He came and went as he pleased, jumping in and out of our lives. But who was this masked man?
We were all starting to feel nervous, because he’d pop up in the strangest moments. He seemed to be able to read our minds.
He was always around during birthdays and July 4th. Other events were unpredictable, yet it was always considered good luck.
His dress was unremarkable. Though he had appeared at so many celebrations, no one could ever remember what he wore.
This man, he went by the name…
… Reaper. Justin Reaper. He was the prettiest picture of death the world would know in modern times.
He was no man at all, but a manifestation of all four horsemen of the apocalypse: Social Media, Pop Music, Teen Crushes.
But the irony was with Justin Reaper, he hated death, to kill, to extinguish life. But that’s his job and it was killing him.
… and Teen Parents Living Vicariously Through Their Children. His presence meant the end times were upon us. And then the snow…
The snow led him to contemplate the lives he’d ruined, each like a single flake falling to the ground and melting into oblivion.
It was a time of reflection, of looking inward, and Justin Reaper hated what he saw. “I hate what I see,” he said to his friend…
…Jayden Blue Ivy Cent, the muse of teeny-bopper pop music.
“So change,” said Cent. “I can never change,” retorted Reaper. “You’re always saying ‘Never say never,'” said Cent. He had a point.
“Why do you say that, by the way?” asked Cent. “It’s the most oxymoronic phrase ever.”
Reaper shrugged. “Someone told me to.” With that mindset, no way he’d change. Jayden Blue Ivy Cent needed to stage an intervention.
Cent wracked his brain for an intervention specialist. He flipped on MTV and found… @DrDrew.
And he needed to gather all of Reaper’s friends. Which was no small task considering his mere presence meant imminent death.
Maybe it would be wiser to pick the friends already passed on. Cent called Tupac, Biggie and, for another point of view, Andy Gibb.
The intrepid trio suggested calling upon 140-year-old Dick Clark to help them on their quest – find the greatest song about death.
And then the first faint notes of Blue Oyster Cult’s Don’t Fear The Reaper broke the intrepid silence.
Reaper sensing what was going on, gestured crudely, yelling “haven’t I given you all more than enough damn cowbell?!”
“Sometimes a guy just needs a hug, a happy song and a nice cheese platter to share with his friends.”
Music hath charms to calm the savage beast. Reaper’s was infused with the peal of cowbell. A small, fatalistic smile lit his face.
And with great glee the Reaper shrieked, “No more cowbell!” It was the day the cowbell died.
And there was much rejoicing. But there was still the matter of Reaper’s job satisfaction–or lack thereof.
“You know there’s a gig bagging groceries open at the Piggly Wiggly?” Andy Gibb offered.
Cent stifled a giggle at the name. Piggly Wiggly. But Reaper’s eyebrows raised. “Tell me more, Andy,” he said.
Andy gazed past Justin Reaper, past Jayden Blue Ivy Cent, past Biggie & Tupac, even past Dick Clark. “The Pig,” he whispered,” is…
…ON TWITTER! Reaper paused, envisioning a nest full of rabid followers, favoriting and retweeting his (or The Pig’s) every word.
“Screw bagging groceries,” Reaper declared. “I can reign down death on shoppers everywhere via social media!” His grin widened.
Somewhere in Silicon Alley, a self-proclaimed social media guru scrolled through his Twitter feed…
He read the notification out loud, “Piggly Wiggly followed you”…
“I think I’m gonna like Twitter,” Reaper hissed, slyly drumming his fingers on his desk.
Justin Reaper handed his scythe to Tupac. “No need for this anymore. All I need is a smartphone and unlimited data.”
“Like I care. I’m already dead,” Tupac answered, dropping the scythe. But Jayden Blue Ivy Cent shuddered at what he’d enabled.
Just when all appeared lost, Andy Gibb piped in, “It’s cool, man! @ATT no longer offers unlimited data! Shadow dancing…yeah…”
Startled, Justin Bieber woke up sweating. His mom was bedside. “You’re okay, Justin,” she said. “You just have a fever.”
Interesting story. Not sure how I feel about contributing to Bieber Fever, so I guess the fact that he was actually responsible for killing people in this story makes it a little more tolerable. We should have had him kill himself. And his music. Then we’d all be happier. Well, except for the group Teen Parents Living Vicariously Through Their Children. They’re a force to be reckoned with. Okay, so this story went all over the place, but I was completely fine with it. I had already come up with how everything would end this afternoon, so I was just letting it go. Until it stalled. Then, BAM – Bieber fever. Get it?
Thanks to @kschaffs for supplying the photo. It definitely got people writing. And also, glad to have you involved. Hope next time you write too.
Thanks to all the writers – @nella22, who’s good for supplying the second line to a story about 89.7% of the time, @Robotstephe, whose sense of humor fits well with mine, @ShesAllWrite and @Chrisa_Hickey, who were having a personal back and forth toward the end, gabesphone_com, who was a first-time contributor and added a hilarious line right in the middle of @jsetlak’s patented triple-tweet that had me stuck on how to make it all make sense, @jsetlak, who triple-tweeted, @MusicAdamT and @MojoEnvy, who helped me kick Twitter and get it to work when their tweets weren’t showing up, and my old co-workers @TonyPawela and @elderberryjam, who humored me and wrote because I asked them to help out. Fun.