256 Words

Black Death

Brenda Ross

I am a transmigrant, a restless soul doomed to walk from place to place and from body to body unceasingly. My soul is so zygomorphic that even Death is incapable of allowing it to cross the great divide.

The Gods in their ironic wisdom have arranged for me to suffer many indignities.

In the 20th century alone, my tired old soul has been housed within a reluctant concubine as she writhed under the amorous attentions of a middle aged Flemish cockalorum.

And this same soul has been encased in the tortured body of a young airman in a prisoner of war camp.

I have also been propelled from the dying body of the esteemed inventor of advanced Zen meditation into the pimply abode of a shallow youth with the distinguished reputation of tossing the highest flapjack ever at the local pancake house.

In earlier times my soul has inhabited the diverse personalities of a Roman gladiator, an African pygmy and a medieval minstrel. I have been imbedded inside an ugly old hag who sat knitting at the foot of the guillotine as she watched the beheading of the French aristocracy. I led one life captaining a pirate ship, where I ordered insubordinate scruffy crewmembers to walk the plank or be keelhauled under the ship.

The burden of these multiple lifestyles appalls me. If there are lessons to be learned, I seem incapable of learning them. And so, as I lay here on yet another deathbed, once again I plead with Black Death to break the cycle.

Copyright ©2000 Brenda Ross. All Rights Reserved.

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October, 2000
Issue #54

256 Words