Category: DEATH SPEAKS

Golly! Is This the End?

When is death? I would like to tell my fanbase that I am able to answer this question for you. It’s THE question, and I AM DEATH. I should know.

On my side, when I pick up a soul, that usually means a person’s sentient mind and corporeal body are no longer connected. More importantly, the “spirit” has been separated, and that essence is what flows to its next existence. Your IS and your IS NOT co-exist in a non-existent in-betweenness that some people call Heaven, some call Hell, and some call Limbo.

Some people don’t call it anything. And some people say those places exist not after life but during life. They think that the really terrible stuff that happens to them is “Hell” and that the sweet, happy stuff is Heaven.

Let me tell you this: In Heaven, we have several beautiful golf courses, a free gym with lots of machines, jacuzzis, and lovely fluffy towels. And the best part is that you get to meet a lot of the people you’ve admired over your lifetime. Sorry to say that the people you admired most, however, may not have made it to Heaven. We do have standards. You know. Too many sins and you go to the other place.

I’m going to say this about death. It’s not the end. You can quote me. Because you won’t know if I’m telling the truth until, well, until, you’re gone. In the meantime, read DEATHLIST. You’ll get to hear more about Heaven, Hell, death, and me, Death, a.k.a. “Coco.”

An Interview with Death

Hello and welcome. I’m Ana Cortez from ACME NEWS. Today, we’re sitting with Death in her penthouse living room in New York City where she often stays between gigs. If you’ve not met Death, you are in for a treat. Death has a history of being misunderstood for much of her life. In fact, she didn’t understand a lot about her own existence until the Deathlist was published and now, she’s much more relaxed and has time for interviews. Like today’s.

By the way, for you radio listeners, Death is wearing a très chic just-last-week’s Paris collection torn jean look with gold spike heels, a Vera Wang backless top, a John Hardy necklace and bracelet, and a Chanel scarf. Her hair is pinned up in an elegant chignon with not-so-tiny diamonds nestled throughout, sparkling against the camera lights.

Ana: How are you today, Death? You look amazing. As usual.

Death: Thank you so much, I’m fine. And I’m glad to have a few days off.

Ana: Days off? What happens to the souls you’re supposed to pick up today?

Death: I have assistants that help out. We’ve always had a team, of course, but I have to say some of the younger collectors are in too much of a hurry.

Ana: What do you mean?

Death: I try to help people at the end of their lives. I like to give them a chance to ponder their existence, revisit their purpose, and hopefully forgive themselves.

Ana: Who knew? You don’t take people’s lives then.

Death: No. I don’t. They’re already out of the earthly, mortal plane when I arrive. I’m the go-between.

Ana: So, who sends them to their eternity?

Death: That’s another department entirely. And people’s sins are tallied in the Sin Almagamator Department for that.

Ana: Um… Oh. Gee.

Death: Don’t worry. I’m sure you’re fine.

Ana: Uh…  Well. Let’s talk about the Deathlist. What was that exactly?

Death: Everyone on the Earth has a designated time when they’re born. God makes sure they’re here when they’re supposed to be. [Death sweeps her arms around the apartment and out to the amazing view of New York.] Then, they have to have a time when they die, of course. The Deathlist is a big database where all that is recorded. We decided people shouldn’t know when they’ll die ahead of time. Although we’re still open to opinions.

Ana: Huh?

Death: Yes. If you’d like to take the survey, it’s here.

Ana: Oh. Great. I’ll do that. And our listeners can too! But I’m not sure if I want to know.

Death: Yes. Yes.  Everyone has a different thought on that. It’s very personal. We get that. But, I’m afraid I have to go.

Ana: So soon?

Death: Yes. I’m very sorry. But I have to collect some souls now. There’s a terrible war going on in Ukraine, and we just didn’t put enough collectors on for today. Thanks so much for putting me on the air.

Ana: We’ll do this again!  Thanks for coming on our show, Death. And listeners, would you like to know when you’re going to die? Take the survey and be sure to read Deathlist. Until then, signing off from ACME NEWS.

