Xeno Hemlock


A Look Back on the Prudence Arc of Death's Last Days with the Dying

I have to admit that at various points of “Death’s Last Days with the Dying” hesitation crept in my mind. Before I announced it to the public, I wondered if I could keep up with releasing a memory daily as much as I could. With all the day job obligations and writing aspirations on my shoulder, was it necessary to add one more on my stack? At the same time, despite picking a drabble (a 100-word story) as the format for my flash fiction output, the length of it was not an automatic advantage. The 100-word restriction proved to be challenging at times (and fun too, of course, so much fun 😜) and would make you doubt your weird choice of restricting yourself when you didn’t need to. Upon thinking deeper about it though, what’s a writer’s life without one or few challenges on his writing journey?

Now that season two, the Prudence Arc as I christen it now, has wrapped up, I’d like to present three things I enjoyed about writing it.


Ever since Prudence happened to me in my debut novel I Killed My Friends and It Thrilled Me, I’ve always pictured her and her story deserving more spotlight than it got in the novel. As a matter of fact, her every appearance in the novel are some of my most favorite parts of it, writing and reading. While she’s not the main character here in Last Days with the Dying, she’s no passing character either. Even if her fate remains unknown after her and Death’s encounter with his kin, I assure you she’ll be back. Her role in this series is far from over.


Coming up with titles for books, episodes, and even short stories can sometimes be an arduous task (especially if the writer overthinks). Does the title provide a good picture of what the story is about? Does the title give away the surprise twist? Does the title sound attractive to the eyes and ears? Is the title the best out of all the choices? See, it’s not that easy😂. 

This last arc, I had a blast coming up with titles. I no longer wanted to just pick phrases from the drabbles themselves like I did in the previous arc. Hence, I was sort of pushed into using a “The -“ template when coming up with titles. The results? “The Stalker”, “The Secret Escape”, “The Silence”, “The Peeking”, etc. It felt like I was thinking of titles for horror/thriller films. “The Jump”. “The Crescendo”. “The Bellow”. “The Fading”. “Azrannin”. No, not that last one, it sounded like a video game name. I had a laugh coming up with those titles and even imagined what would the counterpart film would be like. Bellooooooow? Maybe Blumhouse Productions can hire me🤔?


One of the things that fascinates me in writing a fictional story is the unexpected detours. Despite knowing the destination, twists and turns are inevitable. They are not to be feared but, if one is more courageous, they are best embraced as they can enhance and add a different spice to the story. In Prudence Arc, the unexpected detours were the characters of Azrannin and Truzgamos (they will be back!) and the arc’s ending. These weren’t planned from the start but I accepted them as I saw potential in adding these elements to the story. Yes, the arc had a different ending originally which will be moved to a future arc now. The new ending moved the next arc into a different direction than envisioned in the first place.

The next season of Last Days with the Dying, The Road Arc, will begin on January 2019. See you next year! Here’s an image with each of the memories in the Prudence Arc.