Prompted: Taking on Death


The theme of this week’s prompted feature at Tipsy Lit is ‘Taking on Death’.

Donnie looked into the cloudless blue sky and thought it a glorious day to die.

He could literally feel the life draining out of him, but it was hard not to be optimistic when he’d stopped a killer. The sun was all but pouring its approval on him.

He could feel the beads of sweat along his brow, though that was partly down to the pain burning a hole in his gut. It was like his very own ball of raging fire.

“Stay with me,” Nick said, squeezing his shoulder and demanding his attention.

When the haze cleared enough to focus on his partners face he couldn’t help but roll his eyes. He knew that look.

“I can’t believe you took a bullet for me, man,” Nick said, in a voice that was cracked around the edges.

“Jesus, Nick, don’t you dare cry on me. I’m trying my hardest to be the hero here and die with a little dignity.”

“You’re not going to die, Don.”

Donnie’s legs were already numb, the cold was crawling up his back, ready to claim him. “Sure I am.”

“God damn it. This is so like you,” Nick said, stripping off his jacket and pressing it against Donnie’s wound.

“That’s gratitude for you,” Donnie muttered and looked back towards the sky.

But instead of clear blue, he saw a big, angry shadow and it was bearing down on them both.

“For God’s sake. Can’t anyone die around here?” he said and grabbed Nick’s gun from the holster at his hip.

Nick turned a moment before Donnie pulled the trigger, as surprised as he was that their suspect had risen from the dead.

Donnie fired two rounds into Jones’ chest and watched him drop to the ground as gracelessly as a felled tree.

The creep had killed seventeen people and would have killed them both in a heart-beat, so Donnie felt no remorse.

There was anger and resentment in the other man’s eyes. But there was also something else. Death was closing in fast. He saw it in the greying of his skin and the shadows as the last of the darkness devoured him.

Staring reality in the face was enough to reassure Donnie that he was very much alive.

He turned away, unable to watch the final moments. He didn’t need to see. He heard Karl Jones take his last breath.

“Where the hell is that ambulance?” he croaked, turning back to Nick. “This wasn’t my dance after all.”


Thanks for reading.


6 responses to “Prompted: Taking on Death”

    • Thanks Callum. I cheated a little. I don’t know about you, but I hate to kill characters I like. It’s a weakness 🙂 In one of my novels I killed off a character early on and as I wasn’t invested in him at that point, it was bearable. I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to resurrect him during the story, but I didn’t because it would have changed everything.
      Thanks for the comment.

      • It’s every writer’s biggest dilemma, isn’t it; do we go with our head and kill the characters whose deaths will progress the story in the most effective way, or do we go with our hearts and spare them? It’s easy to see the argument for either when you’ve become attached to your own characters.

  1. Absolutely. If we don’t love them, how can we expect other people to. It’s part of what makes it exciting to me as a reader too. I’m completely invested in the characters and I love a good survival story 🙂

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