This isn’t just a turtle and a snail.
3rd place in Derby #220: HalloWoot! 2011, with 1151 votes!
When you look at it, this is a pretty transparent metaphor for mortality.
Finally, I could run no further. I collapsed, chest heaving, and for the first time turned to face my pursuer. “Who are you?!” I bellowed into the darkness, “What do you want with me?!”
The creature stopped, just a few yards away. The same distance from which it had pursued me these past days. “You know who I am, Johnathan,” its long teeth flashed menacingly in an insane grin, “I am the lone walker. The thin man. The black shadow of night. I am the grim spectre Death. And I only want what’s rightfully mine.” The voice was like burning velvet; at once smooth, almost reassuring with a dangerous undercurrent of savage ferocity.
“You can’t have my soul! It’s mine!” I felt my own voice rise in my throat. It was much higher than I would’ve liked.
“Oh, but it’s not, Johnathan,” the abomination purred, “my kind and yours have an agreement. We have had it since the dawn of your time. We give you the light,” its claw, easily the size of a car hood, swept smoothly in a wide gesture. “We open this realm to you and yours, allowing you to roam free and rise up and build your cities and technology and achievements.” Smoke curled from its nostrils and I watched the fangs interlace with each syllable, “And in exchange, when your time here is done we take the light back from you. Forever.”
“You can’t have my soul! I won’t let you!” I searched for a weapon, a diversion, anything I could use to try and escape. The demon seemed to notice my efforts were in vain.
“You can run, Johnathan, if you like,” it smiled again, a hideous display of wicked teeth and squinting, glowing-coal eyes, “and I will pursue. Endlessly. Tirelessly. Many of your kind have tried to run, hide, trick, or fight their way out of the deal,” instantly its face went from sinister grin to outright menace, “All have failed. As you will.”
I began to see my options evaporating before me. I could run no longer. I could bear the sight of this horrific beast looming over my shoulder no more. “Fine,’ I sighed, “if I give up without a fight, will it be painless?”
The leering smile returned. “No, Johnathan, I can’t say that it will.” The voice was hypnotic, luring me into a sense of familiarity and comfort. “I’m going to wrench your life’s essence from your physical body,” it explained, the fire in its eyes rising, “and I’m going to devour it. Slowly. Over hundreds of years. And you’re going to feel every second of it. It’s going to be exquisitely, breathlessly painful. For a long, long time.”
“And then,” it continued, “I’ll be back for your children. And their children. And so on. For as long as your kind shall walk this earth, my kind shall pluck you from it like grapes.” My fists tightened at my side.
“Well then, if it’s all right with you I’m going to try and make this as hard as possible.”
Wear this shirt: Pretty much any day that involves you trying to avoid the constant pursuit of death.
Don’t wear this shirt: If you’re actually dead. At least wear something with a collar.
This shirt tells the world: “Death comes for us all, and sometimes I give it a cricket or a raspberry as a special treat.”
We call this color: Don’t slate the reaper
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