A short encounter with Death

Here are some stupid jokes strung together to make a stupid story. Enjoy!

‘Hello, I’m Death,’ piped a voice from floor level.

Harry looked around. Being ninety-six years old his vision was a bit hazy, but he could swear there was no-one there.

‘Down here,’ peeped the voice.

Harry forced himself up on his elbows, and peered over the edge of the bed. Standing there was a figure that certainly looked like Death: he wore a cowl, clutched a scythe and was bony enough to feed a pack of starving dogs. But he was also less than a foot tall.

‘Hi’, chirped mini-Death.

‘Are you really Death?’ asked Harry.


‘Are you really Death?’ repeated Harry, louder this time.

‘You’ll have to speak up, I’m a little Death!’

Harry considered all this to be rather weird, and wondered briefly if he’d become the main character of a really stupid story. Then he rejected that idea; after all a death/deaf joke really does work better said out loud, and no-one would be idiotic enough to try it in writing, would they?

‘I thought Death was supposed to be this big, towering chap,’ he said, raising his voice again. ‘Why are you so small?’

‘Because I’ve only got little legs.’

‘That’s a Morecambe and Wise joke, isn’t it?’

‘What? Speak up! I told you, I’m a little Death!’

Harry had never appreciated the sort of comedy that hammered jokes home by repetition, especially in this case when the gag didn’t even properly work in the first place. ‘So what happens now?’ he bellowed.

‘I have to wave my scythe over your head,’ squeaked Death, ‘and release you from this mortal wotsit.’


‘No thanks, I just ate.’

Death waved his scythe in the direction of Harry’s head, but as he was much too low down, he simply snipped off the top of his cowl. ‘Hang on, I’ll come up,’ he chirped.

Harry watched as Death attempted to clamber up the sheets dangling over the side of the bed, his scythe clutched in one fist. His aforementioned little legs whirled in mid-air as he desperately tried to climb. ‘Do you need a hand?’ asked Harry.

‘A what?’

‘A hand!’



‘I can’t hear you! But I could do with a hand!’

Harry sighed. Was this really how his last moments on Earth would be spent? He leaned over, placed his hands under the armpits of the fun-sized harvester of souls, and helped him onto the bed.

‘Thank you,’ said Death. ‘Now then, let’s get busy with the scythe.’ He waved it in the air again. But he still couldn’t reach. ‘Bend over a bit, would you?’ he asked.

‘Before I do,’ said Harry. ‘What happens after?’

‘Afters? Thanks, but I haven’t even had lunch yet.’

Let’s just get it over with, thought Harry. He leaned forward so the runty reaper could reach, and waited. And waited. And waited. Eventually, neck cramp forced him to look up. Death grinned embarrassedly, which is difficult for a skeleton.

‘Bit of a problem,’ he said. ‘This isn’t my scythe. It’s my little nephew’s toy one. Made of plastic, see? I must have picked up the wrong one on my way out the door this morning. You’ve got to laugh, haven’t you?’

Harry wondered if anyone really would.

‘Look,’ Death continued. ‘I can’t do the job with this. It needs to be proper steel, honed to a fine sharp edge. I’m going to have to go home and get my one. Sorry, Barry.’

‘No problem,’ said Harry. ‘No problem at… wait, what did you call me?’

‘What?’ said Death.


‘Barry,’ said Death. ‘It is Barry, right?’

‘No. It’s Harry! You’ve got the wrong man!’

‘I’ve got the wrong man!’

‘That’s what I just said!’


A pause. Death produced a clipboard the size of a book of stamps from somewhere in his cowl, and consulted it. He scratched his head.

‘Well,’ he said. ‘Turns out I must have misheard Mrs Death when she was giving me my list of names this morning. I thought you were someone else. You’re not due to go just yet.’

Harry lay back, relieved.

‘So I’d best be going then. Sorry again.’

‘Don’t worry about it,’ said Harry.

‘Bye then.’


‘It says here I’ll be seeing you again on Thursday,’ said Death. He snapped his fingers. There was a pop, and he disappeared.

Today was Tuesday. ‘What?’ said Harry to thin air.


9 thoughts on “A short encounter with Death

    • Thanks Nicola! I haven’t sent this particular one anywhere. There are a couple of others I’ve sent to a couple of websites, we’ll see if anything happens with those.


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