued on with Death pretty enraptured by the teddy bear, peacock, lemur, and alligator singers who graced the stage with their short performances, but there wasn't anymore humming. After the final break, the winners and losers were announced. When that lemur pulled its head off and revealed the human inside, I knew from the flame of blue that lit up the room from Death's eyes that we were going to have to have a major conversation.

I grabbed his as the words hit me.


"Uh....i think I might be rubbing off on you. You don't say that word."


"yeah tell me about. Sometimes it is."


"You know what? I'll explain, but we definitely need more coffee first."


Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:

Baking In A Tornado

Wandering Web Designer

On the Border

The Crazy Mama Llama

Part-time Working Hockey Mom


  1. LOL, I just watched Masked Singer with my son, who had never seen it before, and I had some explaining to do myself.

  2. I think I need more coffee as well :-)

  3. So much to learn. So little time. And coffee...

  4. Hell, I feel that way 99% of the time. Great fiction writing!

  5. Can I join yours and Death's discussion? I need these things explained as well!