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A Visit From Death

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She knew she was going to die. From the moment she was pulled out of her warm safe sanctuary kicking and screaming into the uncertain world she knew she was going to die. Everyone had to. It wasn’t something you could just avoid or try to stop like the flu or cold. You could prolong it but what was the point? It all led to the point where you had to die. And she just simply accepted that fact and moved on through life.
People constantly told her how daring and brave she was because she was the kid who ran into the street to get the ball without looking both ways and the teenager who rode skateboards off roofs. She just believed you had to live your life while you were alive because once Death came it was over. So when Death causally walked in her room, dragging his long hooded black robe on her newly polished hard wood floor she only sighed. “I’ve been expecting you for quite some time. I always thought I would get to live a little longer though.” She told him. He simply nodded his head but then quickly shook his head. “Then why are you here?” she asked suddenly annoyed at the misfortune of being denied death. It was the only certain thing in life, a certainty she had had always held onto, when her rapidly changing life depressed her. Yes change was bad, but certainty was good. Death was good. Death pointed his finger at her. It wasn’t really a finger; just the bone left behind from a decomposed body. It was deathly white. Not one blemish or scar to indicate that this finger had ever been buried and bitten or licked by the nosy decomposers that even during your eternal rest couldn’t let you have peace. She looked at Death curiously and peeled the blanket that had kept her warm off. The cold was like a cat. The instant it sensed her warm skin it pounced leaving her shivering. Death slowly turned his hand so that the cloak hung from his bony wrist and she could see his ghostly white arm bone as it ascended into the sleeve of his cloak. It was also unblemished. He curled his index finger in the common ‘come here’ gesture. She obeyed stepping lightly on her hardwood floor, causing a chill to go through her until it reached the tips of her hair and dripped off into the ever surrounding air. Once the intentional shock of the cold was gone from her body she quietly tiptoed to Death, careful to avoid the creakiest floorboards, her father had been too lazy to replace. It made her approach slower. It also made her able to examine him better. The cloak he was wearing was made of the blackest material she had ever seen. It looked almost blue. It covered everything except his pearly white finger bones. Everything about the cloak was oversized, so that whenever he walked or made a movement, it shook and bellowed like curtains next to an open window on a windy day. The sleeved were made even bigger. They seemed like sleeves able to hold something in, though they lay by his side lifeless. The darkness where a face should have been looked darker and scarier than the regular everyday darkness. It seemed like a darkness with a life of its own, moving around the hood freely and staring soullessly at her as she walked over to it. Finally she was standing directly in front of him. She had the urge to reach her hand into the faceless void that darkness surrounded. It almost beckoned her. She resisted though, unsure of how death would react to that. He seemed to have no capability of emotion but she didn’t want to be the one to test that. A cold that was colder than the atmosphere of her room radiated off of him as the hood of the cloak cocked to the side as if she had said something confusing. Suddenly a voice that wasn’t her own echoed in her head. “Teresa Candice Glendor.” It echoed. She took a sudden intake of breath as the hood slipped off of Death’s head. She looked at the now hoodless Death. His head was just a skull, like she expected. Polished white, it was almost brighter than her own bed room light. It had two sunken eye sockets that the darkness had retreated to. His nose hole was also sunken but instead of darkness she saw where his neck bone joined his head. His mouth was a mournful permanent smile. “Yes?” she answered. “You have been chosen.” The sexless monotone voice echoed. She let the echoing end before replying. “For what?” Death reached into his sleeve, not looking down, and pulled out a rolled up piece of parchment sealed with red wax and tied elegantly with black satin ribbon. He held it out to her, the darkness in his eye sockets staring her down. She slowly reached up and gently picked the parchment up, accidently brushing Death’s hand. Her hand was instantly seized by cold. It was as if she had taken her hand and shoved it into a bank of snow and simply decided to leave it there. Her whole hand numbed and sent pain all the way up her arm. She jerked her hand away and put it against her face. Her skin wasn’t cold at all. It was warm. She looked back up at Death, starting to fear him. He didn’t show any indication that she had touched him, or that she had felt pain. He simply laid his hand back by his side. She started to move her fingers and gradually the pain went away and she felt her hand again. Then she remembered the parchment in her other hand and untied the black satin, letting it drop to the ground. It fluttered around her before resting comfortable on her foot. Then she broke the wax and unrolled the parchment. The writing on the parchment was thin, neat and very well written. “Dearest Teresa,” it started. “How nice.” She murmured smiling, and then she continued to read.
“Hello to you dear. We have been waiting for you as you have been waiting for us. I hope we haven’t frightened you but we always like to portray Death like you imagine and isn’t this what you have stayed up late waiting for? I am sorry to inform you that we are coming to you for a different reason other than Death my dear. We are offering you the gift of bringing it to others. Yes I hate explaining things in letters so please just follow the messenger to our wonderful school. Don’t worry we will not pressure you to attend it and if you refuse you will be safely brought back to your room and we will not bother you again. Well until I see you again goodbye.
-Professor Goyle
Teresa stared at the letter in confusion. The gift of bringing it to others, what was that supposed to mean? There was only one way to find out. She looked up at Death who was silently staring at her with his eye sockets, the darkness running circles in them and nodded. Death slammed the scythe he had been holding his other skinless boney hand on the ground. Teresa looked at it only just noticing it. It was kind of hard to miss and it left Teresa confused on how she could have missed it. It was just plain black wood until it reached the part where the sharp metal was connected to the wood, and then it turned gold with intricate designs running through it. The gold went from the base of the sharp metal part to the tip, giving it a royally ceremonial look. The metal part was wickedly sharp. It looked like it could cut through anything. It seemed like silver and it reflected everything better than any mirror could. It was weird, it looked like it was rippling, like a pond. He raised it up and Teresa saw now that it was rippling; small silver ripples that ended at the tip of the metal. It was like a small broken fragment of a pond. Then he brought it down again slamming it into her floor, causing the ripples to increase in volume. Some of it even overlapped the scythe and splashed on Death’s finger bones. He seemed to take no notice of it. Teresa, too transfixed by the overlapping silver just held her breath as Death raised it again and brought it down on her bedroom floor again. At first nothing happened. Teresa held her breath until her body forced her to take in oxygen. Then the silver that had spilled on Death’s hand rose off of him like a silver serpent and dived into the floor, going straight through without any resistance and no evidence that it had even been there. . Death seemed again not to notice the silver and just stood there looking at the wall behind her. Then she heard a low rumbling sound. She looked behind her to see her bedroom wall rearranging itself. The plaster turned to dark black and silver brick and piled itself on top of each other until a small doorway had formed. As soon as everything settled Death glided over to the doorway not looking back to see if she was following. She hurried after him.




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