Now for a little something different…
Death is an undeniable part of existence for humanity.
They fear it more than anything often pretending it doesn’t exist and doing everything in their albeit puny power to ward off its approach as they age. Death has no preferences though. She…he…it has no favorites. Youth doesn’t exclude a person from Death’s cold gaze. Once I was one of them. Human that is. I was young and handsome, arrogant in my waste of my youth until Death discovered me one night in a dank alley.
I drank far too much, snorted lines of snowy powder from tables, crosses, even the sculpted bodies of beautiful boys and girls. Awake all night and sleeping all day. It didn’t matter to me where my partners had been or where they might travel as long as they were young and perfect. Never once did I realize the darkness lurking outside my window.
That particular night was no different than any other with a singular exception. When you live hard as I did you have a tendency to make enemies and more often than not you are oblivious to the fact you do. At some point in my adventures I’d stuck my dick where it shouldn’t have been, contaminating a body not only with my semen, but with my drugs of choice at the moment. The young man I’d used had an older and much more street wise sibling who when he died of a drug overdose decided I needed to be punished.
To this day I have no idea how she tracked me down or how she managed to taint my drink with arsenic. Perhaps, she was the sexy bartender behind the counter I’d been flirting with or one of the many people I deemed beneath me. How she did it matters not, she managed to exact her revenge with a swiftness even Death would have admired.
When I began to feel the effects of the arsenic I figured I’d simply reached my alcohol limit and excused myself to get some fresh air. Slumped against the wall between two dumpsters, cigarette dangling from my fingertips, I wondered why in the hell my body was rebelling now of all times. Her appearance answered my questions with a coppery tang or now that I look back it was the blood filling my mouth.
She was tall, curvaceous and Nordic in her appearance. Not what one would think of as Death, but it was the eyes that gave her away. Where her other features cried of the Northern Lights and expansive fields of snow and ice her eyes spoke volumes more. Their darkness was deep as if an endless well of starless space, perhaps a black hole of nothing. So dark as to reflect my own terrified visage back at me…A polished mirror of obsidian.
The way her body moved reminded me of a viper undulating across windswept Egyptian sands. Curves and swells every changing beneath a desert moon, ripe and full as the swollen belly of a mother to be. She made no sound as she approached and I huddled against piss soaked brick surrounded by the detritus of what passed for humanity.
“You will die.” she whispered. “How you die will be left in your hands.”
It made no sense. It also terrified me enough I was sure my bowels would release if she were to touch me.
“All you have to say is yes to me. I will end the agony you are in, you will die, but I can resurrect you. For I am the life.”
Why I said yes, I may never know, yet I imagine it is for the same reason most humans would if they found themselves at Death’s feet. Cowering, sobbing, and choking on their own blood. They all want to live one more day, week, month, year, and they are willing to sell their souls to halt the inevitable.
Now, after close to thirty years it is my turn to make the same offer.
The boy at my feet cannot be much more than eighteen or nineteen, but his expression tells of a life lived hard in the shadows of the darkest humanity has to offer. He’d tried to escape unlike myself and his reward was to drown in his own blood as it filled his lungs. Pimp, drug dealer, it mattered not who had left him here lying in his own urine.
As I approached him I saw the fear in his eyes I’d once possessed. The corner of my lips curled in a faint remembrance of a smile. It was time to make the offer just as she had made the offer to me all those years ago.
“You will die.” I whispered. “How you die will be left in your hands.”