Ana: That’s a wrap.

Ana to self: I probably better scoot to confession. 

The Last Walk for A Man and His Best Friend

It was a sunny day. Beautiful. When George stepped out of the house with his dog that day, he didn’t know it was the last walk he’d ever take. The Amtrak train came out of nowhere.

He didn’t know, but I did.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know I’m Death. And I pick up people’s souls. I don’t kill anyone. That’s another department. I just collect souls. This guy was a doozy because if the DEATHLIST were still active, he could have consulted it before he started out that day, and he may have decided not to “chance” the run across the tracks. Right? But it’s not. In Kathryn’s book, DEATHLIST, we know humans could see when they were going to die. But it’s gone now, so this person was taken quite by surprise. I know it because when I picked him up, he was, like, “Did that train hit me?” He looked at me very confused. “Are you the grim reaper? You’re beautiful!”

“Yes. I am she. And yes, thank you for the compliment. But I’m not that grim. At least I try not to be.”
“What about my dog?”

“I’m sorry. It was hit, too. I don’t know you, but you might see your dog again.”

He was going to ask me about it, but I knew I had to comfort him and tell him how lucky he was that I could be here with him. “Uh. Okay,” he said.

Just for the record for you animal lovers, the DEATHLIST was not for animals. Good question, though. The DEATHLIST was only for people. However, heaven lets good people have their animals with them. It’s one of the perks. I’m not sure this person walking their dog will have their pup with them. It’s not my job. See. As Death, I don’t make those calls. I just answer the call to pick up the person’s soul and then we turn them over to the Sin Amalgamators to tell them to check their credentials.

Our last-walk guy has gone on his way. And now, I have to take care of a few other people. The poor conductor who killed our dog walker was a basket case after the accident, but he didn’t die. His wife had a heart attack when she heard the news.  I had to collect her soul later that night because truth be told, the conductor had a teeny drinking problem, and was on his last chance to straighten out or lose his job. Of course, he did lose his job, and his wife was sure they’d lose their home and their beat-up car. She probably brought on her heart attack, at least she may have thought so. But God had her on his list for that day.

On a happier note. It turns out the dog got into heaven with his owner. They were both on God’s good list. I like happy endings. Don’t you?

HAVE A GREAT LIFE!

Signed,

Death

P.S. Would you want to know when you’re going to die?  Drop us a line here. We’ll be including the results in a post on social media near when Deathlist launches.

Exactly 23 Memories Before My Last One

Deathlist Book CoverExactly give or take 23 memories before the last memory I had, I was in a dark place like I imagine most people are before they are them. I do not remember the 24th memory because I wasn’t me yet, I don’t think.

When did I become Death? Was I dropped off a turnip truck? Borne in a bundle hanging from a black stork’s bill? Is there such a thing as a black stork? OR was I drug across the River Styx by a black swan? I like that a lot better, don’t you? What color was the river? Has anyone ever checked? Did it bleed red? Ooze brown? Stink of Hades? Have a burning oil slick slithering across it, an environmental insult to the underworld?

Someone dropped a match from nowhere I could see and flames covered the entire river from one end to the other. Yet the flames parted as the black swan and I floated through, for we did not burn, nor did his shiny black shell ever smell like burning pin feathers. That odor returns from another incarnation. Who was I then? Who were you?

I am Death. But I wasn’t always. Before humans, God did not need a reaper. Souls are unique to humans. I love animals as much as the next person, though I wonder at being a person. AM I? I would say yes. For a while I am. I was. But my memories are murky. What about you? What was your 23rd memory before the last you can dig from inside your honest self?

While you’re thinking, I will reiterate: I hate my job. Collecting souls? UGH. No wonder I quit.

 

Ms. Death Wears Chanel

The woman on the Paris runway during Fashion Week does not wear a black hood nor does she carry a scythe. She is not bent over in the crone position and does not have a warted, hooked nose. If you saw that kind of woman,  she might be selling poisoned apples to a hapless Snow White character, soon to be part of a group of weird short men with names like Sleepy, Dopey, Grumpy, and the rest.  (Can you name them?)

