It's tiring, the never ending job of cradling weak human souls and carrying them over to the other side. I'm not a reaper or a witch. Who am I? My name is Death. I'm the one cloaked in black with a scythe in my bony white hand, so stereotypical, so humorous how you humans portray me. Yeah, yeah, yeah, you don't ever want to meet me. Wouldn't you like to know the truth? I'm a being, just like you, but unlike you, my work NEVER stops. How do I fill my weary being or emptiness? Let me tell you a story of three colors. White. Red. Gold.
--------In Georgia with a 10 year-old girl--------
"Life, we can't keep her!"
"But she's just a child." Life's blue eyes welled with tears.
"And war has descended upon these violent creatures! Let her go!" Children were the worst to have to carry over, because my wife, Life, insists on keeping them since she can never have children of her own.
"Mama." The child's dying words, the same worldwide when a human stares me in the face. I cradled the small red-head in my gray arms. Not for the first time, I saw the colors of her life flash through my mind as her green eyes momentarily glassed over. White, a blinding white flashed across my senses. She was an innocent, one that still had many lives left to live. This wouldn't be my last encounter with the child. A woman ran up to the child, and began the usually futile attempts of cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR as you humans abbreviate things.
"Please, God, spare my baby!" The green-eyed, red-haired woman pleaded with our Master. I could hear my wife muttering words of encouragement to the grief-stricken woman. Cream white. She'd brushed with me, Death. She was an off shade of white, but she was not yet ready to go.
"Death, loosen her grip. She is not done on Earth." His voice thundered across the fates and dimensions. I obliged, as I had no choice.
--------In Barakos, Ten Years Later--------
"I must go, Mama." The young woman looked at her mother.
"I can't lose you. Not again, Miracle." The woman drew her daughter into her embrace. "Never again, Baby Girl."
"I'll be okay." I watched the red of her hair mix with the silvering shades of her mother's. "I'll come back. I came back to you once, Mama." She had no siblings, no cousins.
"Promise?" The young woman brushed away her mother's tears.
"Promise. I'm too stubborn to die yet, Mama." A shaky laugh escaped her lips.
Gunfire. Cannons. Artillery. Tanks. Blood spewing. More red. More souls to carry over. Her hair laid still at her neck in a red bun over her green army combat uniform. She shouldered her rifle and lined up the sights, her face covered in warpaint, better known as mud. "Target acquired, Jones. Six o'clock." She pulled the trigger. A shot fired. Another soul cried for my help.
Another shot fired. "I've been shot!" My head swiveled away from my job. The voice of the girl I'd almost taken a decade earlier. Would she be mine to take today? I saw red. Her hair. Blood on her chest. Her face flushed with pain. Shades of red.
--------In Texas, Fifty Years Later--------
She laid on the bed, her eyes battle-worn, her heart filled with a simple joy. "Michael?" Her faded green eyes sought her husband of fiftyish years. "It's almost time." His head swiveled towards her as he walked towards his wife. "Tell Susie I loved her, if she ever talks to you again. Tell Maggie and Gracie that I wished I could have been there for their children."
I felt her will, her spirit, somehow still as pure as the first time she brushed with my power. "Must she leave the world, Husband?" I turned to my wife who had invested her time into the warrior spirit that now lay ready to welcome me like an old friend.
"Not just yet, Life. She has one more thing to fulfill here." A knock sounded at the door. Her head lifted off the pillow, a small glimmer of golden hope shining in her eyes.
"Mama?" The voice was tentative, and I knew that my wife had found another being to invest herself in. Slowly, the door opened to reveal a red-haired woman, a blonde man, and a red-head girl. "Mama?"
"Susie!" She exclaimed from her bed, attempting to rise. Michael, ever her strength, helped her from the bed. "James? Marion?" Her green eyes misted with tears of joy. "My baby girl!"
"I'm sorry, Mama. So sorry." The woman's voice choked with tears. "Can you..." The woman fell into her mother's open arms as tears flowed freely between the two. "Maggie and Gracie...They told me...Are you really?"
"I am, baby girl." She nodded and held her youngest girl tightly to her. "But I'll always be right here. In your heart." She looked over at her grand-daughter and son-in-law. "You take good care of my babies, James. You hear me?" He nodded, not letting his emotions show. Something I've never understood, the standard lack of emotion you human males seem so fond of portraying.
Two strawberry-blondes stood in the doorway with a brunette and a blonde by their sides. "Mama?" She eased her way back onto the bed as her two pregnant daughters walked into the room. "Is it time?"
"I think so." I saw a flash of gold as she placed her hand into her husband's. "Maggie, Gracie, and Susie? All three sets of green eyes turned to her. "I'm proud of each of you. Don't forget that. I love you and will always be in your hearts." They nodded, just barely holding back the tears.
"James, David, Derek? Take care of my baby girls. They could've done so much better than you, but that's what my mama said about my dear husband. Take care of them." They let out a soft chuckle at their mother-in-law's words.
"Michael, don't cry for me. Enjoy life while you have it left. You'll see me soon, Darling. I love you." He placed a tender kiss on her forehead and clung to her hand.
"Don't leave me, Miracle. I can't live without you." I knew it was true, and would be taking him to her a few short weeks later. "I love you, Miracle." Two flashes of gold as their hands tightened around the other. She exhaled her last with a smile on her lips. She'd escaped me in two wars as a flash of white innocence and crimson red and now embraced me as a flash of golden friendship.
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