This was actually a writing exercise from a class I took. We had to tell our favorite literary character and write about running into them in Walmart. I liked how this turned out and thought I'd post it here.


I bumped into Death in Walmart, right next to the women's dressing rooms. She was at a display of sunglasses, trying on the most outrageous pairs possible and admiring herself in the mirror. When she saw me watching her, she turned in surprise. "You can see me?"

"I can."

"Hm, that's a surprise," she replied blandly.

I cocked my head at her. "Let me guess," I said, "you weren't expecting to see me in Walmart because we have an appointment tonight in Samarra?"

Her laugh tinkled merrily. "Oh, no, don't worry. We don't see each other again…." she paused coyly, "well, you don't have to worry." As she moved, long black hair swayed around her shoulders. Silver earrings glinted in mother-of-pearl ears. She held one slim fingered hand out to me. "Would you like to shop with me?"

Death's fingers were warm in mine, strong with a firm, but not crushing grip. We walked hand-in-hand throughout the store, admiring the tiny baby shoes, the cheap DVDs, the racks of China-made towels. In the gardening center plants crept towards Death's bright grin. Their leaves glowed under her sun.

"Why can I see you?" I wondered.

"I am not sure," she admitted, "but whatever the reason I am glad of the company." Then her face shadowed and the plants sagged in sympathy. "Unfortunately, though, I believe that our time together is at an end."

"Your lunch break is over and you have to get back to work?" I joked lightly, hoping to lessen her burden.

She smiled as she reached out to wrap me in her lean white arms. A smell of old books, puppy breath, and the beach in summer flowed over me. One quick squeeze and she stepped back. "Today has been peachy keen. Thank you."

"I'll see you later, then?" I asked, only half teasing. Death winked at me, waggled her fingers in good-bye, and disappeared around a shelf of watering cans. Back towards the auto repair center I could hear shouts and confusion, someone's name being called and a yell for an ambulance. I walked the other way, out of the garden center to my car in the parking lot.

I met Death in Walmart and I would see her again.