It had been a good week at work in Arnold’s estimation. He stepped outside the office and paused to breathe in the cool air.
Nearly two miles away, a fellow mishandled his new gun and it went off suddenly. The bullet should have entered Arnold’s right eye and killed him. At the last moment, Arnold noticed a katydid clinging to the wall. He turned to admire the leafy insect with a smile. He hadn’t seen one in years and it made him happy. Arnold’s sudden turn moved him out of the path of the hurtling projectile. He’d literally dodged a bullet.
At the tram stop, Arnold planned to cross the street. The smell of honeysuckle drifted under his nose. He turned away from the crosswalk to soak in the pleasing odor of the flowers. He didn’t cross the street immediately as anyone else would have. That’s why an overly aggressive taxi driver, who temporarily lost control, never struck him dead.
While walking the last blocks home, Arnold noticed a woman walking a puppy. He couldn’t help but pet the bouncy, friendly little dog. Just that short pause meant he wasn’t present at the apartment building door when he should’ve been. A large chunk of ornate masonry fell from five stories above right where Arnold should’ve been standing. Arnold failed to die again.
He arrived home safe, and commented to his girlfriend that his day was rather good.
“That’s lovely,” said Emily.
“It’s been that way for about a week,” beamed Arnold.
“You should be thankful,” noted Emily. “Other people have had a bad week.”
Doctor Caravaggio leaned back in his chair and looked at his latest patient. The man was painfully thin, almost corpse-like. Perhaps that was why he wore such voluminous black robes. His voice was deep, as though it welled up from oblivion.
“Please continue,” sad the doctor.
“It’s just been a horrible week, Doc,” said the patient. “Nothing is going right! I’m trying to get this one job done and it always goes wrong. Normally everything works perfectly, but not this one. I’m really getting behind in my work. It’s making me crazy!”
“Uh huh,” murmured Caravaggio. “Tell me. How long have you believed you are the actual Grim Reaper?”
Written for Sunday Photo Fiction.