Mr Forbes 8. The Return

Reads: 510  | Likes: 3  | Shelves: 2  | Comments: 4

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: The Imaginarium

Featured Review on this writing by Jeff Bezaire

The 8th story featuring Mr Grimonomous Forbes. Thanks to Booksie's Markie Bee for the cover and the inspiration

Mr Forbes 8. The Return.

Mr Grimonomous Forbes was very rarely flustered. He could take his time in binding those souls, making their collection both calm and undisputed. His skeletal head never broke out in to a sweat and his missing lungs never struggled to breathe. His total lack of a pulse remained constant.

There could be no doubt that on this night he was beginning to look rather dishevelled instead of his normal immaculate self. The little witch was proving to be a tricksy character to find and bind, and Grimonomous was beginning to tire of the challenge.

She had mastered the art of ‘change’. Any animal, bird or beast, she could take on their appearance, although not their voice. Mr Forbes was not used to chatting his way through his journeys but that seemed to be the most rational solution to finding her. This witch was known to be exceedingly talkative, so her sojourn in the forest must be getting to her. In her desperation to talk, she would answer, if only he could find her first.

Rabbits ran from him, squirrels dashed up trees. Deer bolted before he got near enough to talk and foxes sought cover in the bushes. Still, he made his way forward, pushing his way through the trees. The forest itself had to be under some kind of spell, because the branches, instead of moving out of his path, stayed where they were, prodding and grasping as he passed them by. Even the thorns were daring to snag at his suit, and several times he had found himself having to remove a shoe and shake out the water.

The truth was that normally Mr Forbes would not even play such a childish game but would patiently bide his time until the opportune moment presented itself. In all his years as Reaper, it had been a method of working that had never ever failed him yet.

This witch was clever, had planned things out so carefully. If it had not been for the raven, they would never have known of her plans. She had worked up a spell that would lead to the appearance of Candace at one minute past midnight. If she could evade his binding until that moment, she’d be heading upwards, ready to wreak havoc on those innocents that resided up above. By the time they realized that they had been duped by a demon it would be too late for them all.

There was a rustling in the leaves, a couple of twigs snapped. Grimonomous pretended not to hear but carried on his way, talking about this, muttering about that and generally chattering away.

Mr Forbes had to admit that it was not the upper residents that he was concerned about. No, Grimonomous really did not care much for anyone at all. What he did care about was ‘balance’. He knew just who to pick up and take across that river and down to a place where it was hot, hot, hot; just like Candace could tell who had earned that upward flight.

If the witch got her way, all that clarity, all that certainty, would be a thing of the past.

The Heavens and the Underworld would be plunged in to turmoil and the dead would be left to roam the Earth.

There, to his left was a flash of white. A brilliant white that was almost too perfect to be any true fur or hide. Mr Forbes did not so much as blink an eye, perhaps because those sockets had long been empty of those orbs of sight. The only sign that he had noticed was a tiny twitch of his little finger. No one would have noticed, not even if they had been staring straight at him, but the raven did, and the raven understood.

She swooped up high into the now dark sky and plunged down in to the bushes. There was a rustling and then out from the bush sprang a unicorn. At least that was what Gironomous presumed it was; it was white, horse-like, and had one golden horn growing from the center of its head. Even as it stood there in front of him, the gold of the horn began to tarnish.

The witch, it seemed, had shown herself at last. And not a moment too soon, for there, high up in the sky, was the unmistakable figure of Candace.

It is not often that you’ll find a skeleton leaping in to action, but that is just what Mr Forbes did, enveloping the unicorn’s neck in a hug and binding as fast as he could. At his touch the fake form began to disintegrate, leaving a young witch to spit and snarl in frustration.

Candace looked astounded. She opened and closed her mouth before asking, “What is going on? She was ours. Wasn’t she?”

Uh uh,” Gironomous answered. “This little witch most definitely belongs with us. You might have to return soul-less, but believe me, you’ll thank me for it soon enough.”

The raven flapped down to take up position on his top hat and Mr Forbes strolled happily away with the witch reluctantly trailing behind him.

Submitted: November 15, 2018

© Copyright 2022 hullabaloo22. All rights reserved.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Add Your Comments:


Mike S.

Another fine 'Forbeser,' Hull!

Thu, November 15th, 2018 7:11pm


Yeah, he does tend to keep popping up! Thanks for reading, Mike.

Thu, November 15th, 2018 11:13am

Jeff Bezaire

Fantastic fun, Hully! I really enjoyed this story. Love the wit and humour from that first paragraph to the last. Great scenario. Leave it to a mischievous little witch to give the reaper a hard time. Terrific execution!

Thu, November 15th, 2018 10:56pm


Thank you, Jeff. Credit has to go to Markie Bee for the cover and suggesting a story that included a time limit of midnight to catch a missing soul. I'm glad you picked up on some of the humor i tried to include. Will there be another one....maybe, if the right cover comes up. I love writing for the character of Grimonomous Forbes.

Fri, November 16th, 2018 2:48am

Vance Currie

Nice to know that even Death sometimes finds life difficult. Good story, Hully. ~ Joe

Fri, November 16th, 2018 7:41pm


Thanks, Joe. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Fri, November 16th, 2018 11:45am

Facebook Comments

More Flash Fiction Short Stories