No. This woman is Death. A female princess of darkness as it were. She’s in Paris to strut her beauty and clear her name. Of the former, she might succeed. As to the latter, the chances of clearing her name are remote. But she will try in the novel Deathlist, by Kathryn Atkins.

“Hey, Coco,” the woman behind her in the lineup says as they begin their exit off the stage. Death’s name to the mortals around her is Coco. The woman continues, “Do you smell that?”

“What?” Oh. No. Death thinks to herself. My odor is seeping out. I forgot to hold it at bay and it is not Chanel No. 5!

You see, Death has a terrible smell (think rotting flesh) that always surrounds her unless she expends enough energy to suppress it. Sometimes she fails at it, especially when she’s concentrating on something else. Sometimes she’s just too sad. The odor seeps out of sad tears. Other times she’s happy, and the stench (incredibly enough) squeezes out through the tears of laughter. Nah. Doesn’t make much sense, except to say Death loves clothes. Loves to be beautiful, and really does like humans.

You’ll see. Read Deathlist to find out. And besides, you might like to know when you’re going to die. That is if you believe that there is a Deathlist. I think there is or I wouldn’t have written the book.

~ Kathryn Atkins,  Deathlist Author

 

 

I Had to Give God a Turn

Yikes! I’m in trouble again! God hasn’t been on the blog yet!

Here’s what he said,

Yes, Death… it’s about time!

So, I thought we had made a mistake, letting Death go to Earth. She had her work cut out for her. But we hoped she could save the people on the Earth. We enjoy humans a lot. They’re so entertaining! They mess up. But We gave people Free Will, and it’s fun to see what they do. Humans make wonderful things… like music and spaceships and all kinds of stuff. I sort of plan it, but it doesn’t always work.

The Deathlist was a big help to me. I didn’t have to keep everyone’s dates in my head. Births, deaths, and all the Smiths were difficult to keep apart. It’s hard to concentrate on my golf game with all the going on in my head. We thought Death would want her job back but she is pretty stubborn. I had a good time after all. It scared me when Death quit. Who would we get to do her job? Anyway, I’m glad Kathryn Atkins wrote the novel the Deathlist. As the Holy Spirit said, it gets boring up here in Heaven. We had a good time hanging out together in Kathryn’s book. 

See ya,

Signed GOD

I QUIT!!

I QUIT!!

Hi. I’m Death.

“I QUIT.” Those words start Kathryn’s novel, which is called Deathlist and will be published early in 2022. How do I know? Because I’m your female protagonist. It’s my story, but it’s also your story. You. Yes. You. Everyone on the earth will be a part of this story. And some of the crazies I hang out with will be in it, too. Of course.

God plays a key role, as you’d expect, and so do Jesus and the Holy Spirit. But we will all have a run-in with the ol’ devil and well, human beings will put up with some pretty hard stuff as the story unfolds. And me? I’m going to give up my good looks, my designer wardrobe, and a perfectly lovely life in Heaven to save humankind.

“Wait! Why are you quitting, Death?”

You’re saying that to me, right? OR at least you’re thinking it. But you might also be thinking if I quit, if Death quits, you won’t die. Sorry, but It doesn’t quite work that way. And in the meantime, I’ll let you think about this:

WHAT IF YOU KNEW WHEN YOU WERE GOING TO DIE?

That, dear friend, is the gift of the Deathlist. Because in the novel, you will find out that the Deathlist lets you know that. You can make travel plans, decide if you want to take a job or not, stay single or get married. All sorts of stuff. Write the novel, create a cool new invention, or whatever, because you will know exactly how much time you have! Cool, right?

No?

That’s the thing some people like the idea. Some don’t. Anyway, I have to decide if I want to help God or not. And to do that, I have to become human, which means I can’t wear my gorgeous clothes anymore, or change into a blond or a brunette in the blink of an eye. AND… I have to defeat the devil. As a human!

