Don’t Fear the Reaper

“Please look at me,” she pleaded. “I promise I’ll do things differently this time.”

Death looked at Lavinia and frowned. He shook his massive head and looked again toward the west. He raised his arm and pointed west. It was time to go.

“What about a last request? Don’t I get one?”

Somewhere beneath the hooded cloak, the darkness gave the expression of exasperation. He shook his head and looked west again.

“Why are you being so stubborn?” she asked. Tears were falling freely down her cheeks now. She was too young; she was only sixteen.

She looked to the west and shuddered. So this is it? This is really the end.

“I was a good person,” she began, “where am I going to go?”

Death dropped his arm and looked down at her. Had he a face, it would have been filled with sympathy. It may not have been right, but it was time. Slowly, he extended his left hand to the west and held out his right. It was a rare display, but it felt right.

Lavinia looked down at it and trembled. Hesitation overtook her for what felt like hours but was only an instant. She took his hand and swallowed.

Death gave her small mortal hand an almost imperceptible squeeze; just the barest reassurance. He led the way, and she followed.

Death is Like This…

Dressed in a long black cloak, scythe held low, she wondered how it was that people didn’t recognize her. Apart from the scythe, she looked just like the fan pictures of her- and more like the less-than-favorable ones. Maybe people just saw what they wanted to see.

Death took the long way home. It was raining, but the rain would soon turn to sleet. She turned her collar up against the cold.

Death still had 78 years on her contract. She’d been doing this for over a dozen years already. When her contract was up, she would be re-born, given a second chance at life.

When she died, she was only nineteen- still just a child in many ways. She was a teenager when her life was snuffed out, and now she had a job- a career without growth opportunities.

She opened the door to her building and climbed the narrow stairs to her flat. She was death incarnate and she still couldn’t afford to live alone. Her roommate was a pleasant fellow.

Her mother would freak out if she knew that she was living with a man. It would hardly matter that he was gay, he still had a penis.

He was laying on the couch when she came in. He was breathing hard and reaching for something in front of him- his inhaler.

Death ran to him and handed it to him. He dropped it instantly; his hand wouldn’t close around it. She held it out to him and pushed down on the trigger.

She pulled out her phone and dialed an ambulance.

There was a knock at the door. She looked at him and saw fear in his eyes. He was begging her not to go. The knock became more insistent.

“I’ll be right back,” she promised.

She could have screamed when she opened the door. Death was standing there; the Death that was on duty now. She wanted to slam the door in her face.

Instead, she led her inside. Death crouched down as the other Death raised her scythe.

“I’m scared,” he whispered. “What will happen to me?”

She took a breath. “Death is like this, it’s like stepping into a warm bath and falling asleep. It’s peaceful.”

He nodded, and the other Death reaped him. She gave an irreverent salute to Death as she made her way out of the flat.

Death sank down onto the sofa and held her head in her hands. Her cheeks were wet as the snow began to fall.