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I Come Bearing Release
The trees bent out like open hands, their branches curling with malice. A woman stood between them; beneath an open gray sky with a cloak covering her shoulders. She was holding out an open locket, trying to get a better perception of what was inside. Her brows furrowed, and her pink lips were pressed together tightly.
The wind lashed out from behind rocks and crevices like whips, burying their strands into my pale skin. The clouds swirled and twisted; creating ghastly shapes and faces with the upheld rain.
Everything was so evil, so full of hatred. There was no warmth here; only a feeling of betrayal, of suffering. It was once so beautiful, I regretted showing up. It would take years for this small clearing to recover.
It was evil, yes, but nothing was dark; all of the deep colors in this region ran like blood towards me, attracted by my aura of death. Slight color variations sprouted up vein-like on the ground. I wanted to push it away, to get rid of the energy that I was stealing. But even the bold bark of the trees flashed and became stone-gray. The blonde of the woman’s hair became snow-white.
I felt bad for coming so soon; she hadn’t even figured out how the heart worked. I let her study it some more before taking another step. The grass around my feet died. Why wouldn’t she run? Surely she noticed me, or at least sensed that someone was here.
I had stalled as best as I could; walking instead of appearing; watching and observing along the way. A tear rolled down my cheek as I heavily came closer to her frail figure. She coughed vehemently, and I suddenly understood why I was here; to end her suffering.
She collapsed to her knees as I took a resolute stride her way, but then I faltered.
Her eyes watered as she wheezed, a human sign of decline. It was her time to go, yet I planted myself to the ground, wishing I didn’t have to continue. Why was my destiny, out of all the other possible fates, to send people to the afterlife? Why did that job fall upon me?
I approached her at last, and tried to comfort her as well as I could even though she couldn’t see me. At last she looked up, her hour waning to seconds.
“Give this to someone special,” she shaked. She handed me the locket with tired fingers, half-unwilling to release their grip upon them. I knew she was ready to die, since I was visible to her. I took the necklace and helped her up. She leaned onto my shoulder with submission, glad that her pain would soon end.
“Your grandmother is waiting for you,” I smiled. She nodded and grinned slightly. I took the scythe in my hand and cut the ghostly string above her head, releasing her spirit to eternity.