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WHEN DEATH KNOCKS Read and rate this story.

“Mr. God, do we really need Ms. Death down there? I mean, look at man…. such a beautiful creation of yours…near perfect I would say… Just let him be. Let him choose when to embrace the end, if at all he wants to, that is. Do they HAVE to meet Ms. Death?” asked a concerned Chitragupta mentally picturing the pile of book keeping that would entail. “Personally, I wouldn’t,” he added, half whispering to himself.

“I heard that”, said the lady in black, sneaking in from behind, catching him unawares, as was her wont. Her hands folded in indignation like a petulant child, she stared at him with that unnerving cold gaze that could make anyone uncomfortable.

“Let’s keep things a bit interesting. Some element of surprise from the Big Boss is needed to add spice to their lives”, replied God with that twinkle in the eye that suggested a mischief he had concocted.

Hearing that uplifted her mood a bit. “I’m glad you see me as useful”, she said bowing reverentially. “But does it have to be a surprise? I do fancy the idea of making an entry and swooping in and out but my only concern is that I don’t want the bad rep. I know I can’t expect to win the Miss Popularity crown but the idea of man living in my constant fear isn’t palatable either”, she continued.

“I understand your concerns, my dear and I am tinkering with the circuits to ensure that though they will fear you, their will to live would however overpower that fear. And even as you march in and claim someone, it will be the reason of your arrival that would be nailed and not you. The spotlight would fall briefly on you but what brought you there would be in the limelight thereafter”, reassured Mr. God.

His words were a gospel of truth for both Chitragupta and Ms. Death but they were sceptical still as to how He would pull this off. Sensing their doubt, he beckoned them in His chariot for a quick dekko.

As they neared Earth, He pointed out at a man sitting in the park, enjoying the sights and sounds. Suddenly his face contorted and he rubbed his chest hard. Even before he could summon help, he just fell from the seat and the trio saw breath leaving him.

A crowd gathered, some tried to feel his pulse and heart beat but knew better than to continue the futile effort. Some in the crowd knew him and were in quite a bit of a shock to see the lifeless body. “How did he die? I just met him yesterday, he seemed fine”, one said.

“It must be a heart attack. You know how it is with them”, replied another as everyone nodded and the discussion soon veered towards matters of the heart.

Chitragupta stood there transfixed as Ms Death bowed again, smilingly in front of her boss before hopping back into the chariot.

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