Death’s trumpet

He didn’t have any polish so he spit-shined the whole thinguntil it gleamed like a tomato on the vine that was beggingto be picked and thrown on some caprese. Death loved caprese.

He stood up to put the horn to his lips, trying to imagineit was a woman he loved. He blushed as he realized how badthe metaphor was. He practiced anyway for six hours a dayin front of the mirror—what else to do with all the time?

Death looked at himself in the mirror as he played, the trumpetsuspended in midair. Damn vampire rules, he thought.He was always worried he might have missed a spot while shavingbut he’d never know unless a stranger—he had no friends—was kind enough. Not that he goes out anyway or meets people.

He started waking up late, staying in bed later.He started thinking he was depressed. He never did eatthat caprese, and it started getting soggy, green spotsspreading on the mozzarella like bedsores. The sunfiltered through the kitchen blinds like smoke. He hadto get out of the house. He decided to go to the arcade.

When he got there, it was empty except for a boywith dead eyes. So far so good, Death thought.He was playing a first-person shooter, something violent.Death walked past him and watched out of the cornerof his eye. The kid was good. Death decidedto congratulate him. He had his trumpet in his hand.