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Death On New Years

By Ella R. S.

I picked her up when she was sleeping. A tiny thing she was, her name was carved on the side of the cradle: 


What a shame it was, taking one so young. Emmy was only two. Emmy. The word tasted of honey. 

Still, she was the last one. My resolution was complete. Around the time the humans call “last year” I decided to make a decision of my own. Such an interesting tradition. Writing one’s plan for improvement on shortcomings at the beginning of a New Year. 

Ha! I couldn’t resist. I so rarely have fun. 

Allow me to introduce myself, they call me Death. The end. The beginning. I go by many names. Many names, one job. I create and I destory. All at once.

Back to Emmy. Her soul rested in my arms, she was still white. Like pearl. It made sense, she was young. She hadn’t gotten the chance to soil it. 

I folded Emmy’s soul up and neatly tucked her in the envelope. My bag was rather full tonight, I grinned even though it was wrong.

What’s my New Year’s Resolution you ask? Why, it was to get twice as many souls this year. And I succeeded. She was the last one. 

Last year I was so angry, so fed up with all the hate humans were giving me. All they wanted was to live. I was the enemy, their one true opponent in life. No-one gave a thought to what Death felt.  

I’ve had the rich cower before me and beg, crying and wailing for their souls to be left alone. I’ve had men try to dodge me, screaming and throwing curses all the while. They’re the ones I leave alone. Oh, how triumphant they feel when I back away. Only do their faces fall when they see.  See that they’re trapped. Only I can reunite them with their bodies, only I can take them away. If I do nothing, then they are stuck. Trapped between worlds. I hate to admit how much I relish they’re anguished faces. 

But it was one such soul that tipped me over the edge. Caused Death to take double his due. 

One year ago today, I was taking a soul as usual. This time it was a girl of about six-teen. She was rich. Spoiled. Awful. Her soul was the color of spit. The color of mucus. The color of pus.

She opened her eyes and looked at me as I picked her up. Then she told me. She told me that everybody loved her. The maids, her friends, her parents. They all loved her, but nobody would ever love something like me. Then she threw back her head and laughed, before closing her eyes and being still. As if I was still going to take care of her. 

I stopped folding and set the girl down. I must say that this punishment would be no less than she deserved. So while the girl was stranded in her room, she watched the nurses sigh with relief over her dead body. She watched her friends scoff at the terrible news and turn away. She watched her parents shaking their heads, saying that they would do better next time.

And only then did I come to retrieve her. But she still. Didn’t. Apologize. So I left her again. But her words stuck with me. And that’s when I made my vow. Instead of trying to be kind and taking less, I would let the humans have it and take double.  

This past year I made no exceptions. I snatched those on the brink of death. Stole souls from just-beginning diseases. Took the premature babies. Captured the half drowned. Thieved the young, the old and everyone in between. I couldn’t stop. But the screams felt good. They felt so good. 

They used to shout my name, now they whisper it. 

But there was one last thing to do. To complete this. It was time to retrieve the girl. 

I floated above the rooftops, gathering souls as I went along. And there she was, crouched by the window. 

I came up from behind. Baring my teeth in a wicked smile. 

Are you ready now? 

I asked. 

She painfully turned her head. 

Now no-one could ever love you.

She whispered. 

And as I folded her up, I remembered this last year. And I knew she was right.           

January 22, 2020 02:27

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1 comment

Such a sad story, yet an awesome message. Really liked how it portrays the Grim Reaper in the first person, rather than portraying a character who tries to avoid it at all costs. Death's internal debate when deciding whether or not to take a soul was also a really cool subject. Also the depth of how he was never loved, so he spoke the truth to his victims as if they had no feelings; like a child who was never raised to speak/feel compassion. Also, cool how it relates to the prompt of Death's thirst for death as his resolution.


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