I’m getting ahead of myself. I’d love for you to read Kathryn’s book. Stay tuned here. We’ll be giving you updates as launch day draws nearer and nearer. In the meantime, think about if you’d like to know when you’re going to die. I can’t tell you, by the way. You’ll have to find it yourself. And you do not have to know, by the way. It’s your choice. You have FREE WILL. We all do. Even me.

I gotta run. I can’t be late to collect souls. It’s all planned, you know. The day you’re born and the day you will die are in the database called the Deathlist.

 

Deathlist!!!???!!!

What is this thing?

Are we talking a hit list? Is this a book put out by the bad guys? Is the list before or after the fact?

Did some newspaper reporter unearth a hidden file or did a hacker get access to this “Deathlist” by accident (or on purpose)?

Nope.

Actually, it’s God’s list! He uses it to keep track of when everyone is born and when they will die. We think our deaths are random because we don’t know when we’ll die. But of course, God does. And okay, we know He’s omniscient, but He’s plain tired as heck of keeping all this “stuff” in His head. Besides, He’d rather play golf any day of the week. And He plays a lot of golf.

 

You’re in for a treat. Because the novel Deathlist by Kathryn Atkins challenges humans’ thinking about death, and therefore life, but also we get to see how God and the other two parts of the Trinity spend their time. We find out Jesus likes to ride mountain bikes, and the Holy Spirit loves to wear designer clothes. All three of them like to play golf. As do I.

There’s more to the Deathlist, of course, but we can’t tell you everything, or you wouldn’t have to read the book. And speaking of which, the book Deathlist is due out in early 2022.

  See ya.

~ Death

The Holy Spirit?

Hey guys–

The Holy Spirit asked if He could get on our blog. Why would I say no?? He was such a big help to me in fighting the devil.

Here’s what he says:

“I’m not sure how I got drug into this novel, but it’s been a hoot! I’ve gotten to wear some hip clothes, play lots of golf, and drink and smoke. On the other hand, I also had an opportunity to help an Earthling, Ariadne, and help Death as she tried to save humans from the stupid devil. I’m not sure how We let someone like him survive all these years, but We did. 

What’s been the most fun? Being able to go back and forth between Heaven and Earth, and in all honesty, not being so bored. We don’t have much going on up here in Heaven. When Arnold Palmer’s spirit gets a hole in one, we all cheer and get extra drinks. Sometimes, God gets a bee in his bonnet and starts a new hobby. We just have to grit our teeth and live through it. Jesus changes his shoes a lot. One day, he’s riding his mountain bike, the next he’s at the bowling alley. We all play golf, so that’s another pair of shoes for Him, of course.

The cool thing: we all have Free Will. You, me, Death, Ariadne, and the devil, unfortunately. But without Free Will, we’d be REALLY bored. Anyway, as I said, I’ve had a good time and I hope you read Kathryn’s book, Deathlist. 

Over and out…

Signed,

H.S.

Ariadne Publicizes the Deathlist on the Internet

Hi. I’d like you to meet Ariadne. She’s the one on the lower left of the book cover. Curly red hair. Yup. And a little surprised. She’s the only character who is not a heavenly being. Or at least she’s the only non-human because the devil is not heavenly. He’s a jerk and hasn’t been in heaven in a long, long, long time. The story was that he was one of the angels but he did something so bad that he was banished from heaven. Don’t you like that word? Banished. It’s so final!

Anyway. Ariadne in the book was named after the mythological character famous for having helped Theseus escape the Minotaur by getting through the labyrinth where Theseus was being held captive. In this 21st-century story, Aridane is a website designer who helps Death with the Deathlist, and at one point actually has lunch at a very expensive restaurant with God. That was a hoot!

 

Ariadne has her faults. (Don’t we all?) She’s on a court order for AA, and she makes some mistakes along the way.  We wonder if we should trust her. But we aren’t sure if there’s anyone we can trust. Not even God, it seems.

I’d like to tell you more, but Death has set up an interview for me. Gotta run. I’ll share some Ariadne stories after I give you the whassup with the Holy Spirit. He’s the one on the right on the cover up there. Yes, he smokes. And plays golf.

They all do. And that’s part of the problem. See ya.