Short Story Challenge Update - 31 out of 52

31 of 52

A Fashion to Die short story about death and afterlife

Short Story Writer’s Journal: (May contain spoilers)

Short story #31 continues with the supernatural theme, possibly a subconscious spinoff from finishing up a Richard Matheson - Best of short story collection.

It’s one of my briefer stories to date, clocking in at around 2100 words.

The premise is very simple. What if those voices some elderly people claim to hear when the grim reaper approaches are not from the great beyond but arise from unexplored depths within the existing self.

In some ways it reads more like an expanded vignette of the last few hours of my protagonist’s mortal life, with the one and only character (Evelyn Weir, a widow) realising that her biggest challenge is what all humans must face alone someday; their own death.

I’ve tried to capture what I think this experience might be like for an older woman with a foot still on the solid ground of the living and the other in mid-air. (I suspect there are also some bleedthroughs from mourning a recent family member’s passing, following a long illness.)

2020 Update: This story now appears in my second short fiction collection, Brain Read, under the title: “A Perfect Time to Die.”


(A summary listing of all short stories in this challenge can be found by clicking 52-in-52.)