Mr. Demise had Reggie Van Fiddler's name in his book, but Reggie didn't want to be on any list, so he set out to correct the mistake!
telling you that you are going on a trip. I have already made all the arrangements. There is nothing that can possibly change them."
"Where am I going?" Reggie asked. His voice was a whisper.
"With me," Mr. Demise said.
"That's no answer," Reggie said, clutching at straws. "Who are you? Where are you going?"
Mr. Demise smiled again, very faintly. He walked slowly to the mantelpiece and plucked a rose from a vase. His hand closed gently over the flower as he turned to face Reggie.
"Perhaps this will answer your questions," he said softly.
He opened his hand and dropped the flower to the floor at Reggie's feet. Reggie's eyes widened in sheer amazement.
[Illustration: Reggie looked at the seared rose, and then he knew...!]
For the soft glowing beauty of the flower was faded forever. It lay on the floor, a blackened, dead reminder of its former glory.
"It's dead," he said incredulously. "It withered at the touch of your hand."
* * * * *
A somewhat amusing account of a newly-graduated assistant to Death attempting to make his first collection and his victim's attempts to weasel out of his fate. I stayed with the story until the end, which turned out to be very, very, dated.