And Yet Life Goes On

A silent drip emanated in the silence as a trickle of blood slid out of the corner of the man’s mouth. His head was planted in the ground at a skewed angle. His eyes were open, staring blankly out at the mud and gore bestrewn ground with no hint of life in them. His armor encased a broken and twisted body like the cracked carapace of a squashed bug. Close to his outstretched fingers was a long, black and shiny rifle. It’s cold, filth covered metal revealed the absence of function for a long time.

Spreading out in an endless sea of dead bodies, the enemy and brothers in arms surrounded the dead soldier on the battle scene. Broken helmets, rifles and empty shell casings littered the ground at constant intervals. A cog made a soft clinking as it dangled off a chain hanging from the armor of a broken down tank, its plating ripped up by machine gun bullets. Blood and body parts splattered each dead body or lay submerged in the murky mud. A chilly breeze moved trough the scene, stirring the blanketing fog, which seemed to reach out slender hand of water vapor, checking the pulse of each dying soul.

In the far background, tons and tons of dense smoke billowed
up from the smoldering ruins of a vast city. The buildings stood like sentinels of death, viewing the scene before them with distaste.

There was a sudden, bright flash a few feet over the battle scene. Strands of curling, pitch-black vapor began spreading from the point and then increased in volume and thickness. With a deep sucking sound the voluminous smoke condensed into a tall figure. Shrouded in a heavy, pitch-black cloak, the figure’s face was completely obscured by the cloak, creating a deep, black hole where the face should have been.

Death stretched himself to his full height and observed the scene. Then he brushed himself off with a hint of tired sniffing. A long skeletal hand slid out of a sleeve like a bleach white snake. With a slight clicking the jointed bones reached into a deep pocket and pulled out an old packet of lemon drops. The hand came up and threw one of the pieces into the large black hole of a face.

Death gave a deep sigh, his skeletal figure moving off across the battlefield in a gliding manner, muttering to himself “mm, minty…”

There was yet another flash of light, this time with a muted bang and no black smoke. A tall, heavily muscled man snapped into appearance.

He donned only a silky, golden white cloth that covered his body from waste down. Large, voluminous wings of the purest white sprouted out from the middle of his back and were folded in an elegant manner. His face, yet young, wore a sheet of somberness, and hinted at being vastly old and wise.

His figure was outlined by a subtle light, which gave an almost undetectable glow when he walked.

Death looked around at the appearance of the angle and gave a nod of greeting.

“Oh, hello John.”

“Hello Death.”

The angel walked over with wide, well placed footsteps to stand next to death.

“You know,” said Death, “I really hate this job sometimes. I mean, look at this mess,” he spread his hands in exasperation, “Absolutely disgusting. Its lucky I have these eternally-disinfected robes.” He sighed again, “At least the pay is good.”

John gave an expression of consent then asked, “Anymore terrorist cases in Hell?”

“Yeah,” said Death, “The last guy who came in had tried to blow up a shop in protest of the government. Absolutely blown to bits. We had to stick him together, bit by bit. He looks fine now, well, nobodies fine in hell, but hey.”

“Yes,” John said, “These humans really are getting sillier as time goes on aren’t they?”

“m hm,” replied Death, disgruntledly, “It was so much easier when all we had to deal with was mildly erect monkey people. Stupid evolution. What was the case here anyway?”

“Well, these two armies are of two African countries. They were fighting over water property. What with so much pollution and runoff these days, fresh drinking water is rapidly becoming an expensive commodity in lesser countries.” John thought for a while and then added “At least widespread famine was eradicated here in the late 2000’s. We were receiving far too many souls in heaven back then.”

“No doubt there will be a World War Three soon over McDonalds ownership.” Said Death dryly.

There was a lengthy pause as Death stood next to the angel and they observed the morbid scene in front of them yet again.

“Well,” said Death, slapping his hands together in a business like fashion, “We should get going with rounding up the “good souls” and the “bad souls here”. Who gets eternal damnation of eternal partying? Ha! That’s for us to decide. Poor guys.”

With a cheery flourish, Death reached into his pocket and withdrew a pen and little notebook.

“Nifty, aren’t they?” he said, holding up the notebook, “All the people in the world and if they’re evil or worthy of heaven. All we have to do is tick them off.”

“I guess,” said John in a morose tone. He retrieved his own from a pocket in is robe.

As they began to set off, the angel paused.

“It’s sad, though, isn’t it?”

“What?” asked Death, stopping.

“That an organism so brilliant as a human is created and all it does is destroy itself. With their wonderful creation and capacity for art, music, love and invention, all they do is come up with new ways to kill each other and destroy their planet. They fail to see that we really are just a tiny blue dot, and that life should be spent with love and productiveness, not hate and destruction.”

“Don’t be so depressed,” said Death, and if he had possessed a face it would be grinning. “Humans created donuts. If there’s anything more pure of love than that, you’ll have to tell me. And think of it this way, if everything were so perfect, where would we be employed?”

They stood there for a while, looking at each other, then Death said “We’ll do this tomorrow. Want to go for a drink?”

“Yeah, all right.”





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